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Notes from Ghost Town - Kate Ellison Review originally posted at Gypsy Reviews.Reading the summary, I was expecting a mystery, a thriller that would send shivers down my spine upon reading this and even from the title I expected something that would get me scared but unfortunately, this was nothing like I had hoped it would be.The book begins with Olivia Tithe and her best friend, Lucas Stern, who is helping her pack up her things before she goes to Art School. Olivia’s parents are recently divorced and her father is moving out. Olivia’s mother has been teaching Stern how to play piano since Stern was little and playing the piano is a way that Olivia’s mother, Miriam, uses to cope with her schizophrenia. However, one week after this, Stern is murdered and Miriam is arrested for his murder. 10 months later, with Miriam’s murder trial in just 9 days, Olivia suddenly sees Stern as a ghost and he tells her that her mother didn’t murder him. Olivia sets to find out who is the real murderer.Okay let’s start with Olivia. I could not connect at all to Olivia during the entire story. There was little character development and Olivia was pretty unlikable, she kept pushing people away from her and thought everyone was going against her though they sincerely wanted to help her. She kept thinking everyone thought she was crazy just like her mum and acted like a brat. I was also very confused as to why she only had all these feelings and emotions about Stern and her mum 10 months later when the murder trial is about to begin. What about the 10 months? To me, if she had felt this way right after she found out Stern was murdered and her mother was arrested it would have been understandable. The timeline just didn’t make sense, what was she doing in the 10 months? Did time stop?Next, her relationship with Austin, it felt too rushed and too little development to actually be true. I could see why Austin liked Olivia but Olivia never showed any signs of having feelings for him other than it being physical desire. She admitted herself that she was just using Austin to take her mind off Stern and everything but yet when she finds out that Austin isn’t 100% sincere about why he agrees to spend time with her, she gets angry with him. But she never intended for it to be serious or anything at all, why was she so angry? Even in the end, Olivia was unsure about her feelings about Austin but they were together so I felt she was just leading him on because he genuinely liked her. It would have been better if Olivia could figure out her feelings for him first before entering a relationship with him.If you follow or have added me on Goodreads, I complained twice that the pace was very slow in the book and it was. A book’s story is a journey and there are bumps which make you happy and squeal in delight and some make you scream and cry but this book just felt flat. I was tempted to stop reading halfway if not for the fact I wanted to find out who the murderer was. I actually kept expecting something big to happen, something that would scare me or give me that thrill when I read mystery or crime books but never did I feel anything whilst reading this book. There wasn’t enough story and a bit too much unnecessary description about Olivia’s feelings or the surroundings and with the lack of progression in the story, I got bored very quickly. The language was, however, very well-written and it was quite easy to visualise what the author was trying to write about.Notes from Ghost Town fell short for me, it might have been that my expectations were too high because I was expecting something entirely different from what it actually was but it definitely is not a typical crime, thriller or murder book so if you’re looking for that in this book, you’ll be disappointed by the lack of it.