Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Karina Halle - DarkHouse

There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twentysomething, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.

Comment: RL has been busy but I'll try to catch up with my comments.
This book was the choice picked for this month's reads in the book club I belong to. This is the first book by the author I've tried and although the concept of this book intrigued me and the little glimpses of possible romance too, the overall story wasn't as wonderful as I expected.

In this book we meet Perry Palomino, a 22 year old who doesn't like her job but hold on to it because the economy is bad. Perry has always been a strange girl, she has weird and realistic dreams that make her see things and she is aware she is mocked and was before in school. One day, while visiting an abandoned lighthouse in her uncle's property, she has vivid experiences that scare her and led her to Dex Foray, a cameraman to a show who looks for ghosts and weird things to film. They share a creepy experience inside the lighthouse and later on, after they got out alright, Perry writes about it in her sister's blog. Suddenly everyone is talking about Perry and eventually Dex shows up again and proposes a job to Perry, so they can film and present a show about ghosts. But what about the lighthouse, does it have any secrets they should uncover? And will Perry accept this new challenge just when her boss offered her a promotion?

Overall, I liked the book's ideas and what it was supposed to portray. But I have to say the plot wasn't as amazing as I imagined and I struggled a bit to finish reading. Often, we read books we can't let go, no matter how much we spend with it and how busy we might be: we just need to keep reading. Then, we have the books we know we are supposed to read but any excuse is enough to make us stop for a while. I had to push myself to read, not that it was so bad I couldn't stand it, but I didn't feel very motivated to read and find out more.

To be honest, the plot was not something I felt much interest in. The book is also labeled horror, many scenes are certainly supposed to be scary and creepy and I guess they are, in a way. But these things aren't things I usually read or look for or truly appreciate so I didn't have much will to take time to read about them, I was counting the time to get to the the better parts and therefore the interest of the plot and the more horror details were things I didn't fully felt captivated by.

Perry is an intriguing main character, I liked her approach to life, the fact she was bullied and not always someone you would spend time getting to know but, as always, she hid an amazing personality and temperament. I think my issue with her is that apart from that I had a difficult time to feel empathy towards her. Her liking to spend time with her younger sister's friends, her willingness to go alone to a dark place and her attitude towards some reality notions were down points for me. But overall, she is likable enough and I feel intrigued by how much she will grow up...but some of her choices still seem very teenage style and that puts me off.

Dex is a very interesting counterbalance to Perry, he's a decade older, his interests are different, he has a girlfriend, he has a mysterious past...all intriguing yes, but also a little bit too much because it's hard to get a grip on who he really is.
His relationship with Perry is what made me want to keep reading an if I ever go on, their connection will be the reason too but it wasn't enough yet.
I liked the tension between them, the obvious link, the looks they give one another, but nothing is too obvious and they don't jump each other. I like the idea of a slow burn romance but... with 9 books I think it will be just a bit too long, especially if I don't feel interested in the horror and plot parts.

All things considered, this is quite the journey but to think the author is taking so long and will create a lot of drama before things solved and on top with a horror themed narrative...I don't think I'll read more very soon. Yes, many readers say it only gets better and I can understand how by the way this story develops but to have to go through so many not appealing scenes puts me of. Well, it's still interesting and it might work for many.
Grade: 6/10

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