Title: The Haunted
Author: Jessica Verday
Publisher: Simon Pulse
An impossible truth. An impossible love.
After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with--the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead--Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.
But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates--a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....
My Thoughts: After finishing The Haunted, I'm left with mixed opinions, just as I was with The Hollow. On one hand, I absolutely the storyline and I'm a total Caspian fangirl but, on the other hand, I feel like the novel could be cut in half.
The Haunted has an extremely slow start. I felt like the first half of the book could almost be condensed into fifty or so pages because while a lot of it was re-introducing the characters and the story, a lot of it just dragged on for too long. I also felt like, once again, the characters never fully developed. We spend half of the novel waiting for Caspian but once he shows up, we never get to know him well. The minor but still important characters also never seemed to develop fully and I feel like the story could've been improved if we did get to see and understand them more.
That said, once the story finally picks up, it's hard to put down. The story takes some turns that readers will never expect, especially near the end. The tension and romance also picks up, which I loved. Verday managed to keep it realistic without being overly sexual or creepy (those that read The Hollow will understand the creepy part) but still keeping tension. I am officially rooting for Caspian! The ending, as I mentioned, is completely unexpected and will leave readers wanting the next installment NOW.
Overall, The Haunted was an improvement on The Hollow and I'm looking forward to Book 3!