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Second Verse

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Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder.

Murder Now
Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.

Murder Then
Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.

Murder Yet to Come
But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and their own, and how closely the two are connected. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself.

200 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 2013

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About the author

Jennifer Walkup

5 books254 followers
Jennifer Walkup is an award-winning author, artist, and positive psychology practitioner. A silver lining enthusiast, Jennifer is often found adventuring with her husband, sons, and beloved beagle. Jennifer also works as an English professor and editor and is an advocate for epilepsy awareness.

To hear about Jennifer's upcoming books, sign up for her newsletter here:

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews
Profile Image for Jan.
278 reviews
June 20, 2013
Jennifer Walkup's chilling, enticing, mystery/thriller/love story is one of those books that had me in its grip from the beginning and the rest of the day was gone... I had to finish it in one reading! The relationship between Lange and Vaughn is exciting, the mystery is compelling, and the ending very satisfying. A most becoming debut. I will definitely be watching for her next!
Profile Image for Kathryn.
659 reviews
September 30, 2013
4.5 stars...
OH WOW!! What a suspenseful, dynamic read that kept me on my toes all the way through.
When reading the synopsis and seeing that this is going to be a murder mystery with a twist, I was highly intrigued. Who doesn't love a tale with a thrilling plot to get the juices flowing??
The whole premise surrounding Second Verse is unique, alluring, and stimulating. There are so many events that happen during this book that I cannot tell you one without giving something away...
Jennifer Walkup did a fantastic job of drawing me in to the book from the very first chapter and keeping me captivated until the very end. Providing me with enough information to stay intrigued all the while still keeping me in the dark to the pivotal climactic events.
With well developed, fun characters in Lange and Vaughn, you find yourself enchanted in the story of Second Verse and find it hard to put down because I just HAD TO KNOW what happened....
This is a definite MUST READ....
Profile Image for Amy Lignor.
Author 10 books218 followers
October 12, 2013
Preston Academy for the Arts is a small school located in the quaint town of Shady Springs. This is a school for truly creative people, like Lange and her friends. Lange is a newbie to the school, considering she and her photographer Mom only moved to town a few short months ago, but she already has a small group of friends she truly cares about.

Ben, the strait-laced pianist; Kelly, the gypsy who is crazy about fashion design; Stace, a happy blonde who is in love with Vaughn, who is basically the hot guy, music prodigy. But although he likes Stace, he doesn’t feel as strongly as she does.

It is Halloween in Shady Springs and the one thing this town is obsessed with is their yearly ritual called, The Hunt. What happens is a brutal murder is staged every year by the seniors for underclassmen to solve; the winner gets benefits.

Now, Lange is not into creepy, bloody stuff. Which is funny, considering she and her Mom live in a 200-year-old farmhouse that was the setting years ago for a brutal murder that took the lives of a large family. The killer was found hung in the barn - an apparent suicide. Lange basically disregards the idea of spirits, even though her mother seems to be into that kind of stuff. But she does want to fit in and make her friends happy, so she decides that on Friday the 13th she’ll offer something to Shady Springs’ Halloween extravaganza by holding a séance in her barn.

She and Kelly decorate and when her other friends walk in that night they are met with blood, gore, candles, etc., to get their goosebumps rising. As they sit down at the table and try to ‘call out’ to any spirits that may be left in there, Lange gets an extraordinary surprise. She feels as if something actually is in the barn with her and hears a strange uttering that leaves her pale and weak. Although her friends are a little freaked out, there is only one - Vaughn - who also heard the words that were said, and he hooks up with Lange in order to delve into whatever evil they may have conjured up from the past.

The story goes into overdrive; everything from an eerie song to a box of old letters left behind by one of the victims of the house long ago to photography that proves Lange and Vaughn are a couple who lived before and were brought back together this time around to walk down the same deadly path that they did once before, are brought forth.

Vengeance, past lives, murder stories galore - this author has taken bits and pieces of myths and tales and put a spin on them that will have every mystery/suspense lover jumping in their seats when the surprise ending is offered up!

Profile Image for Maribeth.
149 reviews2 followers
August 29, 2013
This was a great, spooky, fun, and quick read. Some of the plot twists you could see coming from a mile away but the big one at the end was pretty fun. I liked our protagonist, Lange, and her relationship with Vaughn. I can't say much about the story without giving things away but I will say that it is such an interesting premise, particularly including the bit with photographs, I really found it fun to read.

I don't like it when the female protagonist passes out or something of the sort during the action sequences, cutting them short. This happened with Lange. It makes me feel a little cheated, I want to hear about what happens WHEN it is happening! Not when she wakes up after.

I have been having a hard time recently with the dialogue in some of these books set in current day. Particularly, the "every day" dialogue with kids at school talking to each other, all I think about when I read it is how campy and inauthentic it sounds. I felt that way in the beginning of Second Verse, it faded when the story really got going but I had a hard time in the beginning. I think this is a really challenging thing for writers because on one hand, most teenagers aren't going to have intellectual conversations around the lunch table, but on the other hand, no one wants to read about these kids having a conversation about Kim Kardashian. There has to be some sort of sweet spot but really, I think authors need to steer clear of that dialogue because no matter what, it's not pleasant to read.

Anyway, read Second Verse, it will give you crazy dreams.
Profile Image for Janine.
154 reviews2 followers
June 19, 2013
So fun! Well-paced and creepy, with a satisfying romance. I am terrible at predicting who will turn out to be the bad guy, but even with that caveat I was surprised.
Profile Image for Heather.
432 reviews269 followers
January 4, 2014
(This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl).

I first saw this book on Goodreads, and I knew I had to have it when I read the word "haunted" in the book synopsis. I'm so happy I had a chance to read this book because it was awesome!

I think the blurb is fantastically written! It definitely made me want to read the book, and I like how it doesn't even mention the tiniest spoiler which I love.

I'm not a big fan of the title simply because it make me think of a book about someone's struggle with music. It doesn't really give off the whole ghostly mystery book vibe.

I also don't really care for the cover simply because based on just the cover, it never made me want to pick up the book to read it. I would've liked to have had a creepier looking cover for this book even if the cover photo is, what I think, supposed to be the picture Lange drew.

I did enjoy the world building very much. I felt that the world of Second Verse definitely had solid building. I was experiencing everything that Lange was, or at least, it felt that way. As for the setting, I was a bit confused at the very beginning about the type of school they were in. It was mentioned they had a creative period and there was talk about music, but it never really talked about them being in a music school. Perhaps it was implied, and I just couldn't work it out at the beginning or maybe I just read about it and forgot.

The pacing was only slow for about the first 5 or so pages. After that, the pacing picks up and holds your attention for the rest of the book only letting you go once the book comes to an end. I was super enthralled throughout the entire book (with the exception of the first few pages).

I really enjoyed the plot! There is a major element in this plot that I won't talk about due to spoilers, but it wasn't mentioned in the book's blurb. I would've never guessed it was a book on that theme. Trust me, I'd elaborate if I could, but I don't want to spoil it for those that may wish to read this book. There is a plot twist that I never saw coming, and the ending was just wow! I will say that the ending does leave this book open for a sequel.

The characters felt very real. I enjoyed the character of Lange. It was interesting to see how she reacted to everything around her. I felt as if I probably would've made the same choices if I was in her shoes. Vaughn is also a likable character, and I loved how he was always trying to make Lange feel safe. They were such a cute couple! Even though Ginny wasn't an actual character, it was still interesting to read about her and her love for her beau.

The dialogue flowed very smoothly, and the character interactions felt real. The language used works for this book and its genre.

Overall, Second Verse is a fantastic read that incorporates a bit of mystery, paranormal, and romance. It definitely held my attention, and I was sad when I had come to the end of the book because I didn't want it to end.

I'd recommend this book to those aged 14+ who enjoy paranormal, mystery, and romance books and those who love great plot twists.

I'd give Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup a 4.5 out of 5.

(I received a free paperback copy of this book from the tour host in exchange for a fair and honest review).
Profile Image for What Makes Patri.
298 reviews207 followers
November 27, 2013
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Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup

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Second Verse is what I like to call a creepy, supernatural read with murders, a haunted house, mystery, a relationship bound to happen and a wrenching and unexpected finale.
Jennifer Walkup did an excellent work. Her story starts as a regular one, with a school, teenagers, celebrations for Halloween and The Hunt, an infamous murder festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder. Everything that I just say, adds a spicy promise of creepiness in the story and a lots of scary scenes, however, it goes way beyond that.
The main character, Lange seems like a great girl. I mean, she definitely feels something for Vaughn, but she doesn't want to hurt her friend, Stace, who looks like has it bad for him, too. And I really liked her personality and how she reacted to every situation.
Vaughn was simply amazing. He's everything I was hoping for when I started reading this book and I read about Lange and Vaughn. He is all the time there for Lange and I couldn't help but fall for him and to include him in my Unofficial Fictional Boy's list.
What makes this book memorable is not only the level of creepiness and scary scenes that made me jump like I was seeing a movie and not reading a book, but the story is rooted in the past, bringing new and scary discoveries and entangling the story in the present even more.
And the ending was something I wasn't expecting at all. My level of "I-Can't-Believe-It" cannot even be measured. I wouldn't change a thing, well, maybe when Lange passes out. It was not the perfect moment to pass out and it stressed me out, because I wasn't sure if it would be a happy ending or a "I'm-gonna-cry-for-weeks" ending. I definitely won't tell you which one it is, 'cause you'll have to find out, Book Addicts!
I promise you, guys, that you are gonna love this book. Right now, this would be my perfect pick for a Halloween read, but since Halloween is long gone, I'd have it in my "TBR Halloween List" for next year and re-read it again!
Full of mystery, creepy and scary situations that would make you close your eyes, an epic love story with more than one lifetime to make it unforgettable, swoony and desirable and a murder that would ravel their beliefs and would blow your mind!
Profile Image for Candace.
645 reviews187 followers
October 8, 2013
I scare ridiculously easy and so I was a tad afraid going into this one. But I really love ghost stories and for that reason I couldn't resist. While I'm really glad I read this (really glad!) it was really scary. I did read some of it at night and that was simply because I HAD to know what happened. Even though it was terrifying, I just couldn't set the book aside. I know those that read a lot of horror may not get as scared as I did, but those of you that are chickens like me, be aware, this book is pretty scary!

I really liked Lange a lot. She's a new girl but she's already made friends and seems to fit in well. Everything seems to change after she has a seance in her barn and hears some words spoken by what we would assume is a ghost. It's only Vaughn who hears those words with her though and that kind of drives them together and the others away (though there's much more to that aspect). Through the book Lange and Vaughn work together to piece the puzzle of the murder of Ginny and her entire family, together. But someone is stalking Lange and Vaughn and they are very, very creepy. And while Lange is clearly terrified, I have to say that girl is very brave. I'm pretty sure my reaction would be to jump in a car and drive far far away and never look back. I don't think I could have stayed in that house one more night. But even though she's scared she continues with real life and getting through each day. She's always been attracted to Vaughn, but through the book the attraction becomes more. These two are adorable together, but unfortunately their time together is rather intense because they are trying to figure out what happened in the past, and what is happening to them, now.

This book has a lot of twists. While there were a few milder things that were fairly easy to figure out, the big picture mystery totally blew me away! I did not suspect any of it! It was such a shocker that I'm pretty certain my jaw actually hit the floor. And after that it felt like surprise after surprise. It was amazing to have such great twists that I never saw coming and totally elevated my thoughts of the book big time! I liked it before, but that made me like it even more!

This is a mystery/thriller/romance/horror. All those things are in this book and it's the perfect read for October. You can freak yourself out as you hide in your closet. ;) But I do recommend this one, very much. And while it has a conclusion, everything is wrapped up, there is room for a sequel and I very much hope that that happens!

You can find this review, and others like it, on my blog at http://www.candacesbookblog.com
4 reviews
October 4, 2013
Wow! I just finished Second Verse. This book was amazing! I’m not sure where to start. This book really had it all. I bought this since I love mysteries and paranormal/ghost type stories. What I didn’t expect to get was a lot more. It is a true thriller that had me on the edge of my seat the entire story. It also kept me guessing from page one. There are so many incredible twists. Every time I guessed what would happen next or how one of the mysteries would be resolved, I was wrong. That was the best part of the book! I loved the fact that I couldn't figure it out!

Plus, the characters were great. I loved Lange and Vaughn and how strong each of them was separately and of course, together. And the deeper we got into their story, the more complex the plot and twists got and that ending – WOW. I did NOT see that coming at all. I loved the book from page one but by the time I finished it, it had exceeded even my already raised expectations.
Profile Image for cEe beE.
545 reviews60 followers
August 30, 2016
Second Verse is an intriguing and unique mixture of paranormal, high school romance and crime/mystery. Set in a 200 yr old haunted house where a notorious murder happened many years ago, the story begins with two love struck teens who find themselves strangely connected to the murder victims. They also discover that some of the events that occurred are now happening to them.

The story does a good job setting a creepy and mysterious tone. However I felt the connection between the past and present was a little convoluted (clues that went all over the place). I think there were too many unnecessary characters and the important ones were underdeveloped. That made the revelation towards the end very unexpected and not in a good way. The conclusion felt abrupt and didn't even explain the other murders.
Profile Image for Tracy Banghart.
Author 13 books911 followers
January 30, 2014
This book is spooky, fast-paced and romantic. I loved the "murder now, murder then" element and was genuinely creeped out as Lange, the main character, started uncovering details of the murders that had been committed in her home - an old farmhouse that Jennifer did a fantastic job making super spooky. The book is haunting in the ways that the best ghost stories are: you'll want to read with the lights ON...and you'll be left with that tingly, goosebumps feeling on the back of your neck for long after you read the last page.

I LOVED Second Verse and can't wait to read more!
6 reviews
February 6, 2014
I received this book in the advanced give away. I did enjoy this book. The story line is very interesting. The main characters have purchased an old historical home that is thought to be haunted. As the story continues, the characters have more of a connection to the house than they would have every dreamed. I will have to say that the ending took me by surprise. I did not see this ending coming. That was fun! Thank you for allowing me to have this book to read and review. It is a good read!
80 reviews20 followers
October 25, 2013
This turned out to be a great book. When I won a free copy from the Goodreads First Read program, I almost didn't read it because horror stories make me have disturbing nightmares. But, I started to read and was pleasantly surprised. It is spooky but not horribly so. I liked the twists and turns and the romance. It was so good that I had to make time to read it. I loved the surprise ending. Five stars.
Profile Image for Nai.
162 reviews13 followers
November 23, 2013
It's not a spelling mistake, I assure you. Luminis Books definitely shines a light on authors you might not have otherwise noticed in the clustered publishing world. I've read a few of their other author's books before, and would love to point you in the direction of either Aloha Mozart, and Maybe I Will.

Mostly though, I want you to take a look at Second Verse with me.

At lunch. It's a date!

12:04pm: We've met for lunch, and today, the menu calls for curried vegetable soup with some fabulous esspresso, and peppermint cookies for dessert.

There's a conversation going on around our table (which in reality is my desk) and we're talking about society, all the ins and outs, up and downs and bad things that happen to good people.

Murder, Mystery and suspense.

There's a beautiful aspect to reading a YA novel, and remembering what it was like to wonder about the world, not be as cynical as age has allowed us to become, and remember the good times.

But how is that possible in a book full of so much Murder and (more after this short break).

8:54pm: I know, I'm a terrible person. The wonderful author of this book has probably been waiting all day for the rest of my review.

[caption id="attachment_1774" align="aligncenter" width="237"]Ohhhh the suspense Ohhhh the suspense! :P (I really hope this is not the look on her face) And, I promise, my review will turn Angry Kitty's frown around.[/caption]

It really is full of wonderful intrigue, suspense, and made for a great conversation at lunch with new co-workers.

Walkup's ability to not only tell a story, but make the YA reader care about the characters is astounding. It was a quick read (took me about 4 hours - but I do read quickly) and kept me interested and page flipping the whole way through.

I needed a break from reality, and getting wound up in a mystery was the exact relief I needed. I love that books can serve, not only as a distraction, but as a conversation starter. In a new environment, where I am still uncomfortable because I'm kooky like that, having something to start a conversation about at lunch time when people WANT to talk about things that are NOT work is helpful.

Books have always bridged that gap for me, and being able to talk about not only the book, but the audience, the story (which was amazing) and the importance of reading are all really useful conversations.

Second Verse drew me in, captivated my attention, and was so great I had to share my experience reading with other people. While I'm no longer a young adult, I would highly recommend it for that audience, and think it's a breath of fresh air. I feared 'just another mystery novel' and was overwhelmed with the quaility.

For that reason, you should check out the following information on the tour, and give it a try!
About the Book - About the Author - Prizes!!!
Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Luminis Books--we're calling them the Luminis Dyad--tour the blogosphere in a way that just can't be ignored. And, hey, we've got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Field by Tracy Richardson. Here's what you need to do...

Enter the Rafflecopter contest
Leave a comment on my blog

That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found  HERE . The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Duo tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Can love last more than a lifetime? Can Murder? Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder.

Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.

Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.

But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and discovering how their own past is connected to hers. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself.

Pick up your copy of this Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Thriller l through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: When Jennifer Walkup isn’t writing or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and young sons, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and coming up with costume ideas for Halloween. She’s obsessed with good coffee and new recipes and likes broccoli on her pizza, flowers in her hair, flip-flops on her feet, and the number 13. A member of SCBWI, Jennifer also serves as fiction editor for The Meadowland Review and teaches creative writing at The Writers Circle. Second Verse is her first novel. Connect with Jennifer on her websiteblogFacebookTwitter, or GoodReads.

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field. Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN. Learn more at www.luminisbooks.com.

Learn more about Second Verse's tour mate HERE.

Profile Image for Amber.
15 reviews
September 29, 2018
This book is one of my top favorites! After finishing it, I wanted to start at page one and read it all over again.

SECOND VERSE by JENNIFER WALKUP is about a town obsessed with putting on a Halloween event called 'The Hunt'. This inspires new-to-town student, Lange, to put on a seance in her new farmhouse, where a family was murdered, the murderer later hanging himself in the barn. Things get all too spooky when Lange and a boy named Vaughn are the only two out of the group to hear voices.

After that, the two of them, as well as the reader, go on a crazy creepy rollercoaster trying to put the pieces together of what happened in that barn, past and present.

This story is unbelievable. It left me turning pages and wondering how in the world Jennifer Walkup came up with such a beautifully haunting story. The dialogue was on point; the character chemistry was strong ; and I never once got frustrated with the story halfway through like I almost always do with a book. The description was great; I visualized every scene so vividly.

I recommend SECOND VERSE to anyone who's looking for a chilling love story with great characters and a surprising twist. I never saw it coming!
Profile Image for Jess.
948 reviews61 followers
July 9, 2013
This wasn't a bad book, but it did spark a weird realization--The Ghost Story may be a dead genre.

First of all, thank you to Ms. Walkup for offering Second Verse in a First Reads giveaway. I'm honored to be a winner and I appreciate the chance to read an ARC copy. The advertising and the summary of the novel drew me in right away--I loved the "Murder Now, Murder Then, Murder Yet to Come" tagline on the back, and the summary definitely had me guessing. I started this book two days ago and even though I had some initial misgivings about the pacing and characterization, I couldn't put this one down last night.

Second Verse is told from Lange Crawford's perspective, a teenage girl who has recently moved to a big old farmhouse in a new town with her mother. She has made a group of new friends--Ben, Stace, Kelly, and the handsome musician Vaughn--and she seems generally happy at her art school, but after a surprising seance a couple weeks before Halloween, she starts thinking there is something deeper going on in her old house. And with the town's annual Hunt party coming up, where a fake murder is staged and the local kids try to solve it, Lange is pretty uneasy about the creepy pictures, stories, and letters she finds around the house, all involving a girl named Ginny who bears a striking resemblance to Lange.


I won't say too much more because I don't want to give away important plot points, but this story definitely drifted into disappointing territory after the whole "rebirth" plot was uncovered. This is a pretty common theme in current YA literature, and to be honest, I'm really not a fan. This might be purely a personal preference, but I have not yet read a YA book with a reincarnation plot that is not rushed, confusing, and far-fetched. I was in the minority of people who didn't care much for Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and even though I'm a fan of JL Bryan's "Paranormals" series, the rebirth themes get pretty old, especially when mixed with the other interesting, original supernatural themes. I was really disappointed when Ginny and "Beau" turned out to be previous lives of Lange and Vaughn because it just seemed so lazy and unlikely. It generally feels like a cop-out answer. Like, why can't these kids solve a grisly mystery and discover a ghost in their town? Why can't they ask questions rather than be the answer to all of the mysteries? I'm not nitpicking Walkup's work, because she did write a compelling story, but these interesting characters she spent time building up (with their funny quirks, like Vaughn's silly plays in Lange's name and Lange's queasiness around blood) end up falling flat to me, because they come out as tropey. True Love, Love That Stands the Test of Time, Love Can Heal All Wounds. Snoozefest.

Furthering the death of the Ghost Story complaint I mentioned earlier, I'm wondering if it is a generally new thing in literature to do the "ghost-tease" while giving us a way, way more complicated answer in the end. One book I read recently was Gerald's Game by Stephen King, where there was a horrific, creepy man seen by the protagonist in the latter half of the book, and we think it is a fake-out, that she's crazy, but then he's actually REAL, and that is so much scarier to me! Fake-out scares drive me nuts. They have a place in horror films, but they just don't translate to literature. And it seems like Walkup wanted us to get involved in a good old-fashioned ghost story (with the seance and the Sell. Her. Sweeney., because how creepy is that?) and then she made the plot so much more involved and confusing than it had to be.

All qualms aside, this was a genuinely chilling story. The small-town, late-fall atmosphere puts you right into a teen slasher flick, but it isn't cheesy like Chiller's Movie of the Week. I'd say this is a good introduction to horror for girls who might not be ready for the likes of Stephen King. Second Verse may be flawed, but you won't be able to put it down.
Profile Image for Lauren.
180 reviews11 followers
October 16, 2014
Wow. I mean WOW!
Oh right, terms & conditions crap first. To comply with the terms and conditions that I'm sure no one ever reads, I hereby disclose in this, my review, that I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Just a heads up for the publishing company, when you print this in paperback, make sure the cover is going to last. Mine's already peeling along the edges, and I treat my books like delicate lace. No rough and tumble here.
Ok, now that that's over and done with... WOW!

This book was FANTASTIC. Jennifer Walkup had me from "If I have to listen to one more debate about decapitation versus stabbing, I may just throw up." I was really concerned at first, since I've been on such a book drought lately. I was mostly interested in it when I'd seen it in the giveaways becasue it was about a town in PA, which is where I grew up. Honestly, it really doesn't make a huge difference, since I'm not even sure if the town is real or not, but I just don't read a lot of books that take place in my area, so I got excited. Probably more excited than I needed to be or care to admit.

I really like that it was both a murder mystery and a bit of a romance novel. It was a cute twist the way the author entwined the two. It didn't get too lovey-dovey, and it didn't feel like I was reading a mystery and the author forced some romance in there to add another layer and make the story more palitable. I will say this though, the description of some of the more intimate moments made me quite jealous of Lang and Vaughn as well as Ginny and Beau. I'm not really much of a romantic, but some of those moments were so incredibly sweet. I wish I could find somebody and be in a relationship half as strong as theirs. Also, I never got sick of reading it, which I often find with books that have an old or historical murder to solve as well as books with too cutsey love stories. This one had a nice balance.

The two main characters were well developed, although I would have liked a little more info for some of the supporting characters. I don't need a lot, but just something other than Vaughn's word that Stacy isn't normally as crazy as she came across at times. Maybe a little more on Lang's mom or her photography, or something. I'm not saying that ALL the supporting characters needed more, but definitely a few. Like Ben, for example. We know so little about him and yet he's supposed to be in Lang's little group of friends. He honestly doesn't need to be in the story at all. He doesn't really add to it in any way and most of his actions, with few exceptions, could be done by some no-name classmate.

The paranormal plot twist threw me a little. By that, I just mean that it was sudden. I know it's crucial to the storyline, but it just came at me. Before that point in the book, I never would have thought that it was going to take a supernatural twist. It just didn't read like that. I really don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing... it just is, I guess. I liked the twist towards the end. I won't say what it was b/c I don't want to spoil it for everybody else. That's just cruel. I will say that I liked it a lot though, and definitely did NOT see it coming.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book (obviously, since I gave it 5 stars, which I really don't do too often). I only make one STRONG suggestion to readers. Starting, oh, I don't know... about half way through the book, or so... DON'T READ IT RIGHT BEFORE YOU GO TO BED. ESPECIALLY if you are up late by yourself. Lets just say, in my desire to finish it, I may have caused myself to have nightmares last night...
Profile Image for Laura.
138 reviews16 followers
December 8, 2013
Check out the blog. Laura in Bookland

*This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The story starts out the in the cafeteria of Preston Academy of Arts, a private school in the small town of Shady Springs, PA. We are introduced to Lange, our main protagonist and her small group of friends. One of these friends happens to be Vaughn, our other character that is very frequent, and quite an important part of the story. We are also introduced to Stace, the possible love interests may or may-not-be girlfriend, and Kelly her best friend. Then we have a small side character named Ben.

As they are all sitting around the lunch table having a typical teenage conversation about blood and gore and decapitation… oh wait… that’s not normal. That’s because they are talking about the decades old tradition called The Hunt. Where the seniors stage a brutal murder for the underclassmen to solve. The winner gets bragging rights, a day off, and a senior parking spot for a week. This is taken very seriously throughout the entire town.

Lange is new to town and this will be her first time participating. She is not looking forward to it because she hates anything that has to do with blood and gore. The fact that a girl named Ginner and her family were brutally murdered in the farm house that her mother purchased, and it has been sitting empty ever since, does not help matters either. In order to do her part in the Halloween activities, Lange, Vaughn, and their friends decides to hold a séance in the barn where the killer hung himself. When the séance becomes a little too real, things start to happen that Lange and Vaughn can’t explain.

This is a pretty well done supernatural murder mystery. There is plenty of talk about murders and murders, which could get a little gruesome, as well as some murdered bunnies, horse tails, and eyeballs. The suspense in this book was definitely top notch in some parts. There are love letters and diary pages that are read to tie in the past. I always love diary entries, especially from a murder victim.

Not only is this a supernatural murder mystery, it has a love story, and some sci-fi thrown in at the end! I was actually shocked by the ending of the story. While there were some parts that were sort of obvious, I won’t include any spoilers, but the ending definitely through me for a loop. I didn’t see it coming at all!

The writing was very smooth and I don’t have any complaints. I definitely recommend picking this book up!
Profile Image for JennRenee.
387 reviews69 followers
January 30, 2016

I was excited for this book after seeing it around and was so thrilled to receive the ARC in the mail. I couldn't wait to open it up and dive in. The book was a good read. The thrills started right from the start and carried on right through to the end.

Lange Crawford has recently moved to a new town, new house, new school. She has made some friends, found a crush, and seems to be adjusting pretty well. The local high school seniors run a murder mystery hunt around Halloween, to get things off to a good start, the festivities start in the barn at Lange's house with a seance. Then things get weird. Lange finds herself being stalked, threatened, and so much more. The only way that Lange can solve the mystery of the one behind her threats is to solve a murder that happened almost 80 years ago.

I liked how the story started off quickly and I was grabbed immediately. I liked the characters and I liked the story. The book was very fast paced and a lot was going on, maybe a little too much. I loved the story of old murder and I loved how it tied in to Lange. I was very happy with story and its development; however close to the end I did feel the story veer a bit into a resolution I didn't quite feel. I was happy to see the story go in the opposite direction of where I saw it going, but I wish it would have been a bit simpler. I never saw it coming. I can say that this book had me on my toes most of the way through. I was able to predict a few things but not even close to the end.

The characters were alright. I liked the main character, Lange. She was cool. Smart and independent. I also liked a few of the supporting characters. I did feel that the supporting characters were a bit cliche. I didn't mind so much because the main characters, Lang and Vaughn. They were original, like their names. I liked the relationship between the two. It wasn't real quick but it didn't develop slow. Their relationship was a main part of the story and it played its part very well.

The story was a quick read and it was very enjoyable. I was never bored and felt very invested in the story. I think my only complaint was the ending. It felt a bit too much and a bit muddled but the story was worth the read.

Good solid read. I would recommend this book anyone who likes a good mystery thriller with a bit of supernatural thrown in. Its a great book for a Halloween read.
Profile Image for YA Reads Book Reviews.
673 reviews259 followers
October 6, 2013
Originally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole.

Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup is a difficult book for me to review because I didn’t like the story, but it was well written. It honestly came down to the plot and the characters for me. I didn’t connect with anyone, and I didn’t overly enjoy the story itself. However, this book should be a big hit for younger teenagers, and it definitely gives off Halloween vibes, which is perfect for October!
The major problem that I had with this book was the two main characters, Lange and Vaughn. I didn’t care for either of them. I found Lange to be really boring, and I found Vaughn to be a little bit sleazy. I feel awful saying that, but I just didn’t like them. I also didn’t care for any of the supporting characters, and they actually really distracted me from the main storyline. Lange and Vaughn had too many friends who made constant appearances. I didn’t enjoy the drama between Vaughn/Kelly/Stace/and Lange. I know that they were in high school and drama comes with that scene, but I didn’t want to read about it. It also wasn’t a drama that I got invested in, so I just didn’t care. I would have preferred that the supporting characters had less show time and that it would have been more focused on Lange and Vaughn.
The storyline itself was cool. Younger teenagers are really going to enjoy the spookiness and mystery that Second Verse has. And I will say that the ending of Second Verse is VERY shocking! I was left in the dark for pretty much all of it. I didn’t guess what was going to happen, and I think readers are really going to enjoy that.
I’m going to be completely honest, I ended up skimming a large part of this book because I just wasn’t invested. I was really bored throughout most of it, and I just didn’t like any of the characters. However, the writing is really good. I could tell that even though I didn’t much care for the story itself. Again, I think that younger teenagers are really going to enjoy this book. I also think that it’s a great book to read around Halloween for a spooky vibe. It wasn’t for me, but I think it will be for someone else!

Pages: 288
Publication Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Luminis Books
Rating: N/A due to DNF
Profile Image for Kimber Wheaton.
Author 4 books248 followers
November 30, 2013
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Second Verse combines great storytelling with intriguing characters and ends with a twist I never saw coming. It's interesting to have a murder mystery town event that coincides with the real mystery. Really, the antagonist couldn't have planned this better to freak out the main characters, which no doubt added to the sick fun.

Lange is new to the town of Shady Springs and moves into an old farmhouse that was the site of a grisly massacre back in the 1930s. An innocent séance intended for fun starts the pursuit of the mystery leading up to the deaths of Ginny and her family. Lange finds Ginny's diary and begins to experience eerie correlations between her life and what's on the pages of the diary. Lange is very predictable in her actions, which at times annoyed me. Perhaps she merely acted in the manner most would, but I kept hoping she'd step outside the 'box' and do something different.

Romantic interest Vaughn pursues this mystery with a single-minded doggedness that would serve him well should he decide to become a detective. Lange and Vaughn have a powerful attraction neither can deny, an attraction might just transcend the world we all know. I had no trouble accepting the strong relationship these two developed so quickly. The paranormal aspect helped, as did the overall terror they'd feel from being stalked.

As I said earlier, the ending threw me for a loop and I have to say, I really liked it. It left me feeling a bit numb, a lot sickened, and completely floored. While I enjoyed the plot, I wish the scenes with Sharon had been expanded a bit. I felt like a very important piece of the puzzle was thrown at the reader, "Oh, here, you need this to understand the end". It was a fascinating part of the story that perhaps Ms. Walkup will explore in later books.

Second Verse is filled with suspense, as well as blood, gore, murder, etc. That said, I recommend it ages 15+ as long as the reader is aware of the subject matter going in. It certainly isn't any worse than the endless horror movies I watch with my family. If you're looking for a suspenseful paranormal story with a strong romantic element and an interesting plot, add this novel to your TBR list.
Profile Image for Heather.
461 reviews40 followers
October 23, 2013
Second Verse was the perfect book to read around Halloween. I don't like graphic horror books, but come October I usually like to read something that sets the mood for Halloween - something haunting or creepy or slightly scary (I get creeped out easily so I don't like the super scary or gory stuff) and Second Verse was a great pick.
I thought the writing was pretty good! I didn't find myself rolling my eyes like I've been doing sometimes with first person YA books lately. Second Verse had just enough of the haunting to give me the chills, but there was a love story mixed in which captured my attention and the twist to the love story was original.
Let me just mention that there were a couple of things that I didn't completely buy about the story.
Slight Spoilers ahead:
The first is that I found it difficult to believe that a town which had witnessed a brutal murder in the semi recent past would host a fake murder each year. I thought that was a bit unfeeling of the residents and probably unlikely. I didn't like the twist at the end either. I think mostly because I felt like the author didn't leave any breadcrumbs that lead up to it (and by "it" I mean the person(s) responsible for the climax at the end). It was like an undeserved slap on the wrist. I think I could have more easily swallowed who was behind the mysterious happenings if there was a bit more foreshadowing. After I found out the truth I couldn't recall anything from the story that coulda been hints that would have made the ending easier to swallow. And I'm not exactly talking about events, I'm referring more to the false front displayed by one of the supporting characters. Anyway, I'd love to be proven wrong and maybe there were hints along the way of who was the bad guy(s) that I didn't pick up on, so if you've read the book and can give me the clues I'm open to it.
I did like the connection between the past and the present (trying to not give too much away here), and I thought Walkup did a great job at writing the main character and her "crush" but most of the other characters felt shadowy and underdeveloped.
Profile Image for Alex (HEABookNerd).
1,621 reviews226 followers
August 9, 2021
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and I’m mad that I let it sit on my bookshelf so long before reading it. It’s a great blend of romance, mystery, and paranormal and has some interesting ideas on reincarnation. The ending is very suspenseful, if a little out of left-field, but overall a wonderful read.

I really enjoyed the romance between Lange and Vaughn. I don’t read a lot of young adult anymore but whenever I do I’m always reminded of why I like the wonder of young love. There’s so much innocence in the building relationship but that innocence also creates a great tension between the characters. My favorite part of any romance is the development of actual romance and love which is created through small, intimate moments. Things like holding hands, caressing faces, slow kisses, sweet cuddling and the feeling that you’re perfect for each other. I’ve always found that young adult puts more stock in these moments because the characters don’t need to jump into bed the way adult characters do. Jennifer Walkup does a great job of showing these parts.

The creepiness of this book surprised me as I wasn’t expecting it but I really enjoyed it. There was a great mystery and Walkup’s writing really develops the mystery around the Chopain family’s death and the new threat in the present day. Both Lange and Vaughn are amateur sleuths but they still manage to get themselves into plenty of trouble. The last 25% of the book is a wonderfully suspense filled adventure as the town’s annual Hunt — a whodunit game for the high schoolers — begins.

Not only is there mystery and romance, but there’s a pretty substantial paranormal side to this story. After the séance, Lange and Vaughn begin having “experiences” of dreams, hearing voices and feeling compelled to find answers. Not only that but there’s some paranormal elements surrounding Lange and Vaughn’s relationship concerning the idea of reincarnation and rebirth. I really enjoyed this part of the story and liked the take that Walkup presented on the subject.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
258 reviews4 followers
November 30, 2013
I was given a complimentary copy by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book, the story was unique, to me at least. The characters agreeable. I did have some issues with how the story left some things unanswered. I would say however that this book took me completely by surprise. It's very rare for me to read something in one sitting these days, but Second Verse made it into the exclusive club :)

In a way it makes sense that I would like this book as much as I did because it has a number of elements I am drawn to, but there’s not that many specifics I can give without giving away any spoilers. So let’s change it up shall we?

Second Verse was a fun, quick read. I flew through the first half in no time at all. The second half slowed down, but that was necessary as the meat and potatoes were starting to pile up and you definitely need time to digest every thing.

I loved the characters Lange and Vaughn, their friends Kelly and Ben and even Stace. I loved the creepy farmhouse that thankfully was much less creepy than it could have been. I wouldn’t go as far as to call this horror genre, because while there were moments that had me on the edge of my seat, it wasn’t as scary as I would consider a typical horror-genre novel to be.

The story was beautifully written and while there are some things you will be able to figure out right away, there are twice as many that will surprise you.

This is one of those books where I will cross my fingers for a sequel, as there were two, possibly three threads that weren’t left as tied up as I would have liked. Maybe a companion novel? There’s definitely more to this story.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Second Verse and would definitely recommend this book and this author. I know I will be keeping my eye out for future novels by Jennifer Walkup!
Profile Image for Dorine White.
Author 9 books111 followers
November 21, 2013
The Story-
Lange Crawford has moved to an interesting little town with her mother. They are living in a 200 year-old farmhouse that is known for a gruesome murder that occurred there. Lange makes a small group of friends, including Vaughn, a songwriter. Together the group gets ready for The Hunt, a murder festival that the town holds once a year.

Getting into the spirit of things, Lange invites her friends over for a seance in the barn, but there are unexpected results, and soon both Lange and Vaughn are caught up in a real murder mystery. However, someone doesn't like that they're prying and gory threats begin.

As the threats progress, Lange knows that if they don't solve the murder, they will be next.

My Thoughts-
Wow, a totally intense book that will give you chills and draw you into a strange mystery. At first I thought this was just your typical paranormal, but then some horror popped in. I actually had to skip pages here and there as the author goes into grisly details about serial killers and their victims. All of it sets the stage for the mystery that Lange and Vaughn have to unravel.

The author does a great job pulling the reader along while only giving out hints. I truly did not know what was happening. The eeriness of the threats used against our main couple echo what happened to our murdered couple in the past. To truly twist things around, the author throws in a chunk of sci-fi at the end.

I have to say that the ending truly shocked me. Enough red herrings were given that I thought it was someone else entirely. And when the truth was revealed, it left me upset and angry. Poor Lange! I love books that bring something new to the table, and this one does. Not for younger readers though.
Profile Image for Kayla.
984 reviews65 followers
November 23, 2013
There is so much more to this book than immediately meets the eye. So much mystery and suspense comes into this plot, and there are so many twists and paranormal elements that I loved and just hadn't been expecting! Some of it was a little much to comprehend, at first, as it was integrated in the plot. I ended up loving all of these extra elements, even with the building intrigue of the Hunt and the violent past that comes with Lange's house.

I was trying to solve the mystery alongside Lange and wrongly guessed at what was going on several times. Unlike most YA novels that follow murders and intrigue, I wasn't actually ever able to come to the right conclusion! I only started to get a feel for what was happening as soon as Lange started to expect it and by then I just couldn't put the book down because I needed to see how it would all play out.

I really loved Lange and Vaughn. They were so cute together! I like how he kept trying to come up with creative nicknames for her strange name. But didn't he ever notice that he has an odd name, too? Their personalities meshed so well, I think, because they're both incredibly creative and really care about the people around them. I liked seeing how they were going to face certain situations and handle the new revelations that were flying at them.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think that a wide variety of people can as well. It's written in a simple way yet the style still has a beautiful, ghostly tinge to it that only enhances the plot. I'd recommend this book to fans of mysteries, paranormal books, and YA novels that keep you guessing.
Profile Image for Andrea.
101 reviews85 followers
September 8, 2016
Second Verse was a very enjoyable quick read. Walkup hooked me right from the start with her ingenious weaving of the unpredictable twists and turn of the story and the hint of mystery and thrilling paranormal suspense. I tried guessing and solving the mystery as the story goes and ended up being completely wrong quite a few times.
I loved Lange and Vaughn. They were such a cute couple. Lange was smart, cool, and independent. I liked how Vaughn kept trying to come up with imaginative nicknames for her for having a bizarre name. I loved their crazy adventures playing detectives throughout the story. Just reading about how their relationship develops was entertaining already in itself - it was a perfect relatioinship development, not too fast like love at first sight, but not too slow that it made me want to stop reading.

I also liked how the deeper I got into the story, the more complex and intriguing it became. I found it almost impossible to put the book down. If you're looking to read horror, paranormal thriller, YA romance, suspense, and mystery, I highly recommend Second Verse. It was a truly exciting and enjoyable read for me.

Books and Bindings was given a review copy of Second Verse by Novel Publicity & Co in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence or alter the thoughts and opinions of this review in any way.

All Original Content © 2013 Andrea King @ Books and Bindings, All Rights Reserved.
March 21, 2015
Jennifer Walkup's romantic YA thriller SECOND VERSE will draw you into the shadows.

When Lange moves with her mom to a 200-year-old farmhouse, she has no clue what chilling history awaits her. A séance puts Lange in touch with Ginny, a girl who was murdered. Vaughn, a cute musician from her high school, was holding her hand during the séance. He, too heard the whispered warning of the ghost, words that will haunt Lange through the rest of the book.

As Lange and Vaughn work to solve the mystery behind who killed Ginny, they draw closer and closer together. But someone is watching them, a killer bent on using their love against them. Is possible that the same person who murdered Ginny all those years ago is now after Lange? Will she be able to outsmart him…or will history repeat itself?

I absolutely loved Walkup’s authentic teen voice which is clear from the banter between Lange and her friends in the very first scene and holds until the end of the book. Walkup creates a fine web of tension as Lange discovers clue after grizzly clue. One of the most intriguing things about the book was the title which I believe is a reference to the saying: “Second verse, same as the first.” This theme ties in not only with the spiritual connection between Lange and Ginny’s characters but also blends in with the presence of music in the book as Vaughn is a talented songwriter. Don’t miss this eerie YA romance!
Profile Image for Mandi Kaye Ottaway.
284 reviews77 followers
November 19, 2013
I really had no idea what to expect from Second Verse. It sounded interesting and I’m always a sucker for a seance. So I volunteered for the tour and crossed my fingers, hoping that I’d like it.

I loved it.

I’d gotten pretty close to burning out again, so I’ve found it difficult to find books that keep me invested. This one grabbed me early on and I read it in a single sitting. Like Lange, I didn’t share the town’s fascination with The Hunt. It just sounded too gruesome and macabre for me. But I liked her idea of the seance, especially once I discovered that her old farmhouse and barn were the scenes of a murder/suicide 50 years back. The seance had creepy results – wind, scratching, and a voice that only Lange and Vaughn could hear – and suddenly we’re thrown into a paranormal mystery that left me reeling at every turn.

I never once guessed the twist (well twists – there are two) at the end.

But through the mystery – and the unending reminders of death – love is a constant. Lange and Vaughn belong together and watching them realize it, and also understand what that means, was exactly the right amount of lightness needed in the midst of the darkness.

If you like dark and creepy; if you like paranormal mysteries; if you like love conquering all – then this book is definitely the book for you.
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