Friday, March 6, 2015

"The Ghost of You" by Amanda Burckhard

The Ghost of You
by Amanda Burckhard

The Ghost of You is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.
A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.
The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.
Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.

The back of my eyes pulsed in time with the pounding in my head. My dark sunglasses didn’t block out enough of the light to stop it from aggravating my hangover. At least the nausea from earlier had passed. I groaned, turning my head toward Skye in the driver’s seat. She fared a little better than me, having had a restful night’s sleep. Nightmares had plagued my dreams all night. I blamed the beer.
We rounded the corner to my street and Skye cocked her head at me. “I thought you said your mom would be at work?”
I stared at the white Volvo in the driveway next to my red Mini Cooper. “She’s supposed to be.” Her shift at the hospital started an hour ago. “You think I’m busted?” Cherry on top of my freaking sundae.
Skye pointed to a Sheriff’s patrol car a little ways down the street. “I don’t know, but that’s not a good sign.” 
I threw my head back against the headrest. “Shit! If Uncle Jim’s here I’m toast!” He’d take one look at me and know exactly what I spent my night doing.
She chuckled in a pitying, sarcastic way. “Good luck with that. So I’m guessing that movie later is a no if you and Derek are grounded.” She looked around for my brother’s canary yellow Mustang. “Where is Derek? He usually beats you home.” 
Maybe Uncle Jim busted the party after I left. Maybe he found Derek there and he ratted me out. Jerk. So why wasn’t his car in the driveway? “Who knows?”
“Text me if they don’t take your phone away,” she shouted as I got out of the car.
She pulled out of the driveway and down the street. I took my sweet time getting to the door. I was most likely going to be grounded for the next month, so might as well enjoy my last few seconds of freedom. Hopefully it wouldn’t last more than a month or I’d miss Homecoming week. Aw, man, and the opening football game against our rivals. At least I’d still have softball practice.
When I reached the door, I ran my hands through my disheveled hair in a last ditch effort to conceal my previous night’s activities. I walked in, keeping the sunglasses on to cover my puffy eyes. 
Uncle Jim’s voice echoed into the entry. “Emmy?”
There was no point trying to quietly shut the door behind me. Everyone sat in the living room just past the entryway. I couldn’t sneak past them to the stairs without being seen if my life depended on it. Taking one last breath to prepare myself for the upcoming punishment, I set my bag down and walked to the living room. What I found was not the stern and disappointed looks I expected. 
Mom sat on the edge of the couch. Her blotchy face and swollen eyes told me she had been crying. Hard. Dad sat next to her with his arm around her, staring out the window with a dazed expression. My uncle stood in his Sheriff uniform leaning against the mantle on the wall and my cousin, Brayden, sat in the loveseat with his head in his hands, his eyes fixed on the beige carpeting.
What was Brayden doing here? He was supposed to be taking the SAT’s. He was a senior now and he already scored poorly twice. Today’s test was the last one he could take before he applied to college. He wouldn’t miss it. They couldn’t be over already. 
I froze at the edge of the living room and slowly pulled off my sunglasses, a choking feeling constricting my lungs like a python. “What’s going on?”
No one spoke. 
All eyes averted from mine.
Finally, my uncle cleared his throat. “Why don’t you take a seat?” His sunken face and steady tone felt like a rock falling into my stomach. 
I swallowed the panic rising in my throat. “Why do I have to sit?”
Brayden took a deep breath and walked over to me. “Come on,” he said and led me to the loveseat to sit next to him. The room was dead quiet as I studied everyone’s grave faces. Something tickled the back of my brain. It tried to tell me what I already knew. I pushed it away, refusing to believe my paranoia. 
“You guys are freaking me out!” I choked on the words. My breathing became shallow and forced. 
Brayden put his hand on my arm. 
Tears welled up in my eyes, stinging like tiny nettles. I turned to Brayden. “Where’s Derek?”
He didn’t answer, but the look in his eyes spoke volumes. 
The tears spilled over my eyes and tremors racked my body. I turned my hysteria onto my parents. “Where is he!”
The question sent my mother into a fit of sobs.
Terror wrapped its bony fingers around my heart and squeezed, expelling the air from my lungs. Please, God. Don’t say it. Nonono. This wasn’t happening. Brayden looked me straight in the eye, a constellation of tears glistening on his lashes.
“Derek was in an accident.”

Praise for the Book
"A lovely, haunting, captivating tale from the first page to the last. It grips your heart and keeps it until the very end." ~ Natalie Decker, bestselling author of Rival Love
"The Ghost of You is a haunting and captivating YA novel about loss, grief, and how every person deals with the demons of their past differently. It's a beautiful and gripping story that had me hooked from start to finish. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me FEEL. I can't recommend it more highly." ~ Julia
"I loved this book. It's the kind of story that tears at your soul and stays with you long after you've read the last words. I recommend keeping a box of tissues handy, because I SOBBED while reading it." ~ E.M. Caines
"As you follow Emmy through her loss and recovery you are left laughing, crying, screaming, and falling along with her. By the end you can't help but feel like you know and love this character. I challenge anyone to not finish this book, because it will have a hold of your senses from the beginning until the end." ~ Amazon Customer
"I cannot put it down.. if you love reading you must read this one.. I read for 5 hr fell asleep with my phone on my chest trying to get it read in one night..Such a beautiful book, I sure hope you are in the midst of writing another one." ~ katrine
"I absolutely loved this book. In fact I couldn't put it down. From the 2nd Chapter on, I was completely enthralled. I cannot wait until the next book comes out. Thank you Amanda for the amazing read.!!" ~ Joni Mommaerts

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
On the eve of their junior year of high school, Emmy loses her brother Derek and his girlfriend Jess in a car crash. Unable to cope with his loss, Emmy turns to painkillers, which literally allow her to "see" and "speak" to Derek. Is Derek haunting her, or is Emmy going crazy? As her dependence on the pills grows, Emmy's grades start slipping, and she becomes more withdrawn from her friends as she tries to hide her secret from them. The only one who can seem to get through to her is the new boy Logan, who is hiding a secret of his own. After losing Derek, is Emmy strong enough to risk loving someone again?
This is an emotional and heartbreaking story about how seemingly inconsequential actions can result in tragedy. I loved the relationship between Emmy and Logan, and it was great to see the support her friend Skye gave her. As a parent, it was distressing that Emmy's parents were totally oblivious to what she was going through. I know if I had been in the same situation, I would have paid even more attention to her, not less. Even though this story is complete, a follow-up book is in the works. I look forward to reading it.
Warnings: drug use, alcohol abuse, sex (not explicit), coarse language, emotional abuse.

About the Author
Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.
Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she's been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.
She currently lives in North Sioux City, South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of The Ghost of You by Amanda Burckhard.

Amazon UK