Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart

Title: Nothing but Ghosts
Author: Beth Kephart
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (June 23, 2009)
Genre: Young Adult
Set in: USA
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

My thoughts:
I first heard about this book on a book drive. I think it was a very brilliant initiative but somehow it put me off buying the book. I don’t know why but it did. But last week I told myself to stop being foolish and pick up the book. So I did.

I guess by now everyone knows this is not a Ghost Story. This is a story about Katie and her attempt to dealing with the loss of her mother.

While working on the estate garden of Ms. Martine who has been a recluse and has not come out or shown her face to the outside world for more than 50 years. Katie feels there is a mystery to all this when she is assigned to a gazebo digging project in the Garden. As she struggles to find the mystery of Ms. Martine’s disappearance, she also struggles with her own ghosts, the ones she has carried around since her mothers death.

So thats the basic plot. What I liked about the book? Well, the writing was brilliant. The author can write about grief and suffering so well that you can’t help but feel for all the characters. Speaking of characters, I loved all of them, even the minor ones like Sammy, the 4 year old neighbors kid. I loved the setting of the story and I could almost feel like I was there among the lush greenery of the garden estate.

What I didn’t like in the book? For one, I found it a little slow. Second, I think I’m the only one who has this problem but I think Katie finding out about Ms. Martine’s history and secret was something that was none of her business in the first place. If someone who is still living has kept herself hidden and her past buried, there should be a perfectly good reason for it.  Trying to find out about that secret was like not honoring that person’s wishes.  I really struggled with that part of the story.

Other than that, even though I liked the book, it was kind of forgettable for me. I’m not sure I would remember anything after a few months. But…as you might have seen around the blog-sphere, majority of the readers have loved this book.

I really wanted to love it too but it just wasn’t meant to be.

12 thoughts on “Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart

Add yours

  1. Here’s my opportunity to share how fun it is that we each get something different from a book/story and that a 3.5 rating is still good, dont’ you think? I bought this book for the book drive because I wanted to see the power of the internet (book blogging) in helping with promotion. I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of the blogger and was eager to read something by Kephart; I was curious. I agree the writing was wonderful. And I think I agree a bit with the invasion of privacy issue you bring up but it didn’t bother me too much.
    Will you be reading more by this author? I will.


    1. Yup, 3.5 rating is good. I liked the book but not as much as I expected it too. It could possibly be because I had just finished The Dead Tossed waves which was awesome and really fast, so I thought this was a bit slow 🙂

      I will definitely be reading more by her as I loved her writing.


  2. This book has never really appealed to me, but the continual ravings around the blogosphere have intrigued me. I think I’ll still pick it up if I see it around, but it is good to read a more balanced review.


  3. I liked this book more than you did, but do think a 3.5 is good – it’s better than average. I just love Kephart’s writing, so maybe you should try another one of her books.


  4. Thanks for your honest review, Violet. I’ve seen lots of raving reviews on this one, so out of curiosity I bought it. However I’m in no hurry to read it due to my ever changing reading mood but I will definitely get to it. 🙂


  5. Great review! I find it interesting that, like you, I loved the book drive initiative but at the same time it kind of turn me off the book. I haven’t read it yet, but I still want to. I’m not in the mood for something slow now though, so I’ll wait some more!


  6. I really loved Kephart’s writing. I think its phenomenal. The invasion of privacy didn’t bother me because she’s a young girl and is still curious about things around her. I think it was something to help her keep on track rather than dwell too much on her grief.


  7. I considered buying a copy during the book drive, but reminded myself that just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean I have to, especially since it didn’t sound all that appealing to me. I am glad so many people enjoyed it. And perhaps one day I’ll read a book by this author. I’m just not sure this is one I’ll pick up.


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