I had the opportunity to read and review The Brown House by Christy Sloat. The book is definitely not in a genre I normally like to read. There are very few YA books that I have ever gotten into. Paranormal is hit or miss for me. Romance novels are almost always out of the question for me, too. However, the reason I decided to take this on was for you readers out there. I have a very mixed crowd of followers, but I am aware that many of you book lovers who do read this are quite fond of YA, paranormal, and romance genres. This one has all three, so I figured as a "thank you", I'd swallow my aversion to these genres, and give it a read.
Tghe story is about a teenager names Brylee, who moves with her family from California to New Jersey. She didn't want to come, but soon makes friends with the girl next door, Lyn, and then of course, there is the romantic interest in her older brother, Ephraim. The house Brylee now lives in seems to be haunted, and it's up to her to solve the mysteries of the home's past occupants. Sorry for not giving more info, but I hate to give any story away completely.
For starters, I have to say that I really did not enjoy this book. This doesn't mean it wasn't good writing. In fact, Sloat is an excellent writer in my opinion. My problem was the genre. Unfortunately, I still have a hard time finding any YA novel that interests me. I found the content boring because I don't really relate to it. This story was narrated in first person (Brylee), and Sloat seemed to really catch the essence of a teenager's perspective on things. Her descriptions of scenery were adequate for a YA novel, and even the romance portions were written well. The haunted and spooky aspects of the story were developed well, and the ability to carry this plot into a sequel looks so far to me to be a good choice. One thing I did notice was that at times I felt more character development was needed for the supporting cast. Maybe Book Two does that, but I will never find out.
I want to stress how good of a writer I think Christy Sloat is. I remember feeling the same way about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I tried to read it when it first came out and before the movie was released. I remember thinking that J. K. Rowling was an excellent writer, but I was bored by the fact that the characters were kids. Sloat is a very competent writer, and it shows in her work. I wish I was into the genre even a little bit more than I am, because I would have really gotten into it, I think. With Sloat being an independent writer and having little exposure, I can't use popularity as a basis of comparison, either. But I know what I read, and it was technically quite good. If Sloat wrote about medieval fantasy, I'd definitely give it a shot. I suppose the only other way to describe it is to liken it to how I feel about music. I'm sure that many of you can appreciate bands who are very good in there genre, even if you dislike it. For example, I would take classic Gun's N' Roses any day of the week over anything else. I also loathe country music in general. However, there are times when I am stuck having to listen to country music, and I do notice that some bands/performers out there are just far superior than others. Despite the fact that I hate country music,. I can appreciate the quality of product that some country artists come up with, and I'll still turn the radio dial to something more favorable every time I have the opportunity.
So I guess that sums it up, really. The Brown House is, in my opinion, a good YA/Paranormal Romance read. I have no doubt that Book 2 is/will be just as good as the first. So for those of you who love this genre, I believe it to be worth your time. I have to give Christy Sloat 4 starts on this one. She is a good author and more people need to discover her.
Available at Barnes & Noble; http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-brown-house-christy-sloat/1112134916?ean=2940044689930
Available at Smashwords; http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/173544
Find it on Amazon; http://www.amazon.com/Brown-House-Visitors-Series-ebook/dp/B0089FV9JY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346216471&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Brown+House
Also available at Kobo and other online ebook retailers.
Until next time,