Book – Haunted
Author – Brynn Stein
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 84 (74 of which are the story)
Ease of reading – very easy to read, no problems at all.
Would I read it again – Definitely!
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
Well, as only my second book by this author, I have only one thing to say : I frickin’ loved it!
This was by far better than Lifeline, which was still good, but the chemistry and the romance of this one equalled the mystery, this time.
The main characters of Len and Jason were amazing. Not only real and relatable, quirky and fun to read, but they had their faults, their ups and downs, and were captivating. I couldn’t stop thinking about them, after I put this one down.
The story itself – a murder mystery – was brilliant. I love a good murder mystery and this one didn’t disappoint. Though the whodunit was obvious from the start, I did wonder sometimes if we’d have a surprise killer pop up, while they investigated. That was fun, because I could never be sure what would happen next.
Though the story plot mainly focused on the murder and the consequences of it, there were 3 main themes here, for me – the murder mystery, the romance and the confusing state of Len’s sexuality. We’re never told if Len is straight, gay, bi or whatever, which I really like. He’s not labelled and he doesn’t have any big epiphany about his sexuality. He was married at one point, to a woman, and then he began to fall for our ghost of the story, Jason. That was it. He began to feel the chemistry and reacted to it as anyone else would. There wasn’t a crisis of confidence or a freak out about suddenly being gay or bi; he accepted the relationship and embraced it in a really lovely way. We’re never told, even at the end, if he’s gay or bi or whatever, because it doesn’t matter. What matters is the intense emotional connection that Jason and Len have made.
I really loved the ghost aspects that began the story, too. I think they were really important and, quite possible, part of what was missing in Lifeline. The biggest strengths of this story are the biggest failings of Lifeline and I could easily have seen these two books on par with each other, if only the same amount of detail was put into both.
I’m not going to wax lyrically about any of the pros or cons of this story. The writing was great, the chemistry was palpable, the relationship was realistic and heartwarming, Len’s friendship with Dan was solid and logical, while the murder mystery kept me guessing and held my interest. There. Those are the main reactions I can share with you.
Anything else I have to say can be rounded up to this: READ IT! You won’t be disappointed.
One thing I’ve noticed about this author is their preference for the word ‘brat’, and the way that a dozen or so pages are filled with adverts from the publisher, at the back of the book. Not sure why this is (I’m not so much bothered by ‘brat’, but it’s not a word I use a lot, so it’s different.) but I feel like I’m being cheated out of story pages, for some reason. Rightly or wrongly, this bothers me, but doesn’t affect my rating of the book. It’s just an observation.
It’s also a little odd that it’s in 3rd person POV. After reading Lifeline, my only other experience of this author, I expected another 1st person, as authors rarely switch between the two. But, I much preferred the 3rd person, as always.