Stephanie's Reviews > One Hundred Candles

One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen
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's review
Jan 29, 2011

really liked it
Read in January, 2011


Book 2 in the Past Midnight Series
Mara Purnhagen
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (February 15, 2011)
From publisher through
No remuneration was exchanged.

Quick Tells
Not Cliche in plot or character
Passion: Lukewarm-even for YA
Cliffhanger rating - Aagh!

I’ve opened a door that cannot be closed.

It’s taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I’m settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it’s not as if Noah is anything more than a friend...

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I’ve opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

A haunting new tale in the Past Midnight series.(, Marketing Copy.)

My Thoughts

If you saw New Moon, you must remember at the end what a cliffhanger it was. And, if you read Dreamfever, you know we were left with a real cliffhanger, on a cliff even. One Hundred Candles gives us a cliff hanger of similar proportions. So, thank goodness this is a series!

This book is about Charlotte Silver and her family. Except for having spent most of her youth traveling around with her parents, their employee, and her sister Annalise, Charlotte is a normal teenager, with a slightly underdeveloped peer socialization IQ. She has the somewhat usual sidekick BFF and there is a boy with whom she would prefer more than a friendship, but she believes that he is not interested. There is another boy, Harris, and he seems crazy about her. But is he?

The main plot is quite original. Something supernatural is really stalking this girl. But not all that seems paranormal is paranormal. On the other hand, some supernatural things are real, and they can hurt Charlotte and her family. When Charlotte fails to heed an arrogant adult's instructions will the worst happen?

The paranormal universe that Purnhagen presents is a bit loosely described. I don't have an issue with that really. As long as she remains consistent through the series that is not necessarily a problem.

Although this is book two, I didn't have any trouble coming in and getting with the program. It is a fine stand alone right until the end.

Charlotte shares some kisses with the two boys, but nothing goes beyond that point. The scenes are very tame. The scary-factor is a bit higher, as is the emotional quotient. Charlotte's parents are a bit self-involved as people with all absorbing jobs tend to be; but there are issues at home that feed into the choices Charlotte makes and what ensues from there. It is a good reminder of causality.

I found the book was engaging and it was mostly because I found Charlotte to be very engaging. The book was also suspenseful. No preachy lessons for teens; if there are any they come through imagining the situation and what may have been done differently. I also like the boy that Charlotte really likes. He reminds me of the new boy on Glee. I think this is a YA book that YAs will actually enjoy.
Book Three in the Past Midnight Series, Beyond the Grave, is scheduled for Fall 2011.

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