Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed
Release Date: 10/01/12
"I was sixteen the first time my grandmother died . . ."
Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.
But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.
My thoughts on the book:
Amber House is a unique and captivating debut from the mother/daughter trio, Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed. According to their website, Moore was inspired by her own family history and began to write. Once her daughters joined in the venture, Amber House became an actual novel. Considering the story of the house and the women in it, I think it is perfect that this book was written by two generations of women. This is a beautiful story, and I cannot wait for the sequel (I was so happy when I learned this is part of a trilogy).
Every character in Amber House is complex and fully developed. I enjoyed learning about all of them, even if I didn't particularly like everyone *coughRichardcough*. I simply adored Sammy, and I love how the authors created an intelligent autistic character who is easy to relate to. With the history of the family's insanity and how people judge Sammy, these writers are opening up a dialogue about autism, and that is very important. I applaud them for taking a stand for autistic people.
Sarah is also a fantastic character. She's not perfect. She's bratty and silly at times, just like any teenage girl, but overall, she is mature, strong, and likable. I enjoyed reading things from her point of view, and even though I wanted to smack her once or twice, she isn't an annoying character.
Her mother, on the other hand, is a piece of work. However, the more I got to know about Anne, the more I understood why she acts the way she does. It doesn't excuse her behaviors, but it does explain them. I would have liked to have seen more of Sarah's dad.
The two love interests are very different, but neither is broody or obnoxious. I didn't like Richard because he just seemed a bit slimy to me. Being a politician's son, he can't be the most honest kid around. Jackson is a dreamboat, though. I really love his character. He's extremely strong and caring, but not whiny and fluffy. I hate fluffy guys. You guys know what I mean by fluffy, right? Edward Cullen like? Crying at the drop of a hat? Yea, I don't like that.
The plot itself is insane! I don't know how the authors kept track of what was going on. This book is fast paced and complicated. However, I was able to follow the events just fine. There is just a lot going on. The writers do an excellent job of explaining the time travely type stuff, though, and I actually understood it. Normally with time travel books, I just ignore the explanations and go with it because physics is not my forte. This story line doesn't have much action, but it has tons of suspense. I couldn't put this book down!I had to figure out the mysteries of Amber House and its inhabitants (both past and present). I was hooked from the beginning, and the ending simply left me wanting more. I cannot wait for the sequel. Yes, I know I already said that, but it needed to be said again.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a different type of paranormal story. Amber House focuses on a lot of different ideas, but they all come together nicely. I enjoyed the contemporary problems being brought into a paranormal book. The synopsis doesn't do this book justice. You have to give it a try!
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