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Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review & Perfume Giveaway: The Haunted by Jessica Verday

Reading level: Young Adult
480 pages
Simon Pulse (August 31, 2010)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

An impossible truth. An impossible love.

After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with--the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead--Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.

But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates--a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....
Read the first chapter here.

Book Opening: 

I'm not ready to go back. "Can I just stay here forever?" I leaned my head against the seat of Aunt Marjorie's car. "I don't eat very much, and really, who needs to graduate from high school?"

Notable Scene: 

"If i could touch anything in the world right now, it would be our heart. I want to take that piece of you and keep it with me when I'm alone in the dark."

His voice ached, and I ached right along with him.

"I want to feel your heartbeat too," I whispered.

"Pretend," he said. "Can you do that? Pretend I'm alive and there's nothing between us. Nothing at all. I'm real and warm and alive." - Page 420-421

The HollowThe small town of Sleepy Hollow is one that conjures up images of deliciously spooky cemeteries, creeping shadows and unexplained mysteries. Jessica Verday excels in the use of sensory description to enhance a story. When I read the first book in the series, THE HOLLOW, I could almost smell Abby's delectable perfumes, the tantalizing aroma of her snicker doodle cookies and  feel the biting rain on my skin as I ran with her through the cemetery in her mud-ridden black prom dress.  Verday's follow up, THE HAUNTED, was even more romantic and mysterious with great character development and a killer cliffhanger guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.

I found Abbey's character so much more mature in this book.  She was strong and more self-assured in her choices.  One thing about Abbey I have always found so fascinating is her ability to channel all her thoughts and feelings into creating perfumes which truly capture the people in her life.

I also loved how Caspian had more "on-screen" time than he did in the first book which was great to see. The dialogue between Abbey and Caspian intrigued me every time they met.  Also, a great deal more of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow was incorporated into the plot, which was something I personally love learning about. 

In regards to the first book, my one critique was that there was so much unimportant filler clogging up the narrative. At times nothing seemed to happen beyond the hum-drum of Abbey going about her daily routine. I have to say that in comparing THE HAUNTED with THE HOLLOW, Verday's writing has gotten so much tighter this time around. I was impressed with how much she's grown as a writer. But the beginning of THE HAUNTED was very slow. Once I got past the first 100 pages, however, the story definitely kicked in and surpassed its predecessor in so many ways.

Verday answered many lingering questions I had from THE HOLLOW, particularly about Abbey's best friend Kristen.  We finally found out who "D" was!  He's mysterious though, and after meeting him, I had even more questions than I did before. But a lot of the issues surrounding Caspian and Abbey's relationship were explained, which was so appreciated.  The ending definitely left me reeling and is quite the cliffhanger. But I'm certain all will be revealed in the third installment of the trilogy, THE HORROR.

Despite a slow start, THE HAUNTED did not disappoint. It was an enchanting story of love, loss and the ties that bind.

Jessica Verday wrote the first draft of her debut novel, The Hollow, by hand, using thirteen spiral-bound notebooks and fifteen black pens. She likes: things that smell nice, rainy nights, old books, cemeteries, Johnny Cash, zombie movies, L.J. Smith books, abandoned buildings, trains, and snow. She is currently hand-writing the continuation of Abbey and Caspian’s story from her home in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Find out more at jessicaverday.com.

Up for grabs now is your chance to win a
 1 ml vial of PERFUME!

The scent is called  "Abbey" after none other than the protag herself. All you need to do is leave a comment attached to this post with your email address and you will be entered to win. Contest ends 9-24 and is open to all entrants with a valid U.S. mailing address.
Good luck!

Note** This giveaway is for the PERFUME only and does not include the book.

Check out Teen {Book Scene} for more tour stops and chances to win!



Savannah Smith said...

I can't wait to read these books! :)


Bethie said...

I put these on my wishlist. Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Linda Henderson said...

This book sounds very intriguing, I can't wait to read it. Thank you for the great giveaway.

seriousreader at live dot com

.Ambur. said...

These books look amazing, thanks for sharing your review and for the giveaway! :D

Ambur (ambiepie_6@hotmail.com)

M.A.D. said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Very nice review! I'm glad to hear that the action gets ramped up in The Haunted - I enjoyed Hollow, but the pace was somewhat uneven.

Thanks for the giveaway :D

Jazza2010 said...

Awesome! Looking forward to reading "The Haunted".


Jessilyn said...

oh, i JUST saw at the smart chicks tour I would love to be entered.

Anonymous said...

OMG wow!!
I think I would love these books!
They sound amazing!!!

Please sign me up for the contest.

Kelly aka Yllektra // yvantis@hotmail.com

Kulsuma said...

what a great giveaway.

count me in if it's international please.


The Book Speaker said...

The Hollow was actually the first book I reviewed on my blog!It's so cool that they actually made some of Abbey's perfumes!


Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Good to hear you thought the reading tightened up. I still need to read the first one!

foltzsfantasticbooks at gmailcom

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

Great honest review sweets! I have yet to finish The Hollow, got kinda stuck in the middle - hopefully I'll pick it up again so I can read Haunted.

The perfume looks so pretty, thank you for the contest. :)


Petula said...

That's a fantastic review and the book sounds fabulous. Lately I've been reading reviews of a lot of young adult books and I'm surprised at how intriguing the books sound.

Tore said...

Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Robin Blankenship said...

This books looks great and the cover is beautiful



Anonymous said...

These books sound so good, I must read them.

linz said...

The book looks fantastic! And perfume is great as well! Thanks.


Sita said...

Awesome giveaway!


debbie said...

The book sounds really good. It is really interesting that a perfume has been developed around it.

Nikki said...

I still haven't read the first one, but I can't wait!

Jen said...

OOOHHHH!! I can't wait to read this book. Hope I win!


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review!
I've been hearing the same things about the narrative.
(not an entry)

April said...

Thanks for the contest :) I wanna read the book pretty badly!