They say first love never dies…
From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.
There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely — just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?
With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.
Lucas was a piano student of Olivia’s mother. When he was found dead with Olivia’s mother crouching besides him, the authority locked the woman away after she confessed she had killed him. Feeling miserable, Olivia had a hard time coping with what had happened. With her mom’s trial a few days away, Olivia started seeing Lucas and hearing his voice. Could this be her mind playing tricks on her or was she really seeing the ghost? And when Olivia started following the suggestions from the ghost to find out what really happened on the night when Lucas died, a part of her wondered if she was actually going crazy. But if there were new evidence proving the innocence of Olivia’s mother, who was the wicked murderer?
I wasn’t sure if I could completely relate to what Olivia was going through. Her mother had mental illness and she was afraid she could be the victim of the same genetic disease that her mom suffered. She wanted her mother to be healthy and she wanted her father to care about them just like before. But her father was moving on. He was going to marry another woman and start a new family. So, you could see why Olivia felt devastated. With so much on her mind, she resolved to numb herself with unhealthy habits like drinking and so, while she sounded sane, I couldn’t quite tell if she was really seeing the ghost of Lucas or her mind was compromised by her drinking. I guess when a person was in despair, she’d try to do anything to stop her mind from churning depressing thoughts but I’d say drinking was never the answer to her issues. Anyway, I could see how Lucas was always the one who had a positive influence on her. Whether it was really the ghost coming back or her mind flashing fragments of memories to help and guide her through difficult times, I like that she started to look for things that the police might have overlooked. It was nice to see her focusing on finding the truth and not staying paralyzed in fear.
I’d say the murder mystery was okay – it wasn’t particularly interesting. With only so many characters present in the book, it wasn’t hard to deduce who was the guilty one but I like that the story wasn’t just about solving a crime. There was friendship. There was love. There was forgiveness. There was hope. And when all was revealed, I like that there was a much deeper bond of trust being established among the core characters in the story.
When I first read the title and book summary, I sort of assumed that the story was going to be somewhat creepy. After reading it, I wouldn’t say the level of creepiness is high but even though it’s not a particularly thrilling read, I like that I’d spent a few hours reading a story that’s quite enjoyable.