ARC Review: Haunt Me – Liz Kessler


Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they’ve gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new room. Even if it appears she isn’t the only one living in it. Bit by bit, Erin and Joe discover that they have somehow found a way across the ultimate divide – life and death. Bound by their backgrounds, a love of poetry and their growing feelings for each other, they are
determined to find a way to be together.

Joe’s brother, Olly, never cared much for poetry. He was always too busy being king of the school – but that all changed when Joe died. And when an encounter in the school corridor brings him face to face with Erin, he realises how different things really are – including the kind of girl he falls for.

Two brothers. Two choices. Will Erin’s decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she is lost forever?

I received an eARC edition of this book courtesy of Orion Children’s Books/ Hachette Children’s Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book made me rather uncomfortable at times, my mind did not bode well with Joe and Erin’s relationship. I just couldn’t fully comprehend why on Earth it happened, because apart from artistic/writer’s license, I could not picture why one could and would come up with a human being falling for a ghost like some weird Caspar the Friendly Ghost remake…

Because that’s what this book felt like, with a side of bullying, and suicide and OD. It was all rainbows and sunshine. However, I do have to  say that Kessler did a good job of presenting all of these topics in a non-pretentious way.

In saying that, though, I thought that Erin was too reckless nearing the end of the book. I mean okay, she was introverted and had been bullied for the majority of her life, but going to the lengths she tried to; to be with the only human being her age (if one may even call Joe that, because I honestly don’t think so) who cared enough to show her affection was incredibly childish and thoughtless.

But I do guess that the above also explains the plentiful insta-love which occurred within this novel, which of course I found rather pathetic; but I am going to put it down to the MC’s unstable psyche, and excuse her from both incidents.

The relationship itself , well… it annoyed me. Joe and Erin felt like the same person sometimes and I think a bit of the whole “opposites attract” thing that most books have going on nowadays would have worked better, which was why I was quite relieved when Olly came into the story, which was  coincidentally also when the pace of the book picked up for me and reading became more bearable.

I honestly have no clue why this book didn’t work for me like it seemed to for the majority of its readers, but I do have to say that Kessler’s writing style kept this book from falling into the depths of hell with all the other books that had somewhat displeased me this year. It was fresh, and original and honestly worked perfect with the story and was a pleasure to read

My Rating: A Generous 2/5 Stars


2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Haunt Me – Liz Kessler

  1. This book…sounds confusing. I hadn’t heard of it until now, but based on some of the things you pointed out, I don’t think I would like it very much, either. Great review, and thanks for sharing.


    • I mean, I definitely think this was a case of “it’s not you it’s me”. I see why most people liked it but I just couldn’t. But then, we do agree quite a lot on books – so I do presume you might have a few issues with this book too. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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