Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

The Ghosts Of Ashbury High

The Ghosts of Ashbury High - Jaclyn Moriarty Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.The year begins with the introduction of Amelia and Riley, two scholarship students from Brookfield High, to Ashbury High and within weeks, everyone is obsessed with them. Dressing differently, speaking more intelligently, trying their hardest to be interesting--the student body does a lot of things in their attempts to break into Riley and Amelia's secret world. Meanwhile, best friends Emily, Cassie, and Lydia are trying to make it through their final year at Ashbury. Emily swears there is a ghost in the new building and as quickly as they became obsessed with Riley and Amelia, they're obsessed with the possibly ghost too. Is there really a ghost in the building or is it her imagination? What are Amelia and Riley hiding from everyone?It's been months since I read about any of these characters and I forgot much during that time, but The Ghosts of Ashbury High drew me right back in from the first page, inspiring a fascination with Riley and Amelia in me as potent as Emily's own. The characters have a depth I wish more novels could achieve and even Emily, the character with the most potential to be irritating, was enjoyable. Characters I thought I knew from previous books were put in a whole new light And can I say I have massive respect for Amelia and Riley? I hardly think it needs to be warned for, but manipulative characters are my absolute favorites and they hit the mark.It spends much of its time poking fun at the gothic novel and its dramatic style affectionately, but the novel also fits the qualifications for a gothic novel well. The madwoman in the attic, the stormy weather, the mysterious characters with pasts waiting to be uncovered, the virginal maiden (in a way)--it's all here. This is the last novel I thought I would be putting in such a category, but it works. Now I want to seek out more gothic novels both classic and contemporary. Further research must be done!My main problem with the novel was that in the middle, it dragged terribly and the pacing pretty much slowed to a crawl. I recognize that piece of the novel as very important--it shed light on most of the main characters and why they were who they were. That doesn't make my irritation at reading the same events multiple times with only minor modifications depending on who was telling the story any better.I've read this series all out of order by starting with the third book and moving on to the fourth, but now I want to find the first two (and it's a good thing this is a series you can read out of order like that). I already wanted to do that after The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie--why else did I buy this one?--but The Ghosts of Ashbury High convinced me further that I have to find the first two books and maybe start developing my own gothic novel. Reading this has given me ideas.(Bonus time! I came across a part at the end of the novel talking about how Riley's drumming "could take on the combined talents of Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Jimmy Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold, and Chris Adler of Lamb of God (The Ghosts of Ashbury High, p. 455)" put together. My brother is a budding drummer (my eardrums have the damage to prove it) and upon reading this, of course I had to mention it to him. Watching him say that was bull and basically flip out about that claim was funny, but it stopped being funny when he threatened to burn my book. Let's just say I know where he sleeps.)