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Portraits of Celina

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  329 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay.

"It’s as if the wooden chest is luring me, urging me to open it – daring me almost. Open me up. Look inside. Come on, just for a second; it won’t hurt."

Celina O’Malley was sixteen years old when she disappeared. Now, almost forty years later, Bayley is sleeping in Celina’s room, wearing her clothes, hearing her voice. What does Celina wan
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Walker Books Australia
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Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
*I received a free ARC of Portraits of Celina from Capsone Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange of an honest and unbiased review*

This was a fantastic ghost story, eerily creepy, and filled with angst! Full review to come soon.

This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
Portraits of Celina is an interesting enough ghostly revenge story to pass the time. Bayley and her family move back into an old rural O'Malley estate to escape the tragic death of their father and there she uncovers an old chest of clothes that used to belong to Celina O'Malley. Sixteen year old Celina disappeared without a trace 40 years ago and soon Bayley finds herself wearing Celina's old clothes and recalling memories that don't belong to her.

I didn't find the book exceptional in regards
I had absolutely no intention of reading this book; but then one night I was alone with nothing to read... so I picked up my e-reader and poof! I was sucked into the creepy world of Bayley.

She moves into a new house, in a new town with her family. Bayley has a busy mom, an adorable brother, and an annoying rebel sister. Bay just wants to start fresh but when she starts hearing a voice in her head things start to get a little scary.

Bayley is haunted by the ghost of Celina O'Malley, a young girl
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that grasped me firmly enough to lift me up out of my afternoon, drop me firmly somewhere else, and leave me slightly disoriented afterwards. Despite having the fantastical elements of a ghost story, there is something deeply believable about Bayley's experience, with the unresolved creepiness of Celina's disappearance welling up in the hole of her family's grief and displacement. Much earlier in my life, Portraits of Celina would have built on my absolute love of stor ...more
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
After witnessing the death of her father, Bayley's mother decides to move the family to the old country house from her childhood. As Bayley is moving into her new room, she discovers boxes of clothes belonging to Celina, her mother's cousin who disappeared in her teens. When Bayley starts wearing Celina's old clothes, odd things start happening and Bayley may just be getting some insight into what happened to Celina all those years ago.

I'm really not sure what to make of this book. While it was
Rebecca Jane
It took me a few days to get into this book, and even when I began to read it more it was only because I wanted it finished, not because I particularly cared what happened. I didn't care much for any of the characters and found myself getting annoyed with them more often than nor, Amelia in particular. In the end, figuring out who killed Celina seemed way too easy and the ending, to me, was slightly cheesy. Easy and cheesy, that's how I would describe this book.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have no idea how Whiting composed a story that involved a ghost, revenge, and love into one novel so seamlessly, but she has done it. And very well I might add. Once you start reading, the story just seems to lift off the pages. While I read the book and the story just seemed to be so visual that I was expecting to look up and see all of this play out in front of my eyes. The writing in this book is vivid.

For the
It took a really long time to get immersed into. By the last 80 pages I was into the plot, I really wanted to know how it would all unravel.

But I was disappointed, the story wasn't original, rather predictable, except for how he disposed of Celina... that was rather creepy. Yet, I could see how others foresaw it.

The characters were not developed as much as they could have been. Most of them ended up on my bad side, I barely liked Bayleys family. Her younger brother was the only character I coul
Coleen (The Book Ramblings)
Portraits of Celina is an engaging ghostly revenge story with love in the mix. In the beginning, I had a bit of difficult getting intrigued with the novel, but continued reading because the story-line had caught my attention. Further on in the chapters, I was completely captivated and engrossed in finishing Celina and Bayley's tale. When it came to the characters, I found that Bayley was likable, and the one most could relate to. She seemed real, and the one character brought to life. Celina on ...more
My Review:

I received this book from Switch Press via NetGalley in exchange with my honest review.

Portraits of Celina is an intriguing story with elements of Mystery and Supernatural events that will keep you guessing what actually happened.

The dialogue between Oliver and Bayley is hilarious . I had a ridiculous grin glued to my face while reading them.

Although I kind of correctly guessed the mystery, it was still interesting knowing exactly how it happened. Besides, I had at least 3 more guesses
Susan N.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any mystery or ghost story lovers
First and foremost I received this book as a First Reads Giveaway but that in no way changes my honest review of it.

Wow! I did want to read this one and was happy that I won this ARC but once I started I was shocked at how much I liked, no loved it! It drug me in and didn't let go even at the end I wanted to know what the future held for the characters and I want to read more of it!
Yes in the first 50 pages you know who did it but the author did a great job of keeping the why and how up till th
Barbie Rivers scott
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, my-faves
This book was great, I loved it. It was intriguing and you won't be able to put it down. I read it all at once. It has one of those endings that you are like " I did'nt see that coming." You must read this book you will not be disappointed.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
*NetGalley book review*

Good book. A little to slow in the beginning, but it picked up pretty quick. A 40 year old ghost story as told through the eye of an awkward teenager. A few lagging spots but not that bad.
 Creative Kids Tales
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a shame Goodreads only offers 5 stars. This book is one of the best I've read! I'll be reviewing it on Creative Kids Tales in May.
Chloe  Bright
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
**4.5/5 stars**

This book was really enjoyable and had great paranormal, family, and romance aspects. The only reason it isn't 5/5 stars is because it took me a little while to really get into it.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Portraits of Celina by Sue Whiting

Bayley buried her father on her 16th birthday. It was a sudden accident that killed her father. Her mother, now left to to care for their three children alone, seemed to be crumbling under everything. In an atempt to get their lives back on track, the mom moves the family to an old family house from her childhood. The house is falling apart, it has been abandoned and boarded up for years. It is a house on a lake far out in the country, away from most everything,
Book Review originally published here:

In Portraits of Celina, Bayley and her family move into the old O’Malley estate on the countryside after her father dies, to try and make a fresh start. But a fresh start might be the last thing they’ll ever get. Bayley moves into a room who used to belong to Celina O’Malley, a girl who disappeared when she was sixteen years old. It’s now forty years later, but it seems like the past won’t be put to rest. Bayley looks
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This thrilling novel introduces us to Bayley on her 16th birthday. A day of tragedy that will haunt her family for the next 8 months and be the reason her mom moves her family into the old abandoned family lake house. There Bayley finds a chest of clothes from her late cousin Celina and things start to get crazy.
 Looking back, I realize it was the first time I experienced how cruel life can be. How swiftly a simple act can change it.
It wouldn’t be the last.

I loved this novel. Seriously, here la
"Make him pay Bayley, Make him pay!!!"

To be honest, I had no intentions of reading this book, ever. I usually don't ever read horror/thriller/mystery books, but then I was bored, had nothing to do, and when I saw this book, I grew curious, and I found myself start reading this book. Kind of like how Bayley was with Celina and haunting her... Weird...

Anyway, I liked it, for being my first time ever and reading a horror novel (does Anna dressed in Blood count???) So many things happened and my br
I was excited to be approved for an e-galley of Portraits of Celina through Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. The first thing that caught my eye was the somewhat creepy cover of the showing only the lower half of a girl wearing clothes from another era. Portraits of Celina begins with Bayley Anderson's family moving from their home in Sydney to property that has been in the family for years but has stood empty and untouched for 40 years. The Anderson Family h ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, net-gallery
Portraits of Celina begins with Bayley moving back to her mother's cousin, Celina O'Malley's home. After seeing the death of her father, her older sister Amelia has rebelled against their mother's authority. Her younger brother is forever wearing his Batman costume.

Bayley's mother hoped that the change in environment would bring Amelia back to the daughter that she raised instead of being a wild child. Amelia resented her mother from uprooting her in the middle of her senior year and leaving all
Rosie Arteaga
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was so fast paced and interesting, I couldn't put it down! There was so many things that made this book so intriguing.

The setting was gorgeous! After a little digging, I realized that this was set in Australia (at least I hope that is correct) I kind of guessed that much but I wasn't entirely sure. I think the setting in itself could dictate the feeling of the season, I felt like it could be properly read in either summer or fall, the lake and sun, along with the obvious actual season
Kate Benesch
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I first saw this title, I’m not sure what drew me to it. Maybe it was the cute red polka dot dress on the cover, or perhaps the single line of text accompanying the dress: “Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay.” It sounded slightly ominous, especially because the book blurb marketed it as a ghost story, love story, and a story about revenge.

Portraits of Celina was a very easy read for me. It’s a short book, so I finished it within a few hours. The story flowed along at a good pace, and someth
Jessica M
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
The premise is interesting and very The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-esque. The mystery surrounding Celina is haunting and intriguing, and Amelia (Bayley’s sister) is quite well developed and believable. The title Portraits of Celina won’t make sense until you have finished reading the book, and this title is haunting and chilling and very goosebumpy. The setting of the novel seems very enclosed and secluded, which adds to the mystery in the story. And finally, I’m so glad that this novel took pl ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sue Whiting delivers a thrilling and unique ghost story with her novel, Portraits of Celina. Whiting drops us into a thrilling story of revenge, mystery, and self discovery. Our protagonist is drawn into her murdered cousin's need for revenge and begins to feel a deep and dark connection with her. We witness our protagonist struggle with her connection to her murdered cousin and her need to help her find who it is that took her life at an early age.
Whiting's character development helps bring th
Ash †Reviews of a FearStreetZombie†
Received this VIA NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Wow, um. Okay. This book surprised the heck out of me! It was a slow start and annoying. Through most of the book I just wanted someone to slap the fire out of the mother and oldest daughter. I know teens go through this "oh my gosh, you are ruining me life!" phase, BUT this chick is almost 18! Time to grow the heck up. The mother.... that woman was off her meds I swear. If she wasn't checked out, she was hysterical for no reason. I'm li
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received Portraits of Celina from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bayley sees her father’s death and afterwards her mother decides to move back to the previous home of Celina O’Malley the cousin of Bayley’s mother. Forty years prior when Celina was sixteen she disappeared. Bayley finds Celina’s clothes and strange things start happening. Everyone thinks Bayley looks like Celina. The question is, what happened to Celina? Bayley gets a look at what happened to Celina.

It is a really g
I enjoy a good ghost story/mystery novel just as much as the next person but this one wasn't as spooky or exciting as I thought it would be. The first half of the book bored me to tears, the romance between Bayley and Oliver made no sense at all - why would he ever develop feelings for a girl who acted like such a wacko? - the rest of the characters were annoying, and everything else fell flat on its side.

There was not much guessing to be done - it was obvious who the killer was. It was just a m
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Bayley’s family has moved into an old family home, the house left abandoned for nearly forty years after Celina went missing. The family tragedy isn’t talked about so Bayley doesn’t know a lot about her relative. The wooden chest with Celina’s clothes proves too hard to resist and as Bayley wears them she begins to know things about Celina she couldn’t possibly.

Portraits of Celina wasn’t as haunting a story as I anticipated, the mystery behind Celina’s death is straight forward. The story is mor
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Okay first I have to say that this book is very hard to give stars to. I liked some of it and other parts I was like what the heck is going on did I miss something. I really enjoy a good ghost story right before Halloween but this was something more. I really can't explain it other than you should read it and decide for yourself whether or not you like the story. Let me give you some background on the story and see if it sparks your interests and read on.

Bayley is a happy girl until something tr
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A former primary school teacher with a special interest in literacy education and children’s literature, Sue Whiting has worked in the publishing industry for almost twenty years, both as an author and editor of books for children and young adults.

Sue has written numerous books in a variety of genres: fiction and nonfiction, picture books through to YA, and is published in Australia and internati
More about Sue Whiting

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“Looking back, I realize it was the first time I experienced how cruel life can be. How swiftly a simple act can change in.” 1 likes
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