By: Melanie | December 11, 2013 | (29) Comments

Review: Ashes To Ashes by Melissa WalkerAshes To Ashes by Melissa Walker
Series: Ashes To Ashes, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 23, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Pages: 356
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase

If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.

Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker's sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me and Imaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.

When Callie's life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.

My Review

The whole world darkens; my body goes limp. And then I’m gone.

Here’s the thing: when you throw a big bomb in the water like that at the end of a book, you are going to get a whole lot of varying reactions. When this ‘big’ and ‘unforseen’ twist comes pummelling through, some people are going to love the book more, and some are going to hate it because, like me, I saw it coming early on in the book. And that’s coming from someone who already ruled out fortune telling for their future job career.

Callie May’s future disappears when her life is cut short by a car accident. No more best friend, no more boyfriend, no more father to see again. Just a strange place called the Prism. And an overbearingly serious ghost named Thatcher. Soon Callie discovers that when someone dies, they don’t go straight to some place like Heaven like Callie had thought. First, they must be taken to the Prism where ghosts stay to charge energy while haunting their loved ones on Earth. However, like the process of the afterlife, things are different. Haunting does not mean to scare and spook, it is actually a practice that helps your loved ones grieve.

The main character was bearable to follow along with but not the brightest. Callie was certainly headstrong and determinded to connect with her loved ones but a hard head made Callie pretty dim-witted and gullible. She continuously ignores Thatcher’s warnings about Leo and Reena but she brushes it off thinking he’s just being boring instead of helpful. Another example is when Callie learns that all ghosts have no emotions and no senses; but she still acts and has emotions like a normal, living human being. She never really questions why she is so different. I constantly wanted to scream out: Use your freakin brain! Question it! Quite frankly, Callie isn’t too curious about those things and is way too infatuated with trying to talk to her loved ones who are grieving on Earth.

There is a romance in Ashes to Ashes. Callie and Nick have been together for a while before the book begins so there is nothing to base the romance off. However from what I could gather from the short-lived romance was that it was very intimate. Yet I got annoyed at the amount of times Callie talked about how Nick was so damn hilarious and good-looking. Just a minor quibble. I wouldn’t say that there is a love triangle, but Callie and Thatcher do begin to grow some feelings for each other along the way. But I don’t get how Thatcher gets feelings for Callie when he has no emotions? Compliments can only go so far. Plot holes, plot holes. The best friend, Carson, was an easily likable character. Unlike with the romance where I had not much to base my opinion around, Carson is extremely interested about the afterlife and ghosts so when Callie dies, Carson is more than sure that she will be able to talk to Callie with her séances and Ouija boards.

As for the pace, it was real slow. I wasn’t awfully invested with the haunting and want the actual plot to come in–it didn’t really feel like it was progressing until near the end. On the other hand, I was a huge fan of the writing. It helped set the tone of the story which was dark and moody.

Overall, Ashes to Ashes contained a refreshing premise however it was not executed as well as it could have with it’s terrible slow pace, meh main character and minor plot holes and unbelievable romance.

~Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~

2 Stars
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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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29 Responses to Review: Ashes To Ashes by Melissa Walker

  1. _Sandra_ says:

    Besides Anna duology by Kendare Blake, I haven’t read any books that included ghosts. Not their biggest fan, I guess. Also, I think I’m gonna pass this one, doesn’t sound very promising judging by your review and like I said, ghosts are just not my cup of tea.
    Great review! 🙂

  2. Thanks for your in-depth review Mel! An interesting concept exploring the afterlife and everything, but sounds like it was kind of a drag to get through. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Something Like Normal by Trish Doller Review – Teen Soldier Returns from WarMy Profile

  3. Ugh. I felt so excited when I read If I Stay meets Ghost… but I don’t think Ashes to Ashes is for me at all. I don’t enjoy overbearing teachers. But I do enjoy ghosts…

    Great review Melanie 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) – Scott LynchMy Profile

  4. I don’t think I would like this one. I’ve heard of it but never was interested enough to add it to my TBR list.
    Bethzaida (bookittyblog) recently posted…Pic2Book Wednesday Challenge #82My Profile

  5. Stephanie B says:

    Ah, darn! This one sounded pretty good too! I might still try it but I don’t know now…. It’ll probably end up being a library book if I do. Lovely review, Mel!
    Stephanie B recently posted…Spotlight: Siren’s CurseMy Profile

  6. Charlotte says:

    Gaahh. I think we’re destined to read slow books today, Mel. I totally get you about how frustrating it is to keep going on circles. Grrrr. I just finished Wither today. And man, the plot would put turtles and snails into shame.

    I think I will let this one pass. The premise is really good though. But again, it’s not worth it because the MC is stupid and that plot hole that couldn’t be ignored. Hahaha. I think the author was just desperate to involve the heroine in a romance that’s why she forgot that ghosts couldn’t feel any emotions.

    Lovely review, Mel!

  7. Tanja says:

    This is one of these books I saw around a lot but never bothered to read a blurb. No idea why, but then I’d probably want to read it and get disappointed like you. I think that all the classics I’ve been reading these days are enough slow to make me fall asleep. Sorry that this one wasn’t as good as expected. Great review, darling :))
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#74)My Profile

  8. Bummer, especially since I got two of these somehow. (I didn’t even request them)
    Sorry this didn’t work out for you.
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday (98) + Book Looks (29)!My Profile

  9. Rashika says:

    I am not ruling out fortune telling for my future career just yet 😛 Seeing the amount of times I’ve predicted certain twists and killers (I so love it when I am right but then I also get fed up of it :P). Maybe you shouldn’t either 😉 😀

    The book however sounds like something I would hate. I can get very nitpicky about small details so I am pretty sure I’d end up raging at that kind of plot hole.

    I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it more. I hate it when a good idea goes down the shithole because of poor execution.

    Great review though!! 😀

  10. Melliane says:

    oh that’s sad, I would have loved to have a great ghost story. I didn’t know this one but I just love the cover. Will you try the second one? I hope it’s a little better.
    Melliane recently posted…Clean Sweep by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

  11. I don’t mind slow building books, however if it is how you say it is, with plot holes and unbelievable romance? Eugh. I’m not picking this up any time soon! Great review, Mel!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…My Birthday Giveaway : Win Any Book From TBD!My Profile

  12. Wow, I love the cover but nothing in your review has me interesting in picking this up..LOL Hope your next read is better.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #54My Profile

  13. Alise says:

    Ugh, the MC sounds so crazy frustrating. I hate it when protagonists just accept everything and don’t question any of the weird things going on. Pacing is really important to me because I lose interest pretty fast so I think I will be skipping this one. Thanks for sharing, Mel!
    Alise recently posted…Review: Fangirl by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

  14. Emily says:

    BLEH! I think I won’t like the MC at all… I think the protagonist should be portrayed as strong, and she should have to question situations around her. She may have certain hard-headed moments (not too many though!), but she still should be smart enough! And I think you can’t immerse yourself fully into a story if there are plot holes. 🙁 Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one Mel! I hope something better comes your way 🙂
    Fantastic review, though, Mel!! <33
    Emily recently posted…The Promise Of Amazing by Robin ConstantineMy Profile

  15. Desnica Kumar says:

    I was sort of curious about this…but now I don’t suppose I’ll be reading it Callie does not sound like a character I’d connect with and I really can’t stand slow paced books…such a shame!
    Thanks for the review!

  16. Nara says:

    I’m sure Thatcher and Callie develop feelings for each other because he’s “special”. lol, at least that’s probs how they’d justify it (I haven’t actually read the book myself). That definitely seems like a bit of a plot hole though…And oh man, a slow pace and crappy plot twist? Ugh, pretty sure I don’t want to read this book.
    Nara recently posted…The Search for the Panacea [2]My Profile

  17. Duuude. That is SUPER inconsistent. This is making me remember that book Reboot where the soldiers were supposedly emotionless but Wren kept on getting angry, sad, and guilty. She even developed a love for her fellow soldier! That pissed me off the most in that book, and I’m afraid with the same case here, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate it very much. I’d just be pulling my hair in frustration. Thanks for taking one for the team, I don’t know if I’ll be checking this out. Most likely not.

    Faye @ The Social Potato
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Review and Giveaway: Poison Dance (Midnight Thief 0.5) by Livia Blackburne | Get a chance to win a $100 Amazon Giftcard!My Profile

  18. Khaja says:

    I don’t see it on my list Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Russia and Turkey are the closest cinotrues I see. I’d met some wonderful Romanian people, so I’m sorry not to see it on the list. Although since Indonesia was just added recently, perhaps Romania will come. Thank you for asking.

  19. You have the monopoly on useful information-aren’t monopolies illegal? 😉

  20. ma’am anna magandang araw po!ok lang po ba sa SOUTH koRea ang mag kapatid kasi nag aaral kami ngayon ng KL ng kapatid ko at balak naming kumuha ng 9th KLT sa Poea?Salamat po!

  21. As a first time reader, I enjoyed reading this blog post.  The only element that seemed “off” about it to me was your characterization of Adam Scott’s apology.  I’ve watched the apology, and it certainly seems sincere to me.  He screwed up, he knows he screwed up, and he apologizes to Rachel for being on the receiving end of his “losing it.”  As you point out, you can relate to not being your best self. After mentioning that he apologized, I am not sure why you then immediately question the sincerity of his apology.  It seems, well, unchristian.   Â

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