Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen, by Katherine Howe {ends 10/19}

"Do you think ...," Wes says, and I can feel his pulse thrumming fast under his skin. "Annie. Do you think it's possible to love more than one person?"

I stare long and hard at him. That word hangs in the air between us.

Did he say it?

Did I hear it?

Or is it what I wanted him to say?

It's impossible to see his expression in the dark. I can only the outline of his hair, his jaw, and his shoulders as he turns to me. A knot unties itself in my chest.

I whisper, "Yes."

This book is a ghost story, but the word "ghost" is never used in it; the one time someone starts to ask if Annie is a ghost, she cuts them off, saying she doesn't like "that word." The story takes place in present-day NYC, as well as 1820s NYC, and if you love historical stories, you will love this one too.

Official synopsis:
It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic's in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annie’s hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wes’s questions . . .


I love ghost stories and I love historical stories, and this book combined them both. Wes is from Wisconsin and is in NYC just for the summer, attending film school at NYU, although he eventually wants to transfer to NYU. He and his friend Tyler are filming a seance for Tyler's movie, when he sees her: an ethereal-looking girl, wearing a frayed dress, whose name he later finds out is Annie (short for Annatje). 

The only problem is that Annie is not real - or at least, she was real, but lived in the 1820s, and died aboard a barge that was supposed to celebrate her father's new canal; the barge was blown up by people not happy with the rich getting richer, and using slave money to do so. 

Annie realizes she's gone a few days back in time, too, and she can prevent the barge blowing up; but she'll need the help of Wes, Tyler, and Wes's new friend Maddie, who is more connected to Annie than they originally know. 

This novel was written very well, and goes back and forth between Wes and Annie in Wes's NYC (present-day) and Annie back with her parents and siblings in her NYC (1820s), even though it's technically still present-day (which gives me a headache to think about!). The ending reminded me a little of the movie Frequency, in that actions that Annie takes in the past ends up affecting the futures of some of the present-day NYC characters, and they affect Maddie the most. 

I would have given this novel 4/5 stars except I wanted to know more throughout the book about some of the characters and also what happens to them at the end; it's a little vague, although we can speculate about what happens. 

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a hardcover copy of this book!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, October 19th, at 11:59pm EST, and will be emailed the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen

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