Everyone thinks Echo Simmons is crazy, but being The Ghost Host isn’t just a YouTube hoax like people think. It’s the only way to control the ghosts haunting her…at least until the FBI shows up asking questions.
The first eighteen years of Echo Simmons’ life have been less than ideal. On more than one occasion her parents have considered committing her. They don’t believe she sees ghosts or that they harass her on a daily basis. So when a rogue ghost begins tormenting her, they’re the last people she’s going to tell. Her best friends Holden and Zara are doing their best to help, but ghost attacks are only the beginning of Echo’s problems.
Handling the ghosts by giving them a voice on YouTube through her webshow has been her saving grace—even if her parents think it’s all a hoax—but that gets a little complicated when the ghost of Madeline Crew reveals a little too much about her previous life and the FBI shows up at her door wanting to know how she gained access to long-buried government secrets.
I had really high hopes for this book. The synopsis sounded great and I love a good paranormal/physic medium book. This seemed right up my alley, but it wasn't quite what I was hoping for. I wasn't totally disappointed, the storyline held, I just had a really hard time connecting with the characters.
Echo is the ghost medium in this story. She controls her ability/situation with the ghosts by hosting an online show, The Ghost Host, in order for the ghosts to get their messages across. The ghosts have to adhere to certain rules in order to be guests on her show. It is one of the ghosts with a message to her grandson Malachi that helps set this story in motion. Malachi sees that particular episode and reaches out to Echo for more information, especially to find out if she is a fake. He isn't quite sold on the idea of ghosts and mediums. Malachi and Echo feel an instant connection on the phone. They are separated by distance, so they talk on the phone, Skype, and text.
Echo kinda drifts along life. She doesn't have a plan, her parents pretty much rule her life, and what they can't control (the ghost aspect, which they don't believe in), her friend Holden makes decisions for her and protects her. She finally starts getting a backbone when it comes to Malachi. I enjoyed watching her come out of her shell and figuring out things for herself. She is really starting to become a strong solid character.
Malachi is a freshman in college. He is pretty much a rock solid character. He knows who he is and pretty much where he is going in life. I liked him right away. One issue I have with him is his dialogue. I felt the author threw in phrases to make him seem more "Southern" since he is from Georgia. Yes, different regions have different phrases and ways of saying things, but I felt like it was too much. They aren't always spouting off these saying whenever they can. Also, his need to not push Echo in their relationship. While I respect it, it didn't seem very realistic. He is an experience guy in college, and suddenly he holds himself back (for a while) without even kissing Echo when they are in a relationship. I understand not pushing sex, but kissing... It seemed pretty juvenile.
All in all, this book was pretty good. There was a good amount of mystery that kept me reading. The relationships between the main and secondary characters were fun and believable. There was also quite a bit of action. Keep in mind that this is the first book in the series, and it is not really a stand alone. The story of the Ghost Host is far from over!
Somehow, I always knew the people I saw hovering around looking aimless were ghosts, and it never really bothered me. Sometimes I talked to them when I was little. They never talked back. Sometimes they would play with me, though. My mom used to tell people what a good baby I was, how I never cried or fussed. She thought she had just lucked out with an easy first kid. Really, I always had someone standing over my crib smiling at me or making silly faces. Ghosts really seem to like being around babies for some reason.
It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized some of my ghostly friends were hanging around for a reason. A few of them were just lonely and either weren’t ready to move on or didn’t know how. I haven’t got a clue about how to send them on their way, so I figure the least I can do is keep them company.
Others, they had messages they wanted to pass on. At first, I didn’t know how to do that without getting into trouble. My mom refused to make phone calls or send my letters to who she deemed were random strangers. I found ways to get the letters in the mail, at least, without her knowing, but it wasn’t easy and they occasionally got sent back to us when the address proved inaccurate. Mom wasn’t happy when she found one and realized what I’d been doing.
Holden was the one who came up with the idea for the webshow. It made things a lot easier since my parents think it’s just a funny hoax we like to pull, and it gives us a hobby and keeps me out of trouble for the most part. That’s the biggest reason they let me do it. As I got older and more capable, more able to help the ghosts, they became more insistent. That’s when things got really bad.
Up until that point, I didn’t know the ghosts could affect my dreams, and not in a good way. The nightmares got progressively worse, morphing into full on night terrors. The headaches followed, though I’m still not sure if the ghosts were trying to talk to me, or just doing whatever they could to get my attention. Sometimes, their presence would become so oppressive as they tried to communicate that I would completely zone out… which sent my grades into the toilet and my behavior into the realm of unmanageable. The worst by far is when they try to touch me.
DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist.