October 11, 2012

Sue's Review of Ghostwriter by Lissa Bryan


After being laid off from the newspaper where she worked as a journalist, and losing her boyfriend in rapid succession, Sara Howell is looking to downsize before her dwindling savings run out. Things are finally starting to look up when she lands a job ghostwriting the biography of a popular politician and rents an isolated island house which turns out to have once been the home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925.

But when strange things start happening, as objects break, or go missing, and terrifying visions appear, Sara begins to wonder if Seth ever left, or if she is losing her mind.

What happened to Seth is a secret closely guarded by the family to this day, a family that seems to exist under a terrible curse. Through an old trunk of letters she discovers in the attic, Sara unravels the mystery and becomes caught up in a tale of greed, lost love and the horrors of WWI.

When Sara realizes she is not going crazy and that Seth Fortner’s spirit still haunts her new home on the isolated island, she begins to draw him out of his shell bit by bit. She will discover what happened to the idealistic young writer who went to the battlefields of France to save lives, and to his beautiful bride to destroy the love between them, and what led Seth to make a terrible choice which would have consequences that would echo for generations.

They gradually fall in love in their world of dreams, dreams which swiftly become more attractive than reality, as Sara learns from a ghost how to truly live. Will she be the one to break the “Fortner Curse” by helping Seth conquer his demons, and heal both of their hearts in the process?

I give it 4 stars

Have you ever read a book and liked a character so much you wish he was real so you could look him up and find out more about him?
That is how I felt about Seth, the character that Lissa has created for this novel.

I even googled his name to see if he was real,
and why? Because the fascination of his own fangirl, Sara, was enough to make me want to be a fan as well.

All of this was before I even got to know him as a character--I was driven by the main character's obsession with this author and the mystery surrounding him!

This is a love story, but it is also a mystery / supernatural book. I have enjoyed Lissa's writing in the past, and this is no different. She is very descriptive and puts you right in the center of the world she creates.  I love how she take this isolated woman, who seems to be everyones doormat, and puts her on an island alone. This is where she is going to write the political autobiography she was hired to write. It's not something she wants to write, but she needs the paycheck.

Lissas choice as Seth--he is stunning
The time alone on this island gives her a chance to grow a backbone before she finds romance, before she falls in love with Seth (or rather, more in love with Seth).

The question eventually becomes, "What is real?" This girl is experiencing head aches, and she dreams of Seth. Is it her imagination? Is she actually talking with a man who has been dead for many years?

I enjoyed Lissa's writing style in fanfiction. I think that was a good way for her practice her story telling. She has a neat way of crafting a complicated story that is easy to read, and her images really stick with you.

In this book, I see Seth: I see his letters, I see him sitting on a sand dune waiting to talk to her, and then I wonder, is he real or is he part of her imagination?

That is what I love most about Lissa's work; there are images that stick with you. I had this happen with her fanfics as well, but to see her write an original story and find that her gift of crafting interesting characters has carried over is a gift.

Things I really liked about this book: yes, Seth is great and everything, but I really liked Sara. I like how she grew as a person. I like how she changed and got stronger emotionally. I like how I questioned her sanity. In many ways, parts of this book reminded me of the movie Somewhere in Time, where the main character goes into a dream to be with the person he loves

That sort of happens here. Seth is the ghost of an author that Sara admires. She can see and talk to him in her dreams, and he can appear to her in this plane (but it wears him out).

I REALLY love the letters that Seth wrote to his wife while he was serving in WW1. Sara finds them and reads them, and that hooked me--there is nothing greater to me than a well-crafted letter (this site has tons of them they are fantastic to read).

Ghostwriter officially released today, 10/11/12, so go on out and give it a read and then come back and let me know what you think of Seth and Sara! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


CharliDenae said...

1) why you want the signed copy? Lissa is a friend on Facebook and, after reading the synopsis on this book, and comments others have made about her writing, I think she's going to go far as an author.

2) crunchy or creamy peanut butter? Creamy, all the way!! ;o)

Thanks for the chance to win!!

Detroitangel said...

Creamy. I only use crunchy when I bake.

Mandy M Kaur said...

Creamy peanut butter.

Why do I want the signed copy? I've recently started following her work, working my way through her FFN stories, and I finished most of them in three days time--going back and reading a few favorite things. I would love to read this new one, and a signed copy? What's better than a great book with the author's signature for a Uni student craving a new fantasy live away from academic stress?

FunmbiE said...

Hi there!
1. I've loved Lissa Bryan for awhile now, and Ghostwriter is a gloriously beautiful and imaginative story. I'd be honored to have an autographed copy!


lovesu11 said...

1. I have loved Lissa since she wrote fanfiction.
I'd love to be able to win this and read her original book.

2. Creamy PB all the way!

SoP said...

1. Lissa is a wonderful writer. To read an original first book, first edition would be awesome!!

2. Creamy PB!!

Suzie55 said...

Can't wait to read this book! And apparently I'm the only crunchy peanut butter lover out there. lol

Amanda said...

1.) Because Lissa is a fantastically talented writer, and to have a signed first edition on my shelf would be amazing. I have been a huge fan of hers since day one, and I think she will go very far.

2.) I actually like both. It just depends on the day. Today would be a crunchy PB bagel kind of day.

~R said...

1) Lissa is the only fanfiction writer that I've found that created entire new worlds that made me think I could/would read that in the 'real' fiction world. I've only been waiting till I get paid again to purchase Ghostwriter, now maybe I won't have to.

2) Creamy all the way.

T.M. Franklin said...

1) I'm intrigued by the concept, and would love to read Lissa's take on it. :-)

2. CRUNCHY! Nom.

Wendy Norris Roberts said...

Like many others I starting following Lissa's work when she wrote fanfiction. Once I found out that she was branching out as a published author I thought it only natural! I would love to read this book and if I don't win...well then I guess I will have to buy it!

I love creamy peanut butter but once in a while I have a craving for crunchy that I just have to satisfy!!

Ana said...

I'm very curious and intrigued about this book! And though I have no preference, if push comes to shove I'd probably pick creamy PB.

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