After battling a malevolent ghost that held the spirit of her friend Ian MacKinnon bound to the land for two hundred years, sixteen-year-old reluctant psychic, Riley Williams, felt as if she was finally easing into her new life in Scotland.
Or so she thought.
Laria, the spirit of the witch who had cursed Ian wants revenge for Riley’s interference and she’s bringing along friends—dark entities who thrive on evil.
The one bright spot in Riley’s world is Ian’s descendent, Kade MacKinnon, who could easily be Ian’s modern day twin. The parallels between the two guys are undeniable. As Riley’s relationship with Kade blossoms, she begins to realize Laria has grown in her power since their last confrontation—a power that could very well manipulate the living just as effectively as the dead.
Please note: THE HAUNTED is a mature YA. Due to strong language, mention of alcohol and drug use, cutting, and sexual content, it is not recommended for younger teens. ~ From GoodReads
THE HAUNTED takes off immediately where book one in the MacKinnon Curse series, THE DEEPEST CUT left off. Thank goodness because I didn't want to miss one single second of what happened after Riley got her first glimpse of Kade, who looks exactly like his ancestor, Ian, a former ghost. And I have to stop right here and say, I miss Ian so, so much! I mean, I was a little hesitant to read this book because I was afraid that no one could compare to Ian with his flowing white shirt and his charming demeanor. But as it turns out, the MacKinnons have some strong DNA sequences because his descendant Kade, well, he is quite the Scottish charmer too. Then there's Laria, the evil ghost who is out to get Riley for interfering with Ian. She's back, and she's taking the evil to a whole new level. So now it's up to Riley to save herself, those she loves, begin a new relationship, and manage to avoid regressing into her cutting habit. Easy peasy, right?
In real life, I'm kind of a chicken, so there are very few "ghost stories" that appeal to me. I think what makes this series work so well for me is that it's not only a ghost story. Riley is haunted, but she is also a normal teenage girl, in many ways. She is still dealing with her mother's death, her father's absences, and a brother she worries about. She still misses her friend, Ian, who she did have strong feelings for, but still let go. She is a former "cutter" who fights the urge to begin again every day. She is a girl who is falling for an impossibly cute, sweet guy who happens to be a dead ringer for her former love. The fact that THE HAUNTED deals with these issues makes the book appealing to even those who might not consider reading a ghost story.
On the other hand, THE HAUNTED is super creepy. Laria has taken the proverbial gloves off and is gunning for Riley, and she doesn't care who or what she has to go through to get to her. She is willing to possess and try to destroy Riley's friends and family. She is making herself known to those around her. There were honestly a few times I got goosebumps while reading this book. But it was written in a manner that didn't terrify me in a bad way, if that makes any sense. I guess I was a chilled but not paralyzed with fear.
I have to give author J.A. Templeton major credit for the choices she (or her characters) makes in her writing. To make Riley a cutter couldn't have been easy. It's a compulsion that isn't well understood by a lot of people and has been a controversial topic at times. She made me, through Riley, understand why someone would choose to do it, and even though a person may stop the act, the urge doesn't just go away. She also allows her characters to be flawed, less than perfect. Some of them drink, some smoke pot, they curse a bit, they have s-e-x. And sometimes their actions have consequences. It's not written in a glamorizing fashion. They're real, pure and simple.
While reading THE HAUNTED, I felt the same as I did while reading THE DEEPEST CUT. I got so lost in the story, and I didn't want to put them down, or end. I would tell myself "Just one more chapter" and look up an hour later, wondering what had just happened. And I'm not exactly sure what it is about them that causes this, possibly it's the gripping hook and the engaging characters, or wondering what evil Laria will spew next. I know if I got nit-picky, I could say the books aren't technically perfect. But the fact is, when you enjoy a books as much as I did THE DEEPEST CUT and THE HAUNTED, and add in that I'm dying to read book three, THE DEPARTED...well, that says it all.
(One sweet, one scary!)
"He closed the door behind him. He reached up, his hand easing into my hair, his thumb brushing over my lower lip. 'I can't stop thinking about you.' " (ebook, 46%)
"I smothered a scream.
Shane was levitating a few feet off the bed-his body stick straight, his shaggy hair falling away from him.
'Shane,' I said, taking a step closer. Without looking away from my brother, I felt for the light switch and turned it on.
The bulb flashed and went out." (ebook, 49%)
Read my review of THE DEEPEST CUT (MacKinnon Curse, #1).
Published January 8th 2012 by Julia Templeton
You can purchase THE HAUNTED at:
Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Source: Received from author for review.