Ghoster

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

Where to start? I thought this was a thriller and it ended up being horror. I thought this was a social media thriller and really had that mindset. The events just seem to get more extreme that you really need to suspend disbelief for this one. Others have said the same thing. Maybe if I went in knowing this, I would feel differently. With that being said up front, it was still a 3 star read for me. It reminded me of that Black Mirror episode and the writing really was great. I was engaged from the beginning, I just wasn't expecting horror. 

3 stars for great writing that really kept me engaged.
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I am a member of the American Library Association Reading List Award Committee. This title was suggested for the 2020 list. It was not nominated for the award. The complete list of winners and shortlisted titles is at 
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I expected this story to be a little bit of a chick lit/Rom-Com kind of book. What I did
not expect was any sort of supernatural elements involved at all and it kind of threw me for a loop. 
I very much enjoyed this story though it was a cute read that I didn't have to give much attention
to because it really spoke to me. It starts with our main character finding the man of her dreams 
on a dating app. Things are going great and moving along quickly, in fact she is due to move in with 
him in a few days time. The only down side is with only a few days till the big move her prince charming
has disappeared. He's stopped answering calls texts, emails, in fact he has ghosted her completely and
Kate has no idea why. The story is told from two different time lines the one where Kate meets Scott 
and falls in love and it talks about how their relationship blooms, then it changes to when he is MIA
and no one knows what is going on. I really liked how it was written that way because it let you as 
a reader try to figure out what was going on before it was actually revealed and it let you see if 
you could spot any red flags that our main character might have missed. What I did find interesting was
the author jumped between a time when Kate and Scott were all lovey-dovey and then to the time when 
Scott is MIA. It was very interesting to see things play out on both sides as the story progressed.
The best part about that was the author signified the change in time by putting a date at the top of
the chapter, that small detail saves the reader a lot of confusion and made the book one million times
more enjoyable because you were able to get right into the story without trying to figure out what
was going on time frame wise. I highly suggest that every one read this book however if you are going
to do it then clear your schedule because once you start you won't be able to put it down until you 
finish it no matter what the time. The best part was when the book went from a chick lit book to a 
supernatural story it was very unexpected and I didn't think I'd enjoy it however I loved every word.
Great read and I'm very glad that I got the chance to check out this story. You won't want to miss it.
The ending was amazing I never saw it coming.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you NetGalley.

Ghoster had all the elements to be a great read.   The premise was there.. it really was. 
But something was missing from this book.   Something was missing from the writing and it ultimately left a lot to be desired.   I was pretty disappointed midway through the book..  nevermind at the end. 

It had such potential, it just didn't reach it.  
BUT i still did enjoy bits and pieces of this book honestly.
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Published by Orbit on October 22, 2019

Ghoster is a clever variation on a ghost story. It suggests a supernatural basis for the supernatural hold that smartphones have over their users. Are we the masters of our gadgets or, by wiring ourselves to the digital world, have we become lost souls?

Kate Collins thought her luck had finally changed. After dating a string of losers, she met Scott with an assist from Tinder. Convinced that he would be the one to save her from a life of loneliness, she agreed to move in with him. He has a nice apartment with a sea view but it is in a different city, so she gives up her lease and quits her job as a paramedic and readies herself for a new life.

A few days before the scheduled move, Scott goes silent. Texts receive no response. Voicemails go unanswered. When the movers arrive, she has them load up her property and races to Scott’s place ahead of them. Convinced that Scott is not answering the door because he is seriously injured, she breaks in and finds that the place is empty, all the furniture gone, with no clue as to Scott’s whereabouts. Was he abducted and killed? Kate assumes the worst until her best friend tells her that Scott is still posting on social media. The realization that she has been played by Scott is even worse than her fear that Scott was dead.

Having nowhere else to go, Kate squats in the apartment. She finds Scott’s apparently discarded iPhone, figures out his password, and becomes obsessed with the phone’s content. Apart from the usual treasury of porn and a record of Scott’s Tinder contacts, she finds videos of sleeping people and Scott's online diary. None of that is quite as disturbing as the sudden appearance of Scott’s less charming twin brother, the fresh scratch marks at the door, and the occasional appearance of a blue spectral figure.

Ghoster creates the suspense that readers of horror stories demand. For much of the novel, ambiguity drives the plot. Is Scott dead or is he playing a nasty trick on Kate? Is Scott’s brother simply self-centered or is he malicious? Is Scott’s apartment haunted or is there a logical explanation for the phenomena that bewilder Kate? The story works because the reader is never quite sure where it will go.

Kate’s chatty first-person narration also contributes to the novel’s success. Jason Arnopp’s lively prose and his sympathetic portrayal of Kate make the novel an easy and fun read. The story’s message — we should all think about our enslavement to smartphones — is all the more resonant because it never gets in the way of an engaging plot.

RECOMMENDED
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As other reviewers before me have stated this book is actually horror that starts out as a sort of love story/thriller/mystery. I used to be a big fan of horror until the psychological thriller genre came on the scene and honestly I would not have requested this book had it been in the actual horror category. But I’m glad I read it and found it very enjoyable! The characters were interesting and well fleshed out and I found myself turning pages faster than I would have thought possible. This could also be a cautionary tale for anyone truly addicted to their smartphone! I will definitely check out other titles by this author.
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Short Summary: Kate is moving in with her boyfriend, Scott, but when she shows up in her moving van he’s gone, the house completely empty except for his cell phone. Determined to find him, wanting to know why he’d do this, she starts looking through his phone but the things she finds have her questioning everything.

Thoughts: I wasn’t anticipating the supernatural aspects but it sure did make for a suspenseful, gotta keep flipping the pages to figure out what the heck is going on, and unsettling read.

Verdict: Honestly, I was loving how entertained I was by this one, but the ending was super bizarre and Arnopp went a bit overkill on the “technology is evil message”.
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I  want to start this review by stating that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, however this is very much my cup of tea!! More and more I am starting to realize that I love “horror comedy” as a genre since I also adore Grady Hendrix. 

At times this book did give me a bit of whiplash, and it did seem to be trying to make some faux-deep points about our generations media addiction, but aside from that I thought the plot line was well written, the characters were well thought out, and overall it was a very enjoyable experience!

This book is about Kate who meets someone at a digital media detox getaway that she clicks with almost instantly. Set to move in together, she gets ghosted and must move on from the experience. 

I don’t want to give much more away than that!

I also want to point out that this is very much a horror novel, and not a thriller. I’m wondering if that is causing some of the mixed reviews on this book.
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Kate Collins is addicted to social media. In order to crack the habit, she enrolls in a technology detox program and buys an old school indestructible Nokia phone. At the detox program, she meets Scott Palmer. The two hit it off and soon, Scott asks Kate to move in with him. On the day she is meant to move in, she arrives at his apartment in a new city to find it abandoned with no Scott, no furniture, and the utilities cut off. She does, however, find his cell phone. Knowing no one in town, and having nowhere else to go, she crashes in his empty apartment with her moving boxes. In the apartment, she finds some oddities, scratches on his door, the feeling that she's being watched, and a strange phone call on Scott's cell.

Convinced that something bad has happened to Scott, Kate hunkers down to solve the mystery. As she slowly begins to unravel the mystery, she meets people that knew Scott and she also hacks his phone to access his social media, Tinder, texts, and personal diary. Kate discovers that she didn't really know the man she loves as much as she thought. Did these secrets lead Scott to a bad end and will Kate follow?

Let's get this straight, I loved the concept of this book. However, the execution of that concept left me wanting. The first half to 75% of this book is written like a thriller with almost no horror elements thrown in besides some creepy phone calls and an overly aggressive dog. There are supernatural elements to the story in the first half but they are presented in a very nonchalant way with little reaction from the characters. The mystery surrounding Scott is intriguing and kept me involved but I kept waiting for the supernatural or something scary to happen. When the mystery answers start to reveal themselves, the book had felt like it was dragging along and I was too checked out for the finale.

That said...hoooooooooooly crap. The ending was superb. Even though I felt like this book needed 100 fewer pages and I was happy to get to the end, the end did not disappoint and brought me right back to being super invested. I was, and remain, shocked by what transpired at the end of this book.

Jason Arnopp uses horror like he's seasoning food with a broken salt shaker. He sprinkles a little bit, here a little bit there, until the lid falls off and all the horror salt falls out. This is a fun horror/thriller that's definitely worth your time to check out.
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This story went in a direction that I wasn't expecting and don't particularly like (just a personal reading preference). It started out very interesting and intriguing but got very dark and scary pretty quickly. I think fans of horror would love this but those who are a little wary to things that go bump in the night may not enjoy it as much. 

I received an e-arc of this book to read and review from the publisher and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Based on the description, I expected this book to be something different. It was very well written, was not hard to read, and most of the characters had depth to them, but I had a hard time identifying with one the main characters, which can definitely make it hard to stay interested. I don't have to love the character, just understand their POV and with this one, it was definitely difficult to justify a lot of her actions/storyline in my head. Not my usual cup of tea but as I said, it was very well written!
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I originally requested this book because I like the concept of people disappearing and the use of social media and cell phones to track people down. And while I may be a huge fantasy, I still need to be able to believe the actions happening in a book. Right from the start I was having a hard time believing the actions behind the main character. I agree and understand with her addiction to social media and why she would stay away from it, that isn't the problem, it came to how she got into Scott's apartment, stayed there, and didn't tell anyone. Also, are you telling me there are people out there that wouldn't top to bottom search their loved one's phone's contents immediately and multiple times when the person they are missing?? The spread out quality of the checks and fear of viewing things, felt like a ploy to expand the book.

I also disliked how every time something creepy and engrossing was starting to happen, we'd flip to a flashback. Every. Time. Then we'd come back and the scary bit would be over and back to the drag we'd go. So yes, there are creepy moments that are awesome, but they'd last a second since we'd be forced back to happier more annoying times. I'm thinking this style of writing just doesn't work for me, but perhaps it does for others.
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Weird

This was a very different from what I expected. The writing was quite good, well layered characters, highly unlikable as well. Kate is quite immature and not bright. What odd and ridiculous choices she makes. Painful. 

This wasn’t a cut and dry thriller. It went rogue into the “out there” category. Not really my thing and entirely unbelievable but still interesting... Definitely a lesson in this one. I was entertained. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Orbit Books for a copy in exchange for a review.
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There is a lot of buzz buzzing about this book and I can completely understand why. Social media and technology is how the story is being told to you and it's genius. I loved it.

I just wish I loved the story as much as the format used.

Overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere of this novel and I’ll definitely be picking up Arnopp's next novel because despite this one flopping a little for me I still have faith and really enjoy his writing. The characters and setting here are what really shined for me, I was just hoping for a little more…oomph out of the ending. This one ended in a way that felt a bit like watching a scary movie and the music is the only thing really getting your heart racing. You know you’re supposed to be thrilled but you’re just not quite there yet. This book has been enjoyed by so many people, so please don’t let my review stop you from reading it as I’m sure if you enjoy reading thrillers you’ll love this book.
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Forget about computers taking over the world, instead we should all be worried about our smart phones taking over!

In this suspenseful multi genre book of psychological thriller meets ghost story meets the macabre, you have a recipe for one heck of a ride!

When Kate Collins meets and falls in love with Scott Palmer at a weekend retreat on how to curb phone addiction, and he finally asks her to relocate and move in with him, she is beyond thrilled.

As the date of her move nears, Kate's contact with Scott goes silent.  Determined to squelch her fears that she has been dumped, or even that he has died, she packs up and moves her life.  But when she gets to his apartment what she finds jolts her.  Not only is Scott not there, but the apartment is empty with the exception of his cell phone.

Has the love of her life ghosted her? But why would he leave his phone in an empty apartment?  So Kate decides to play detective. She figures out Scott's password to his phone.  And that's when the situation begins to get very creepy.

Once into his phone, Kate discovers certain apps which she cannot believe belong to the  person she fell in love with.  How was he able to hide this other side of himself?

The story gets even eerier as Kate begins to see what she believes is a ghost and she starts to receive strange calls with strange voices from Scott's phone. But she is determined to find the answers and thus begins her obsession with his phone.

The underlining theme of the story is how we have become so co-dependent on social media for all types of entertainment that we are constantly looking down and never looking up. Our phones have taken on almost a human/friend component.

Ghoster was such a great read I was so tempted to flip to the last page, but I didn't and I am glad I was able to wait for the surprising ending which will suck you in!

Thank you so much to #NetGalley #OrbitBooks #JasonArnopp for the advanced copy.
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It was one of the most straightforward books when I started reading it and by the end I was demanding more.  You know absolutely nothing about what is going on, I assure you. You can guess, but you'll not get it right. It made frustrating sense, but I want more in the end.  The twist the book takes is delicious and made my jaw drop.  I'll take a prequel or a sequel. Just make it.
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Ghoster

by Jason Arnopp

Orbit Books

Orbit

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 22 Oct 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Ghoster through Orbit Books and Netgalley:

Kate Collins has been Ghosted. She was supposed to move in with her new Boyfriend Scott, but he disappeared with all of his belongings except for his smart phone. Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone, that she should look at his social media, his calls, his text messages or his Tinder, but she isn’t able to help herself.

When she starts looking into his phone the trouble starts. Strange, phone calls with someone whispering from numbers she doesn’t recognize. Unexplainable Scratch marks on the walls. And the sinking feeling that she’s being watched.
Kate refuses to leave the apartment – she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realizes just how little she really knows about the man she loves.

I cannot recommend this book to anyone under the age of sixteen due to intense language and subject matter but I find this song to be worthy of three out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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Started strong, and made for a brilliant read. Enjoyed the plot and really gets you thinking, Look forward to more by this author.
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I was intrigued from the first page and any time I had to put it down I couldn't wait to pick it back up.  I kept wanting to understand what happened to Scott Palmer.  I thought at first he just left Kate but as the twists kept coming I realized that wasn't the case.  I didn't think the book was creepy or scary but actually having finished it, made me realize we all have our nose in our phones too much of the time and that our phones emulate "the master".  Were they dead the entire time?
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3-4 stars.  I enjoyed this book overall, but also struggled with how it was written too,  I think the characters tended to do things that sort of took from the story, but it was still one I had a hard time setting down and enjoyed.  I think it was really important with so much online dating, social media use today.  I really got the chills in many places.  Overall, I think most will enjoy this read and get some good thrills and chills!  
Will make sure I buzz it up!
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