Bad Girl Gone by Temple Matthews
Publication Date August 8, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.
There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.
She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.
She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.
She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
This was a different kind of ghost story and very different from what I expected. From the title I expected Echo to be a really bad girl, and she wasn’t really. She wasn’t exactly nice, but I wouldn’t have categorized her as bad either. What she did that got her killed, might be seen as bad, but I think she was just naive and manipulated into a situation that she later regretted. Apart from all that the book was an enjoyable read.
The theme of the book centers around this group of kid ghosts who have all been murdered. They need to solve their murders and get revenge or get the perpetrators arrested for their crimes before they can move on. The group that befriends echo is an interesting group. Cole is the first one to really try to help her and becomes a love interest maybe a little too fast. Echo left a boyfriend behind when she was killed that she was ‘in love’ with. She finds herself torn between them, but eventually realizes that she can’t still have Andy anymore and turns to Cole. There have been a lot of reviews where people diss on the romance triangle and that it should have been left out of the story, but I found it sort of sweet, and it didn’t bother me that much. It did sort of bother me that Andy was easily lead to move on past her death. That seemed a little to contrived, her parents as well seemed to move on too quick.
I was able to figure out who had killed her pretty quickly although the why eluded me until it was revealed. I was still fun following this little band of ghosts around and watching them figure it all out. All of them have some type of special ability such as being able to move objects, which made their hauntings more exciting. Having it set in Kirkland, WA was also a fun twist. I recognized some of the places mentioned, but I think some may have been made up.
Overall this was a fun read for me. It seems to be one of those books that people have either hated or loved by the looks of the ratings on Goodreads. I’m falling somewhere in the middle. It had some issues, but it was still a fun read that kept me turning the pages and wanting to see how it all ended. It ended on a positive note with a possible opening for it to be a series, which could be fun.