Expected Published Date: March 29th, 2012
Finished Date: March 26th, 2012
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Source: ARC, For Review
The Blurb from Goodreads: Ellie is staying with her maternal grandparents for the summer, while her recently bereaved dad takes off on holiday with his new girlfriend. Upset by his apparent callousness, missing her mother, and jealous for her dad's attention, she begins to spiral into depression. Her grandparents suggest she joins a local theatre group, to meet people her own age and get away from the dark thoughts that threaten to engulf her. But then she gets roped into a seance at the theatre, and is the only one who actually sees a real ghost. Now a spirit is contacting her from beyond the grave - and as the dead boy's story unfolds, Ellie finds herself falling in love with him. But if she solves his mystery and helps release his soul, will he be lost to her forever?
The Review: This was a fun book to read. It was the first ghost story that I've read and I really enjoyed it. Having it set in a small sea side town in England, Sarah Singleton managed to create a creepy dark vibe to it. Where else in the world would a ghost haunt a small theatre? Except in Lyme-on-Sea in England. Having grown up in a seaside town myself, I was able to connect with the atmosphere, the small town, the holiday makers.
Initially the book itself was a slow starter. It was just Ellie moping about for a long time, not really doing anything. It's not until she enters a small book shop, where she discovers a replica model of the small theatre that lies in the town that strange things start to happen. At that point, you're completely sucked into Ellie's world, and you're with her through out, and you literally can't wait to find out more about the mysterious and beautiful ghost that is Harry Weatherstone. You want to know so much more about him and his tragic death that happened over 100 years ago in the same town. With all that said, Sarah Singleton has a unique writing style that keeps you engaged through out with a mix of suspense and she certainly knows how to write dark stories.
Her characters were all realistically portrayed as older teenagers (18years) and are all easy to like and empathise with. Ellie, our protagonist is likeable from the start, although there were times where I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up and smell the real world, she didn't bug me. Her friend Daisy, was great, pretty much the typical best friend. And Alex, ah Alex, other than have you falling for Harry as well, Sarah added Alex to the mix, Alex is the typical male love interest (Even though Ellie is completely oblivious to him), strong, handsome, understanding. Harry is an intriguing character. Although he's a ghost, there was something about him that leaves you falling head over heels for him. He's the gentleman from the 1890's who died tragically. His and Ellie's relationship wasn't healthy, it was very much a modern tale on Romeo & Juliet, which is a big recurring theme in the book. It's a love that you know isn't going to work, he'd dead, she's alive; that's the sad tragic thing. Two people who would have obviously been (if times were different) made for each other, just can't be.
There isn't a lot more I can say about this book without giving too much away, except that it's an intriguing dark story that will leave you wanting more. Dark Storm is a stand alone book and the ending it pretty perfect, and doesn't leave it open to interpretation or for a sequel. This has been a very engaging read, and one that you should all experience upon the books' release.