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MrsTeeMae Review: One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Element: paranormal investigators
Series: Past Midnight #2
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Review copy received from publisher.

Creepy, fantastic read! The descriptions of the paranormal happenings had me pull the covers up to my nose at night and jumping at every little noise I heard. I loved the way Mara described everything in this book, the strength and personalities of the characters, and the downright creepiness of the paranormal beings. I don't think there was any part of this book that bored me. It had me flipping the pages all the way to the end.

Charlotte gets invited to a huge party where she gets overwhelmed and ends up gazing at the stars with the big jock on campus, Harris.  When Harris offers to head over to a party that is more up Charlotte's alley the ghosts stories begin.  A game called One Hundred Candles in being played when Harris, Charlotte, Avery and Noah arrive.  Gwyn explains the rules that you can only tell a paranormal story that is true and has either happened to you or someone that you are close with. Once the story is told a candle is lit. After all of the one hundred candles are lit, there will be one hundred spirits in the room with them.

Little did they know, the stories would haunt them long after the stories were told.  This is something that Charlotte isn't easily spooked by and is always thinking of a way to debunk the story.  What happens where there are no scientific explanations, and personal experiences that haunt your every thought? A vision so burned into your mind you are forced to believe.

The premise of this story, of one hundred candles being lit and each frightening story being played out had me hooked!  To me it seemed like an urban legend story. But, urban legends don't end up with a creepy possessed demon (or something worse) hunting you down. Along with the story you learn a lot about Charlotte. The family troubles she is trying to deal with, the new boyfriend in her life, the mystery of the hauntings happening at her school and the 1-year anniversary of Adam's death.

With the scary aspect of the story, you also got the real life feeling too, and that's what I loved.  I am also a huge fan of ghost stories and scary movies.  I don't know why, because I am the biggest scardy cat ever.  This book did for me, what the exorcist did. Made me turn on every light on in the house. Why I didn't rate this the full five stars is because it wasn't (for me, at least) a book that I couldn't live with out. While I loved the story and I am looking forward to the next, I didn't LOVE it. But I did enjoy it and I am glad that this was my first paranormal read.

I would recommend this book to those who love ghost stories, anything paranormal, ghost hunting, possession and a bit of mystery. I do love all those things and I don't know why I haven't read something like this sooner.


Jess (Gone with the Words) said...

Great review, Mrs. Tee Mae! Looking forward to your reviews here on PJV! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Jess!!! :-D

Jessica said...

Nice review!! I read this one not that long ago and loved it as well! Can't wait for the finale!

Jennifer Lane said...

Eek, ghost stories! That's cool how you learn more about the character through the telling of ghost stories. Great review.

Sayuri said...

Yay! great review. You even made me want to read it and I never read YA.

Anonymous said...

@Sayuri - YES! SUCCESS! lol See...your review did the same for me, and I don't read the sexay romancey stuff, but now I might dabble in it LOL

Fireflywishes said...

Great review, I read this one not too long ago too, and I gave it 3 stars - but that's because I've read a TON of ghost stories and this one was a little too tame for me, lol. I did think it was worth reading though and I think I will probably read the next book in the series (I missed reading the first book, never realized it was a series when I requested it as a galley!)

Like you, I liked the "real" element - her problems with her boyfriend and the issues her parents are having, it made the story that much more believable, and Charlotte a character that you could relate too.

Congratz on being PJ's new reviewer!! :)

April @ My Shelf Confessions

Anonymous said...

@Fireflywishes - thank you so much! I don't know how you read a ton of ghost stories, LOL I must be a big wimp. I am looking forward to trying out more though, I think this was a good stepping stone to more for me. :-)

JillyB07 said...

I want to read this now, it sounds really good. Guess i should start with the first one though.


This is the best review I've seen of this book. It actually says what it's about. And sadly I won't be reading it. If you mention the Exorcist in the same review as this, forget it. I'll just read the reviews thank you!


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