This is my stop for the second book in the Lakeview series by Stacey R. Campbell. This is a young adult mystery series. The tour runs August 3-14 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check back each day this week for my review of the next book in the series, and the tour schedule for all the other good stuff going on.
It’s Halle Henry’s first year at Lakeview Academy . . .
On a snowy January night, just days after a fire that nearly destroyed the school’s library, Elsie Stewart, daughter of the headmaster and founder of Lakeview Academy, dies slipping beneath the ice of frozen Clearwater Lake. Unable to right the wrongs she committed before her tragic death, Elsie’s spirit walks the halls of her father’s school, waiting for someone who can.
One hundred years later, while joining her sister’s friend Leigh to help clean out the school’s administration building before the big remodel, Halle stumbles upon Elsie’s hidden journal.
Obsessed with what she finds, Halle searches the school for clues that may lead to solving a century-old mystery. The only problem is that Halle also talks Calum Stewart, Leigh’s worst nightmare, into helping them.
Once Leigh and Calum are forced work together, sparks fly and no one around them, alive or dead, is left unaffected.
***** Review *****
This is the second installment in the Lakeview series. The first book followed Blakely Henry during her senior year at Lakeview, and now the series continues as her younger sister Halle starts her 8th grade year at Lakeview. Halle has a few older friends from Blakely’s Lakeview days, and she joins up with them to make it through her first year…and enlists their help to discover the treasure that Elsie Stewart’s ghost has written about in her journal that continues to haunt Halle’s every moment. Even though Leigh is Halle’s “big,” Halle enlists Leigh’s ex into the Elsie mix, creating havoc among them.
Halle – new grade 8 student; taken under Leigh’s wing; lives in Campbell House; obsessed with the ghosts of Lakeview; finds Elsie’s journal
Leigh – a fair-skinned redhead who is very clumsy; senior in Campbell House; soccer goalie; dated Calum in grade 8; Halle’s “big sister” on campus
Calum – the best-looking boy at Lakeview; senior in Burns House; taunts Leigh at every opportunity; notorious for his one-night stands; dealing with family baggage; descendant of Elsie Stewart
Griffin – Leigh’s childhood friend, “God’s gift to straight women”; only Leigh knows that Griffin is gay; wants to go to NYU
Christi & David – Leigh and Calum’s friends, respectively, who are dating and gripe at them to be nice to each other
Duncan & Abby – dating; also friends of Leigh’s and the group
Kyle and Missy – Leigh and Halle’s respective nemesis on campus
It’s hard to pick a favorite character because as a collective, Halle and Leigh’s friends make up a great group of characters. Leigh was my absolute favorite character, but I also loved Halle’s enthusiasm and wondrous childlike qualities.
I was a little sad when I read the synopsis and the second book in the series did not follow Blakely. I had to remind myself it was the Lakeview series, so it had to be set at Lakeview Academy. I saw glimpses of Halle in the first book in the context of Blakely’s little sister, so I was not sure what to expect out of her as a character standing on her own.
First, there is some language used in this book. It’s not overly much and I’d say it is there more to enhance the writing and authenticate the character’s conversations and interactions with one another. It helps give a true depiction of the high disregard Leigh and Calum have for one another. Here is one example:
“Yeah, man, no way I’m getting stuck decorating some stupid wedding chapel. I don’t even believe in going out with the same girl twice.”
Leigh sneered. “Alert the media, tell us something we don’t know.”
“Of what, your STD-covered ass? No, thank you. I date men, not boys who don’t know what they’re looking for.”
“Oh, trust me, sweetheart, I’m a man. And I know exactly what to look for. I’m just more man than you can handle.”
Halle’s first year on campus and she already has a network of friends, thanks to her older sister Blakely also attending Lakeview. Halle has done nothing but study a book about local ghosts, with the school founder’s daughter, Elsie, being the #1 ghost around. Each year the older Lakeview students take the newbies on a haunted tour of the campus, promoting the handful of ghosts that supposedly haunt Lakeview.
The school is in the process of being updated and renovated, and a group of students are selected to help clean out the old admin building. In the process, Halle discovers an old journal. It seems like something she’d hand over to the teachers until she discovers it belongs to Elsie Stewart. Halle lets the group in on her secret, but it is kept solely a secret.
As Halle reads Elsie’s journal throughout the semester, she becomes haunted by it, and even Elsie herself. Leigh takes the journal for a while, and experiences a glimmer of Elsie. Calum takes the journal but doesn’t get the ghostly connection. It is not until the group goes exploring across campus, searching for an item from Elsie’s journal, that Calum feels Elsie. They must set right what Elsie could not before her tragic death.
Throughout the novel, Leigh and Calum butt heads like nobody’s business. The viewpoint changes from character to character, mainly focusing on Leigh and Calum, and Calum’s inner thoughts reveal he very much about why his views on relationships are the way that they are. True, this doesn’t excuse his jerky behavior, but it gives insight and depth to his character.
Leigh and Griffin’s relationship is also a big part of the book. Their relationship is one that is beautiful and I want one like it. 🙂
Leigh is also Halle’s go-to. Whenever the journal and Elsie become too much, Leigh is her safe haven. Their relationship shows Leigh in another light away from Calum (even though he is often involved in the Elsie stuff).
What I found most interesting about this installment is that the secondary characters. At least, the boys. David, Griffin and Duncan all are great guys. They push Calum to be a better version of himself, and usually that is hard to do with teenage boys. Usually it is the exact opposite, so I feel their characters are rounded out a little bit more so than in the secondary characters in the first book.
If you enjoy mysteries, ghosts, or just a good read, I recommend this book. You don’t have to read the first in the series; this one can be read as a standalone.
***** About the Author *****
Stacey R. Campbell lives in the San Juan Islands with her husband and three daughters. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and a dyslexic writer that believes there is no such thing as a bad reader. She is the author of the young adult novels Hush, Whisper, Silence & Scream and the highly acclaimed middle grade swashbuckling Pirate book ARRGH!
When not at her desk writing she can be found hiking, sailing, or skiing. She enjoys chocolate in any shape or size, too many cups of coffee and laughing (often too loudly as her daughters say) with her friends and family.
Stacey is available for classroom visits via Skype and loves working with writers and readers of any age; especially those with learning disabilities like her own.
***** Giveaway *****
$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
set of ebooks of the Lakeview series (INT)
set of paperbacks of the Lakeview series (US)
Ends Aug. 18th