Nothing But Ghosts – Beth Kephart

Title: Nothing But Ghosts
Author: Beth Kephart
ISBN: 9780061667961
Pages: 288
Release Date: June 23, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Teen, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the publisher’s website:

Ever since her mother passed away, Katie’s been alone in her too-big house with her genius dad, who restores old paintings for a living. Katie takes a summer job at a garden estate, where, with the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, she soon becomes embroiled in decoding a mystery. There are secrets and shadows at the heart of Nothing but Ghosts: symbols hidden in a time-darkened painting, and surprises behind a locked bedroom door. But most of all, this is a love story—the story of a girl who learns about love while also learning to live with her own ghosts.

Beth Kephart is one of those authors that I have read so much about, but have never actually read any of her novels. I’d been hearing buzz about Nothing But Ghosts long before its release date, and I was really excited when I received a review copy of it. Then came the book drive for this novel, sponsored by My Friend Amy’s Blog and Presenting Lenore. Therefore, the copy of this book I am reviewing is one I actually bought, though in the interest of full disclosure, I also received a review copy of this novel.

Nothing But Ghosts is short novel, but a powerful one. Katie and her father seem to be floating aimlessly through life, unable to move on after Katie’s mother’s death. The mystery of the estate Katie is working at for the summer really draws them together. In many ways, they use someone else’s life in order to remember how to live their own. It’s great to watch them develop over the course of the novel.

I also really enjoyed Kephart’s writing. She has very beautiful prose that really captures the imagination. After reading Nothing But Ghosts, I can’t wait to go back and read some of her other books, if only to enjoy her gorgeous writing!

Nothing But Ghosts was a great little read, though I wish some of the characters and the mystery within had been developed a little more. I felt like I didn’t get to know Katie very well, that the reader was being held at an arm’s length from the world within the pages of this novel. That’s not to say it wasn’t masterfully written, but that it left me wanting much more. Still, it’s definitely a book worth reading, and I can’t wait to see what Kephart comes up with next!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review, though the copy I actually reviewed is the one I purchased.

Comments

  1. I do think the mystery could have done with a little more development, but I felt it completely appropriate that Katie kept the reader at arm’s length. She’s keeping almost everyone at a distance, after all. It fit the theme of the book very well for me.

  2. I do think the mystery could have done with a little more development, but I felt it completely appropriate that Katie kept the reader at arm’s length. She’s keeping almost everyone at a distance, after all. It fit the theme of the book very well for me.

  3. I really enjoyed this book. I think the fact that you wanted more shows just how good the writing is.

  4. I really enjoyed this book. I think the fact that you wanted more shows just how good the writing is.

  5. I loved this line in your review: “they use someone else’s life in order to remember how to live their own.”

    Like you, I’m looking forward to reading more by Kephart.

  6. I loved this line in your review: “they use someone else’s life in order to remember how to live their own.”

    Like you, I’m looking forward to reading more by Kephart.

  7. It’s great that we can regularly get a fix of Beth’s writing on her blog!

  8. It’s great that we can regularly get a fix of Beth’s writing on her blog!

  9. I really enjoyed this book too. Meghan said what I was thinking on this point: “but I felt it completely appropriate that Katie kept the reader at arm’s length. She’s keeping almost everyone at a distance, after all. It fit the theme of the book very well for me.”

  10. I really enjoyed this book too. Meghan said what I was thinking on this point: “but I felt it completely appropriate that Katie kept the reader at arm’s length. She’s keeping almost everyone at a distance, after all. It fit the theme of the book very well for me.”

  11. Fantastic review! I also was left wanting for more, but I wonder if that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much!

  12. Fantastic review! I also was left wanting for more, but I wonder if that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much!

  13. I’ll have to make a note of this one.

  14. I’ll have to make a note of this one.

  15. I love to read reviews that teach me something, and this one does. So thank you so much for that.

    I also love the idea of your wordless Wednesdays. I think I might go in for a bit of that, at least once or so a month!

  16. I love to read reviews that teach me something, and this one does. So thank you so much for that.

    I also love the idea of your wordless Wednesdays. I think I might go in for a bit of that, at least once or so a month!

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