A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt — not to mention a princess for a roommate! — all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school. There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School. And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy (From Goodreads)
First of all, bonus points to a very beautiful cover. Really loved it. Second, I really liked this book. The best of it was the setting description of the boarding school and the overall mood throughout the book. It was dark, it was gothic, and it held a lot of secrets ready to be revealed.
Caitlyn overall, was a good character to read. She wasn’t over the top whiny or moody like some protagonists I’ve come across. She’s realistic and likable. The chemistry she has between herself and Raphael is well done (and Raphael is VERY crushworthy).
The plot does develop a little slower than some. The descriptions of France and its’ buildings is well done so picturing the setting is easy and establishes the story so readers will have a clear picture. I liked how the story carries the reader through different time periods, but also it’s like time traveling through dreams. It’s interesting, for sure and the transitions aren’t confusing, it’s pretty much clear and easy to read. The ghost story part of the book was very well done. I wasn’t expecting the outcome and it caught me entirely off guard. The treasure hunting aspect (yes, there’s a lot to pack into this plot!) was good and interesting, and it wasn’t too overdone.
There was one thing that really did bother me, and that was towards the ending. It got a little too convenient and well to be frank, rather cheesy. I thought it should have been done differently or..perhaps that particular event with Thierry just should not have happened. In my opinion, I found that part to be just so predictable and if the rest of the book hadn’t been so great, the score based on that ending alone would have been lower.
Great for YA fans who want a little bit of everything (a ghost story, a romance, a treasure hunt, and a bit of historical fiction). It’s worth the read. Some might be put off with the slow development of the plot so this might not be for some who prefer something fast paced.
I give it a 9/10