Two teens against dirty state secrets. Who wins?
Genre: Young Adult
Bookxpert Rating: 4.2/5
A huge thank you to the author Katie Gallagher and the BBNYA team for having me on the tour!
Horror aficionado Lanie Adams should be thrilled when two eighties-era ghosts materialize in her bedroom. Yet after a fainting incident unbecoming of a horror nerd, she would rather her haunting just go away—the ghosts’ waterlogged voices and ice-cold auras are more terrifying than any movie. Enlisting the help of Ryan, an entirely-too-cute stoner, she makes it her mission to put the spirits stalking her to rest.
Some sleuthing reveals that their sleepy Connecticut town is host to a shadowy, decades-old conspiracy. If Lanie wants to say a final goodbye to her ghosts, she’ll need to keep digging. But it’s important to tread carefully. The culprit is still in town—and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.
Just as Lanie recovered from a fever, a blue ghost in her room shared the sh*t out of her, giving her sleepless nights torching the corners of her room every half-hour. As she’s researching paranormal beings at the school library one day, she comes across Ryan, who’s cute, but more importantly, the only one to believe her story of the blue beings in her room.
All this in just the first 5 chapters. I was super excited to see where this story went. At one point it seemed like the author was going to contribute Lanie’s ghosts to a psychological issue, I had my fingers crossed for the book to not go that way, so desperate had blue ghosts had made me for a satisfying conclusion. Needless to say, the book totally lived up to my expectations.
With the paranormal story of the ghosts, Specter also has a thriller/mystery angle to it. Guessing at the ghosts’ reasons for existence kept me up till 3 in the night, and the creative way in which the author resolved this made me happy. The story followed a very logical line, all the steps that Lanie and Ryan took to get to the bottom of her ghosts’ existence make sense. Both Lanie and Ryan were really determined to get to the bottom of the whole business, almost as if they knew there was something there, and that aspect of the story was a little difficult for me to believe. I love all the humor and teenage stupidity the author has injected in the book to balance out the heavy paranormal aspects of the book.
The location of Lanie’s house was carefully chosen– at the end of her little lane, next to a forest with a huge power plant nearby. It really amped up the spookiness of the ghosts. The pacing of the storyline is perfect– if keeps increasing right till the climax at the end. Specter felt like a Dan Brown thriller towards the end, with Lanie running for her life while fading in and out of consciousness, to save Ryan from an evil end.
I totally loved Specter. One of the first thoughts I had as soon as I completed reading it was- ‘This would make an amazing movie!’. So I really hope it gets made into one someday.
PS: I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest (or insert your own standard version of the same).
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About the Author:
Katie Jane Gallagher is the author of Specter and The Gold in the Dark. Her stories feature relatable, realistic characters who get swept up in extraordinary events. An avid reader of YA and genre fiction, she has a self-proclaimed affinity for the best sorts of trash.
Born and raised in Illinois, Katie currently lives in Connecticut with her stupendous, half-human half-neanderthal husband and their dopey boxer dog. She graduated magna cum laude from Connecticut College in 2012, with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature and a minor in history.