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Monday, February 21, 2011

One Hundred Candles - Mara Purnhagen

Released February 15, 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Charlotte Silver isn't always thrilled with the reactions of her peers when it comes to her family's career. Charlotte's parents investigate supernatural events trying to debunk them. Spending Christmas at a former insane asylum with a renowned demon hunter is somehow worse. When the demon hunter's assistant grabs Charlotte and states in an unworldly voice that "the curtain has been pushed back too far" and that Charlotte is responsible, she's definitely frightened.

The family returns home, where Charlotte's parents continue fighting, but life goes on. At a party while telling ghost stories, Charlotte hears the same message about pushing the curtain back too far. Her parents are still fighting though, so she's doesn't say anything. When strange occurrences plague her high school, Charlotte enables the help of her friends and new boyfriend to figure out what's going on. Is she really in danger or is someone just trying to scare her?

One Hundred Candles really grabbed me. I sat down planning to tend fire, enjoy a book and do chores in between. Instead, I sat down and couldn't move for the next couple of hours. I had a suspicion about one of the characters that proved true, yet that only drew me deeper into the story. I spent my time rooting for Charlotte and her friends, while also hoping her parents would get their act together. The divorce angle does play a part in this book with Charlotte caught in the middle. I think many teens will find it easy to relate to her on that aspect and her reactions to dating and relationships.

I missed the first book in this series and am really saddened that I overlooked such an awesome read. My daughter enjoys paranormal teen books, so I'm surprised Past Midnight never caught her eye. Given that, I jumped right into One Hundred Candles not knowing some of the backstory. One Hundred Candles makes sense, but I am intrigued and need to go back to the past. This is apparently not the end of Charlotte's story either, so I'm definitely looking forward to Mara Purnhagen's next novel.

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