Author: Shirley Reva Vernick
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Christmas
My Rating: ★ ★.5
Our heroine Penny must spend her Christmas vacation alone in an ancient hotel, the Black Butterfly, at the coldest, bleakest edge of America—the coast of Maine. This "vacation" was the brainchild of Penny's mother who had to be elsewhere, hunting ghosts. Weird, huh? Lucky for Penny she doesn't believe in ghosts. Or love. Or "family." Well, not so fast. Two ghosts appear—her friend Alipak, and her enemy, the Girl Ghost. Then there's George, a real boy, the handsome son of Bubbles, who owns the Black Butterfly. Maybe he will become a boyfriend. Maybe he won't. To her surprise, Penny has her sly wishes. And she has her troubles too. Especially when the Girl Ghost wants her dead. And Alipak disappears for good. Will George save her? Is this how Penny comes of age?
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
"She's flipped. My mother's precarious sanity has left the building. She's fallen in love with a stranger, she's pulling up every stake, and she's taking me down with her. Nothing could be more obvious. Or more horrifying."
Penny is a teenager who has lived in more places and gone to more schools than anybody should because her mother is chasing a dream. A dream that never pans out no matter how many time she's tries. But this time she thinks it will work out so she sends Penny to one of her old friends places for Christmas and goes about her work. Even though Penny doesn't she want to go, she does and things actually work out pretty good for her. She meets a guy named George and likes all of the people that work at this inn as well. She learns a lot in this time and realizes that she has a certain ability as well. Which takes her on an even stranger journey that she is afraid to tell anyone about. So instead she keeps it quite until she can't and then she tells the person she has grown the closest to and hopes for a future with.
"You like this junk?""I happen to love it. What's so terrible about liking a clean story with a happy ending?"
Overall this book was disappointing to me, I was expecting a paranormal story with a side of romance, instead I got the opposite. Penny while she does see ghosts, would rather spend most of her time worrying about George than helping said ghost. Plus she appears to have feelings for one of the ghosts which just makes everything complicated. As for Penny's mother I had no real use to her, I felt annoyed at her for not growing up and making things happen like they should be for Penny. Penny herself is grownup in some ways she's had to become responsible, but she also is still naive enough that this story was slightly enjoyable. While I wouldn't say this book is awful it is rather slow paced and is more focused on the romance than I was hoping it would be.
"You cannot tell if cooking is really for you when you only make what is sweet and easy. You have to take on all of it, even the damn stinking artichokes. Then if you still want to cook, you know you must love it."