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“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
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“I skimmed through this book around, jumping in places. I was caught by the cover but ultimately uninterested in the book.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Set in modern day, but it channels the girls' family's past surround this former plantation home in Maryland. When her maternal grandma dies, the teen girl and her family go back to Maryland for the funeral, and they end up staying for several weeks, throwing a huge 16th birthday bash for her. She meets two boys she's torn between, but what's more, discovers a mysterious power that enables her to see into the past experiences of people who once lived at Amber House. Her little brother unknowingly has the power, too, and when he's put in danger, his sister must try and save him. A little spooky, but a good read.”Leann the Librarian wrote this review Tuesday, August 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I went into this book thinking it was a ghost story with some spooky events thrown in for good measure. It was much more complex, and head and shoulders above the average ghost story. There was time travel, family history and secrets and even a little warping of reality. The characters were rich and so varied. It was a little slow in parts, but overall a very exciting book. It also is the first in a planned trilogy, and I will definitely read numbers 2 and 3!”StarWars Fan! wrote this review Sunday, August 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I skimmed through this book around, jumping in places. I was caught by the cover but ultimately uninterested in the book.”Lyddz wrote this review Wednesday, July 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I love stories about houses, and Amber House IS really about Amber House...
Main character Sarah and family venture to this Maryland turf after Gramma Ida's death for her funeral. It is obvious there have been issues within Sarah's immediate family (between her parents as of late) but as the story unwinds further one can see that the problems really stem from Sarah's ancestors. Amber House houses many secrets, and perhaps a few ghosts! I was SO happy to hear this book is the first in a trilogy! Can't wait to read more!!”
“Sarah is almost 16 years old when her grandmother, who she really didn't know very well, dies. She, her mother and her younger brother, Sammy (who is mildly autistic) all head out to Maryland from Seattle for the funeral and to sell the estate, Amber House. However, while there, both Sammy and Sarah form a strange attachment to the house. Sarah partners up with Jackson, the grandson of Rose, who was a good friend of Sarah's grandmother, to search Amber House for the rumoured treasure hidden somewhere. But weird things are happening, as Sarah seems to have some kind of odd connection with some of her women ancestors who lived in the house...
I really liked this, overall, but wasn't crazy about the ending, which left me slightly confused. However, it wasn't enough for me to lower my rating. I really liked Sarah and Sammy's relationship. It is meant to be a trilogy, and I will continue on. ”
“It was a good book.”Macie Leonard wrote this review Wednesday, December 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“great book at the end I found out thereis book 2. gotta buy it now”lisa williams wrote this review Monday, November 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: An old house holds the key to a gift in Sarah’s family. A type of time travel mixed with ghosts and mystery creates an amazingly complex plot with beautiful writing to boot.
Opening Sentence: I was almost sixteen the first time my grandmother died.
Give me a second while my head stops reeling. Ever read the Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl) by Eoin Colfer? Well this book has about the same mind boggling situation of time travel that makes sense and yet doesn’t at the same time (yeah, it confused me too.)
The story starts at Ida Parsons’ funeral. People came from all over the state just to see the inside of the Amber House (not many of them even knew Ida well.) To Sarah Parsons, her grandmother was a crazy woman that she hardly knew. But after a night of staying in the Amber House, Sarah realizes it’s more than just schizophrenia that plagued all of the ladies of the Amber House. She starts to see visions from the past — echoes — whenever she touches an old object or her emotions are high. According to Jackson, the grandson of the house keeper, the “gift” is genetic and they can’t hurt Sarah. This gift isn’t so bad once she gets used to it. She might see a dance in the ballroom or her ancestors kissing in the gazebo. But then the visions start to become more recent — her mother as a younger kid. A mystery starts to unfold that started hundreds of years ago. And it soon threatens her younger brother Sam. Sarah soon finds out that the visions aren’t one-way, but can she accept the fact that she can talk to ancestors from the past? Can she even survive the massive sixteenth birthday party her mother plans to have in order to up the price of the Amber House? The authors spin a marvelously complex story about time, love and family.
I deserve a slap on my hand for poor reading. Really, my English teacher would be disappointed in me for not catching the phrasing of the first page of the book (so much for preparing for the SAT…) I didn’t know this story would have to do with time travel at all until the end — but the book warns us in the very first three paragraphs if you read close enough (see notable scene.) I’m not sure it would have changed how I read the book, but it would have at least prepared me for the major twist at the end of the book.
I love the characters in the book. Almost all of the characters are deep and complex. They all aren’t surface deep. Even the background characters such as the Senator or Jackson’s mother aren’t as they appear to be. But the real characters that shine are Sarah and Sammy. She overcomes her flaws and steps out of her own shoes to understand her mother and the other people in her life. Sarah develops so much throughout the book — she became a totally different character by the end (cough, cough.)
The love triangle I thought could have been better developed. Mainly just the transition between the two was abrupt (no I’m not telling who she ends up with — I didn’t even know until the end.) But the two guys that are vying for her attention are defiantly swoon-worthy. Richard Hathaway is bad-boy supreme with a major ego issue but is broken and has his own issues he keeps hidden. Jackson is a quiet, mysterious guy with his own secrets he’s hiding. Both are great guys. But can Sarah choose?
This is a great book! Although this is considered a horror, don’t let that scare you away. You can go to bed with the assurance that it will not give you nightmares or have you paranoid during the day. The ending is a major cliffhanger, yet not at the same time. Really the book could end like it did, but it’s already known that it will be a trilogy. I have no idea where the next book will go — there are so many possibilities its impossible to guess. But maybe you can figure it out. So read this impeccable (maybe my vast vocabulary will make it up to my English teacher…) story! You’re only losing time by dilly dallying!
I was almost sixteen the first time my grandmother died.
It was mid-October. Warm still, like summer, but the trees were wearing their scarlets and golds. Back home, in Seattle, we had evergreens and faded browns. Those absurdly vivid colors along the banks of the Severn River were the first thing I fell in love with–autumn the way it was intended.
It’s hard, now, to remember that first day, like looking at a photo underwater–the image shifting, in motion, never quite in focus. But there’s a part of me that doesn’t forget. And it’s important to tap into that part, to will myself to remember. Sometimes, if I really concentrate, the memories come flooding back. All of them. Beginning to end. Then back again to the beginning. A full circle.
FTC Advisory: Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic provided me with a copy of Amber House. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”
“I am completely and utterly blown away by the Amber House. It is the most deliciously scary, Gothic YA novels I have ever read! Now I find out that this is only the beginning of a trilogy, could this day not get any better!
Sarah Parson and her family are mourning the death of her maternal grandmother. Yet from almost the very first moment she steps inside the family home known as Amber House she begins to see things, echoes of her family’s murky past. Yet Sarah is a very normal girl dealing with her parents separating, her brother Sammy who is mildly autistic, and two new boys in her life. Soon Sarah comes to realize that she has to try and change the past in order to save the future…
Now I do not like scary ghost stories but I have to say that Amber House has such a well put together plot that while I was a bit freaked out I was also mesmerized. There were so many surprising twists and the characters have such a real depth to them that I had trouble putting it down. The ending was amazing and yet so perfect. This was written in such an elegant yet real way that it is sure to be a classic one day. I look forward to seeing more from this very talented trio of authors.”