**** - When Ghosts Call Us Home
WHEN GHOSTS CALL US HOME
KATYA DE BECERRA
Never, ever look directly into the eyes of a ghost. Because once you see it, once you see her, once you acknowledge her impossible existence, you can never un-see it. And that's how she gets you.
When Sophia Galich was twelve, she starred in her older sister Layla’s amateur horror movie Vermillion, which recorded raw footage of her very real reactions to scenes her sister concocted in their old Californian house on the coast – Cashore House.
In the years after the film’s release, Sophia’s memories of the now-infamous house fueled her nightmares. Vermillion amassed an army of fanatical fans who speculated about the film’s hidden messages, and it was rumored that Layla made a pact with the devil – her soul in exchange for fame and arcane knowledge. Sophia dismissed this as gossip . . . until Layla disappeared.
Now, Sophia must study the trail of clues Layla has left behind, returning to the very place where it all began. As she gets closer and closer to Cashore House’s haunted heart, she must once again confront the ghosts of her childhood. But the house won’t reveal its secrets without a fight.
Getting ready for Halloween with a spooky book is my favourite thing, and although I read When Ghosts Call Us Home in August, British Summer time this year is practically winter anyway!
When Ghosts Call Us Home is found-footage style content meets the haunted house genre. Sophia is on the hunt for her missing sister; acclaimed director of the home-made film ‘Vermillion’ which has become a cult-favourite since they shot it as children in the atmospheric Cashore House.
I was surprised to see that this book is published by Macmillan Children’s Books and is marketed as ‘young adult’. The writing is beautiful, the setting atmospheric and although the main character is 17 and there’s a small romance element to the plot, I didn’t really think it was particularly ‘Young Adult’. I’m sure teenagers would enjoy this book, but equally adults would as well!
I enjoyed the mystery element of ‘The Path’ which is documented on a creepy website which seems to have a mind of its own. Although Sophia’s journey on The Path made sense, I didn’t really understand how other people, not linked to the house or the film were seeing the signs and what they were seeing, and this is never really explained. Sophia is easy to empathise with and a strong character to lead the story along. I also enjoyed the scenes which were trying to recreate that film in the house with the new Director. I felt sometimes the book had the tendency to not give backstory on the film and I would have perhaps appreciated a little more information about some of the scenes earlier in the narrative, so I didn’t feel as lost when the shooting was happening.
Overall, When Ghosts Call Us Home is the perfect Halloween read, creepy and well written, for Young Adults and Adults alike. Thank you to NetGalley & Macmillan Children’s Books for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
LINKS TO BUY