It has a very slow start and though I was interested in the characters and concept, I found myself far from immersed in the story. It did not hold my attention, but I had already been warned that I should just keep reading. And I am glad that I did. Still, book two is substantially better, so if this did not catch your fancy, you may still want to give The Awakening
Chloe Saunders, just fifteen years and five feet tall, looks like a little girl. She attends a theater arts school, her mother died years ago and her dad is pretty distant. But Chloe always makes the best of things and is happy enough. Until the day she starts seeing ghosts and gets shipped off to Lyle House, a group home for mentally ill youths. Her fellow housemates are Simon Bae and his foster brother Derek Souza, Rachelle, Liz and Tori Enright. However, Lyle House is not what it seems and when Chloe starts looking for answers, she finds herself entering a world about which she knows nothing.
I very much liked the idea of all the kids thinking that they had mental issues - you would at first, I think, given that sort of situation. The story just did not seem to progress far enough. So much time spent at Lyle House, not enough on the actual supernatural world/ backstory, nor on character development. I love Chloe's character! She is sensible, far from perfect, but kind and generous. She has a healthy sense of caution and does not blindly trust. She is such a great character.
Also, read Sarah Rees Brennan's review:
I pretty much agree;)
Content notice: No swear words. They swear, but none of the invectives are specifically named and it was very refreshing.