March 8, 2013

Book Review: Amber House by Kelly Moore

Title: Amber House (The Amber House Trilogy #1)
Author: Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Source: Library
Purchase: TBD | Amazon

"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."

Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.

But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.

This was an amazing, chilling, unforgettable read. I absolutely LOVED it! From start to finish, it was impossible to put down. I even had a hard time reading this at night during some parts of the book. I usually don't get creeped out that easy when reading, but I will admit, this had me peering around my room at night catching glimpses of things that weren't there!

To me, this book was a little bit of The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton (we read this in 6th or 7th grade) and The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.

Sarah Parsons grandmother passes away so her and her family travel from Seattle to Maryland to settle her estate. Sarah soon finds out that she has a gift, a gift that she's not sure that she really wants at first. When she touched family heirlooms, she can see glimpses of the past. With the help of new friend Jackson, she learns the gift isn't all that bad. She finds out things about her family that her mother and grandmother never told her about. Some things she wished she never knew.

Soon Sarah finds herself in a race against time to save her little brother, Sammy, who is alive, but has lost his soul inside the house, Amber House. Does she save him? Or is she too late?

There are some shady characters in this story. I never quite trusted Richard, the handsome son of the senator. His family is a mystery and Richard has quite a temper. There wasn't much light shed on his family, just that his mom left and she never quite liked Sarah's mom, but she has always been intrigued with the Amber House. Later she wants to buy the house with all the furnishing and heirlooms. You also see in one os Sarah's echos her great grandmother, Fiona, might have had an affair with a gentleman that looks a lot like Richard. So I think something is going on there.

Sarah's mom, Annie, has a secret sister that she never talked about. So naturally, when Sarah finds out about her through yet another echo, she's curious and quite upset she never knew about her.

Hopefully in the second book we will find out more about the past and what happened with these other characters.


Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

I really really want to read this one! It looks fantastic :) Great review.
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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