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Review: “One Hundred Candles” by Mara Purnhagen

One Hundred Candles (Past Midnight #2)One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Harlequin
Purchase: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble
Review Copy: Purchased
Description from Goodreads:
It’s taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I’m settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it’s not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I’ve opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve developed a slight obsession with the “Past Midnight” series. The characters are likeable, the story lines are interesting, and the pacing is wonderful. Plus, the fact that they are slightly over two hundred pages, as opposed to the [what seems to be normal] four hundred page young-adult novels, doesn’t hurt. These books are easy to read and incredibly enjoyable.

“One Hundred Candles” did a good job of summarizing the events that took place in “Past Midnight”. From the first line until the very last, I couldn’t tear my interest away. Charlotte’s family is finally settling down. She’s getting the chance at a normal life; she even has hope of attending prom for the first time. And them – BAM, it hits you fast. The scene with Charlotte and Marcus. Thing’s settle for a while, until New Year’s when Charlotte spends time with Harris. The entire one hundred candles ritual was interesting. The reader can sense something is coming, but Purnhagen is great with her pacing and she manages to set it up perfectly so that it hits you hard when all hell does break lose.

Right before he finds them, Charlotte’s life seems to be finding a balance: her parents are getting along better (after their family vacation), her relationship with Noah has grown, and she thinks that the worst is over. Then her father delivers the news that they have to run, and everything comes crashing down around her just as it was beginning to fall into place. From that moment, until the final page, you hope for the best, but Purnhagen doesn’t gloss over anything. He’s coming to punish Charlotte. This isn’t going to be a happy ending. Not yet. There’s a lot of pain headed her way. There’s going to be a lot of healing that needs to take place before she can get her life back in order. And she’s not safe yet. There’s still a chance that the energy will manifest itself again. She may have won this time, but safety isn’t promised.

I can’t wait to start “Haunting the Night” and “Beyond the Grave”! This series is honestly addicting.

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