(WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!)
Ok so I finished this book last night and let me say right now that I am ITCHING for the next one (not literally, that’d be gross, but I can’t wait!)
Initially I was a little bit disappointed just by the size of the book because the first book was quite bulky, whereas when you pick up this one you’ll notice that it’s a lot thinner, and because I’d really gotten into the last book I was kind of like ‘oh :(‘ because I wanted there to be more of a continuation of the story.
However, whilst this was my first impression, when reading it became clear that the size of the book really didn’t matter as this story was still as captivating and jam-packed as the last one.
First off there is a prologue involving quite a volatile character seeking vengeance, which – from the characters and events of the last book – you would assume to be Gregory. Though the text doesn’t actually give anything away, it is only when you get into the story and things start happening that you can anchor Gregory to the prologue, which makes you wonder what will happen next as even in death it seems Ivy hasn’t escaped Gregory.
This book starts off with Ivy and Will still together and with Tristan’s anniversary looming, the two – along with Beth – have gone to spend the summer with Beth’s aunt Cindy and help to run her B’n’B. The girls – and two others – decide to have a séance with a Ouija board, which ends up making a portal for a spirit to enter earth. The girls are spooked for a bit but seem to think nothing of it, and things appear normal.
I feel that the locations used and their descriptions are very romantic and peaceful, for example the beach and how Ivy and Guy walk along the water’s edge, though can also be made quite melancholic, for example, when they honour Tristan’s death on the beach, which shows the versatility and power of Chandler’s writing to evoke emotions from the reader as her characters and their emotions are anything but flat. I felt as though I was drawn into the story and could believe it.
Ivy still desperately misses Tristan and starts questioning her feelings for Will, and when Ivy and Beth are involved in a car accident, Ivy see’s Tristan’s spirit, and even though it is clear that Ivy wants to stay with Tristan, his kiss brings her back to life, the exchange being quite sad as he promises to always be with her, and lets her go back to her life, and when she wakes she mourns for Tristan all the more as she feels like she has lost him all over again.
The exchange between the two is very vivid, you can almost feel the floaty-ness of Ivy’s spirit, and the descriptions of the shimmer around them, made me envisage their spirits bathed in starlight. When the two speak it’s heartbreaking as you can feel the longing in Ivy and the love pouring out of Tristan so much so, that you know he doesn’t want this for her yet, and when the two part, it definitely tugs on the heartstrings.
Becoming increasingly distant from Will and spending time alone, Ivy meets Guy, a patient in the hospital with amnesia. Feeling sorry for him and wanting to help, Ivy helps him escape from the hospital, and throughout the story spend more and more time together, so much so to the annoyance of Will that they break up, as well as Beth who becomes icy with her best friend.
When reading I became increasingly annoyed with both Beth and Will, as, although -as Ivy says- she has known and been with Will a lot longer than she had known Tristan, it is clear Ivy still misses Tristan, which I feel is a normal reaction to that kind of loss as it isn’t something you can just get over, and Will should know that. However, it seems like he becomes almost jealous of Tristan and – as Beth says in the book – feels like he’s competing with a dead guy, and seeing as it’s only just coming up to the year mark should understand that Ivy will be fragile and will need her space.
Likewise with Beth, as, as Ivy was becoming distant from Will it seemed that Beth and Will were spending a lot of time together and obviously exchanging notes on Ivy ‘going off the rails’, the extent to which at some points I did just think, you two spend so much time together you may as well be together! However, when looking back after reading the book it could be said that if Beth was possessed by Gregory -read below – as far back as the night of the séance, his spirit could’ve been working to poison Will’s mind against Ivy’s belief in Guy to make it less likely other people would believe in Tristan and so make his plan more able to succeed, as he did in the last book in his life.
As Ivy and Guy spend more and more time together – and after a visit from Lacey, who tells her Tristan will be in masses of trouble for saving her – Ivy starts to see Tristan in Guy and the pair’s relationship blossoms. However, Beth keeps going into trances and delivering odd messages relating to the danger and tells Ivy that Gregory has returned and could be possessing Guy as she knows nothing about him and Ivy doesn’t have the best track record trusting the right people. Undeterred Ivy still chooses to spend time with Guy until, nearing the end of the book, it is clear that Guy, or Luke – his ‘real’ name- is a wanted man and Ivy feels again that she should have listened to her friends. Luke then goes to see her and recounts memories of Tristan that Ivy had previously not told him and it is clear that this was Tristan’s punishment for saving her and that Tristan has come back to her, as Luke.
When the two realise that Luke is actually Tristan come back to Ivy as she had believed, it feels unfair for them as it is a race against time as you know they won’t be able to stay together very long as the police are looking for Luke, and just as soon as they realise they’ve found each other again they are forced apart, and you start to think that these two were never supposed to be together, otherwise fate wouldn’t keep dealing them these hands, although, it is clear as to the magnitude of the scale to which they love one another, and so you desperately want them to find a way to be together. Especially seeing as – as I said in the review of the first book – I didn’t feel like they had much time together in the beginning, and it always seems like the realisation of situations hits too late, and their time together is always limited.
However, that still leaves the issue of Gregory’s return, and when Ivy witnesses Beth using the Ouija board again by herself which spells out Gregory is here, and recounts Beth’s strange behaviour, the book is left open-ended with Ivy coming to the conclusion that Gregory is possessing Beth.
The scene is which Ivy discovers Beth using the board is quite chilling, as the first séance was very frivolous and a joke, whereas this is deadly serious.
I could just imagine Ivy hiding in the shadows watching Beth illuminated by candles and hunched over asking the questions. I could also feel Ivy’s terror when she realises what is happening and dashes in to end the exchange, as well as when the realisation hits that Gregory is possessing Beth not Luke.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and have really got into the series. I love the way Chandler uses vivid locations and descriptions to portray a mood and create a picture: “Do you know what it’s like to float on a lake, a circle of trees around you, a big blue bowl of sky above you, the sun sparkling at the tips of your fingers and toes.” As well as how she makes the love aspect very heart-felt and believable, which she contrasts very well with fear and terror to produce plot twists that are all the more shocking. I can’t wait for the next book.