My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost-and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts... read more
The novel starts twelve years prior to the present, and introduces Chloe Saunders, a three year old girl. Her mother and father are going out for dinner, and she has a babysitter named Emily, who has her get a soda from the basement. Chloe did not mind the basement at first, she used to go... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The novel starts twelve years prior to the present, and introduces Chloe Saunders, a three year old girl. Her mother and father are going out for dinner, and she has a babysitter named Emily, who has her get a soda from the basement. Chloe did not mind the basement at first, she used to go down and talk to the nicer ghosts, remembering not to look behind the furnace. She calls them her friends except one, Mrs. Hobbs. Mrs. Hobbs scared away the rest and "tortured" Chloe. Chloe agrees after being threatened with punishment, but while in the basement, she sees Mrs. Hobbs, who had tricked her by imitating the babysitter's voice.
Twelve years later, Chloe is fifteen and going to a Fine Arts school. Her father is working as a contractor in Berlin, Germany and she is taken care of by her aunt, Lauren Fellows. At school, she is asked out to the dance by a boy named Nate Bozian, and has her first period. However, Chloe ultimately sees a ghost, with his face almost completely melted off, and begins screaming, running, and attacking a teacher accidentally, culminating in her being removed from school and locked up in Lyle House, a group home for "troubled teens."
She is introduced to the nurses, Mrs. Talbot, Mrs. Wang, and Miss Van Dop. While unpacking, Chloe meets her roommate, Liz, a sixteen-year old, who introduces her to the others, Tori, fifteen, Rae, sixteen, Simon and Derek, foster brothers, both sixteen, and Peter, an eighth grader. Derek, as she soon learns, is extremely quiet, often frightening her, and Tori (who has an unrequited crush on Simon) does not get along with Rae very well, although she and Liz are best friends. Each teen is assigned chores and does their regular schoolwork independently, so while doing laundry one day, Chloe encounters another ghost. After her first day, Chloe visits the psychiatrist Dr. Gill, who diagnoses her with schizophrenia.
Liz is later accused of throwing a pencil at Ms. Wang, who threatens to have her transferred, and quit teaching the children in the house. Rae and Chloe talk more, and she learns that Rae supposedly is a pyromaniac; the two quickly become friends. That night, Chloe is woken by a fearful Liz, who believes that she has a poltergeist- hence the pencil throwing- and convinces her to help with a seance to ward it off. However, it goes horribly wrong, with a picture crashing down on Chloe and the nurses discovering. Liz is transferred that day, but Chloe sees her that night, with Liz apparently unaware of her transfer. As the situation is being explained, Chloe passes her hand through her, and begins to suspect that Liz's ghost appeared to her, meaning that she would be dead. Tori, stricken, stays in her room, and Peter is released from Lyle House. While surfing the Internet with the intention of contacting her friends, Chloe researches necromancy at Derek's suggestion, learning that necromancers raise ghosts from the dead. Beginning to suspect she might be one, she realizes that the medication given to her might be hindering her from seeing ghosts (as the ghosts she saw only spoke broken English) and resolves to stop taking them. She also receives a note from Simon asking to talk with her in the basement.
Upon entering the basement, she discovers that it was Derek who wrote the note -pointing out that she would come down for Simon, but not for him- , and he asked her what she thinks about necromancy. Thinking he is trying to frighten her, Chloe tries to get away, but Derek throws her across the room with his enormous strength, leaving marks on her arm. After talking it over with Rae, she resolves to get Derek's files and learn more about him; she finds out from his file that he has demonstrated enormous strength in the past, severely harming someone once, and often has violent outbursts. Chloe receives her old necklace- which helps ward off ghosts- and is permitted to go out to lunch with Aunt Lauren, who forces the truth about her encounter with Derek out, and Derek is warned not to touch her, angering Simon. Tori eventually comes out of her room and brings her attitude back as well, confronting Chloe about her "special treatment" and Rae about the fact her parents are never around. Rae shows her family, and a scientist, Dr. Marcel Davidoff, visits Lyle House.
Later that night, Simon talks more with her, revealing that he has the power to cast spells- such as levitating a basketball- although his powers are still heavily hindered, and explains a bit more about Derek. They run into Tori, who sees their talk as Chloe stealing him from her. Chloe sees another ghost, but forces it away, and sees Liz, who remembers the last thing as being the seance. Rae confronts her about not telling her. She visits Dr. Gill again, who begins having her urine tested, and Derek asks to meet her again- this time in his room. Rae and her make up, and they visit the attic where Chloe has been seeing the ghost, breaking in, but they only find a little chest of belongings. She goes to speak with Derek, who takes a shower, while Simon explains that he and his foster brother are supernaturals, and their father, Christopher Bae, searched for specific types. He is a sorcerer, they suspect Liz was a shaman who could astral project, Chloe is a necromancer, and Derek is indeterminate (he is a werewolf, but does not want Chloe to know). After learning about her meds, Derek and Simon decide that she needs to be off them to see ghosts, and have her put her urine in a glass jar, so that she won't have to get rid of them and arouse suspicion.
After asking to visit Liz, Chloe is refused, further arousing her suspicions that she was killed. Tori's mother, Mrs. Enright, visits Lyle House, and commands Tori to stop hanging out with Simon and to start getting better. Tori, distraught and angry, visits Chloe while the others (except Derek) are out swimming, and declares a truce, claiming to know of something she might want to see. The girls go down to the basement crawl space, and Tori knocks Chloe out with a broken brick, ties her up, and gags her. After waking up, Chloe discovers her plight, and unexpectedly raises the ghosts from the graves there. Frightened, she tries to escape, and encounters Derek, who helps her put the dead to rest again. Dr. Gill discovers them covered in dirt, and Aunt Lauren later learns about it; they assume that the two had gotten together alone because they like each other, and Davidoff puts them both on notice. Rae hears her version of the story, and she talks with Simon about her aspirations to become a movie director. Simon explains about Derek's previous incident, and they make plans to escape with Derek's help. She confronts Derek about it, explaining that the only reason she is escaping is because someone needs to help Simon out, and he won't. On a favor, she asks Derek's help to summon the dead again; she summons the ghost but cannot understand him and so summons the ghost of a witch, who explains that Samuel Lyle, who built the house, was a sorcerer and experimented on her and her companion because of their powers, before murdering them.
Chloe and Derek escape for the night, noting key locations to hide in for the escape. Rae, having learned about their plan, asks in on it, claiming to be able to produce fire from her skin. Next day, after telling Derek and Simon about Rae, Simon relates the details of Derek's incident, revealing that he had stood up for him because Simon, having gotten in a fight over some kid disliking Vietnamese, had been unable to keep quiet. Derek comes in, announcing that he and Chloe need to leave that night; he will not come because Simon might notice, as Chloe has, that his powers have been bothering him lately, causing him to sweat and be more irritable. They decide to take Rae along after she produces smoke from her hand; Chloe, now convinced Liz is dead, retrieves her sweater from Tori's room, who knows about and has little objection to their escape. After leaving, they discover Derek is gone, and Chloe, convincing Rachel and Simon to go ahead, searches for him.
She finds him extremely sick and volatile. Chloe chooses to stay with him as he turns into a werewolf, then back to a human. However, Dr. Gill and the others are after them, so Chloe talks to Gill, who wants to take her back to Lyle House, but Derek knocks her unconscious. They keep moving until they reach Simon and Rae at an abandoned warehouse, and enter, despite being pursued now by Dr. Davidoff. Chloe has severely damaged her arm, due to cutting her arm on a stray shard of glass while climbing out of a broken window to escape, not only that, and they are being shot at by tranquilizer guns, and Derek convinces her to go ahead with Rae while he and Simon distract them. After going back for the dart, Rae convinces Chloe to go to Aunt Lauren with proof. They do so, taking a taxi, and explain about Lyle House, and Aunt Lauren takes Chloe to a hospital, where she is revealed to have betrayed her by drugging her. Chloe is put in a cell just before drifting off, and after waking, contacts Liz's ghost to help her escape.
“Don't worry I won't bite.”Derek Souza
“"He wore sweatpants and a T-shirt and had stopped in the middle of the hall, furiously scratching one bare forearm. "Fleas?" I said. "”Chloe Saunders
“"He pivoted, gaze following me as I crossed to the shower and turned on the cold water, so it would drown out our conversation without steaming up the room. "Great," he muttered."Now they're going to think we're showering together. Maybe we can just tell them we were washing off the crawl space dirt and trying to conserve water."”Derek Souza and Chloe Saunders
“"Oh, for God's sake. Save your piss. Don't save your piss. It's all the same to me."”Derek Souza
“I longed to shout back that we weren't crazy. I'd mistaken her kid for a ghost, that's all.”Chloe
“Okay, okay." He rubbed his mouth, still staring at my arm. "So he grabbed your arm. That's what it looks like. Right? He just grabbed harder than he thought." "He threw me across the room.”Simon & Chloe
“Cleavage is great, like an extra pocket.”Rae
“They won't hurt you. They aren't brain-eating movie zombie, okay? They're just dead bodies with their spirits returned to them." "I-I-I need to send them back." "Yea, that'd be the general idea." "O-okay, so how do I send them back?" .......Silence. "Derek?" "I... I don't know.”Derek & Chloe
“Anyone ever tell you your sence of timing really sucks." "That's why I don't play the drums. Now what's up?”Simon & Derek
“Split up. Find an exit. Any exit. Then whistle, but softly. I'll hear you." As we started down the hall, Rae let out a piercing whistle. "Did I say softly?" Derek hissed under his breath.”
“"'Cause we're special." She gave a bubbling laugh. "That sounds so lame. But it's what everyone wants, isn't it? To be special."”Rae
“You talk to the boys i'll stay right here”Rea
If I was crazy, would I know it? That’s what being crazy was, wasn’t it? You thought you were fine. Everyone else knew better. Maybe I was crazy.Highlighted by 61 Kindle customers
“Cleavage is great,” she said. “Like an extra pocket.”Highlighted by 61 Kindle customers
But the sky isn’t going to fall if we don’t discuss it this very minute, Chicken Little.”Highlighted by 39 Kindle customers
Normal. Such a simple, boring word. Funny how it shone now, like a brass ring on a merry-go-round, bright with promise, just out of reach.Highlighted by 35 Kindle customers
the irony is that, the whole time I was dreaming of a normal life, I already had one…or a whole lot closer to it than I’d ever have again.Highlighted by 32 Kindle customers
Don’t talk to the crazy kids. I longed to shout back that we weren’t crazy. I’d mistaken her kid for a ghost, that’s all. I wondered whether they had books about this sort of thing. Fifty Ways to Tell the Living from the Dead Before You Wind Up in a Padded Room. Yep, I’m sure the library carried that one.Highlighted by 31 Kindle customers
Life experience. I can talk it up, vow to broaden my horizons, but I’m still limited to the experiences within my life. How can a person understand an experience that lies completely outside her own? She can see it, feel it, imagine what it would be like to live it, but it’s no different from seeing it on a movie screen and saying “Thank God that’s not me.”Highlighted by 29 Kindle customers
Tori joined us for dinner—in body, at least. She spent the meal practicing for a role in the next zombie movie, expressionless, methodically moving fork to mouth, sometimes even with food on it. I was torn between feeling sorry for her and just being creeped out.Highlighted by 29 Kindle customers
“Oh, for God’s sake. Save your piss. Don’t save your piss. It’s all the same to me.”Highlighted by 26 Kindle customers
As bizarre as it sounded, the explanation that made the most sense was the most far-fetched one. There were people out there with powers found only in legends and movies. And we were part of that.Highlighted by 25 Kindle customers
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