Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ever Near (Book 1: Secret Affinity) / Melissa MacVicar

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Young Adult Romance / Paranormal

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
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Melissa MacVicar lives on Nantucket Island with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher who loves classic rock, watching football, and reading anything that is romantic and suspenseful. Ever Near is her debut novel.


Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?”


Up until now Jade has been able to simply remove herself from places that a ghost appears. She has always found them frightening and has done a good job ignoring the fact that she can see and hear them at all. Jade has never shared that she has this ability with anyone. Not her mother, grandmother, or even her best friend. The problem is that she and her mother have moved into a house that has a troubled and confused spirit, and the ghost is now entering her dreams. There is no escape.

This story is told in a first person POV, which I generally don’t have a problem identifying with, however I found I just could not connect with Jade. I felt like I was being told a story that lacked the discovery factor, too often too many words were used that did not move the story forward.

I also had a problem suspending disbelief because Jade did not seek answers or ask her mother, grandmother, or best friend questions. She chose to open up to a boy she had the hots for?  And then worries she might lose him because he MIGHT think she is crazy? Of course he is going to think she is nuts. Their relationship didn’t warrant that level of trust yet. I just didn’t buy it.

Jade was a whiny and weak protagonist who did seek help from a local personality who gave ghost tours of the area that almost ended in tragedy when he tried to use her to further his own career. The way she handled this situation did not sit well with me, it was wrong on too many levels. Things could have taken a much worse turn and they were well on the way to that happening near the end of the story because she refused to seek advice from her mother or grandmother.

Okay, now that I got that off of my chest. The history and description of the Nantucket Island was well written and beautifully described and I liked the ghost story part of the book. The fact that Jade kept a journal of her encounters was interesting because she spent so much time denying they even happened. I was also glad that she spent time researching Lacey to find out her story. Why she was stuck on this earthly plane, and why she didn’t cross over when she died. It was a tragic story and I did sympathize with Lacey. It really is too bad that Jade never took the opportunity to ask her questions while she could.

Things didn’t work out too well when Jade was ignoring her gift/curse, so when Jade asks her Gram if she could cast spells and stuff on people her Gram laughs and replies “Well, I don’t believe in that, but some people do. Plus, those things are against our church’s teachings, so I wouldn’t if I were you. You don’t want to mess with that part of it. The evil, demonic part is better left alone. You leave it alone, and it will leave you alone.” I am not so sure I would put much stock in that statement either. Especially after the way some of the ghostly encounters physically affected Jade.

Perhaps now that Jade has a better understanding of her gift, and is more willing to ask questions, this series has potential to move forward with more intriguing ghost stories.

Format/Typo Issues:

I read an Advanced Reader Copy and I found no significant editing or proofing errors.

Rating: *** Three stars 

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Melissa MacVicar said...

Thanks for having me on your blog.

?wazithinkin said...

Thank you for dropping in and posting a comment, Ms. MacVicar.