Mini-Review: Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

52179715Cadence Archer arrives on Harvard’s campus desperate to understand why her brother, Eric, a genius who developed paranoid schizophrenia took his own life there the year before. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady’s life, and while her decision to follow in her brother’s footsteps threatens to break her family apart, she is haunted by questions of what she might have missed. And there’s only one place to find answers.

As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure at Harvard, she investigates her brother’s final year, armed only with a blue notebook of Eric’s cryptic scribblings. She knew he had been struggling with paranoia, delusions, and illusory enemies—but what tipped him over the edge? With her suspicions mounting, Cady herself begins to hear voices, seemingly belonging to three ghosts who walked the university’s hallowed halls—or huddled in its slave quarters. Among them is a person whose name has been buried for centuries, and another whose name mankind will never forget.

Does she share Eric’s illness, or is she tapping into something else? Cady doesn’t know how or why these ghosts are contacting her, but as she is drawn deeper into their worlds, she believes they’re moving her closer to the truth about Eric, even as keeping them secret isolates her further. Will listening to these voices lead her to the one voice she craves—her brother’s—or will she follow them down a path to her own destruction?

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Random House          Rating: 3½/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  I feel like, of late, I have become more critical of the books I am reading, and Ghosts of Harvard falls into this category.  I found myself very much enjoying the story until the very end when a complete and total cliché got thrown into the ultimate outcome.  For a book that was otherwise entertaining, historically rockin’ with some excellent ghosts, and suitably disturbing, the end just killed it for me.  I was looking for and hoping for an ending that matched the creativity of the rest of the read and that just isn’t what I got, and I felt very let down.  Without giving anything away, I found the ending to be far too cliché and really expected a far more creative ending to an otherwise strong offering.  With all that being said and explained, I still recommend this book.  If you can get past the fact there is going to be a bit of a disappointment in the end, I feel confident you will otherwise enjoy this read as I did.

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