Cover Image: Come When I Call You

Come When I Call You

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Member Reviews

Come When I Call You had an interesting premise and a haunting setting but despite all that and some talented writing it just wasn't for me.

Anna is staying at her remote school for the holidays with friend Penelope, when her cousin Lucia turns up having arrived on the same day a tragedy strikes. Lucia and Anna have a secret to do with seeing dead people..so I dont know maybe think Sixth Sense meets Mallory Towers. The whole set up was excellent but after that it kind of lost momentum.

It was bizarrely disjointed and rambling on occasion with a lot of long drawn out exposition that for me didn't add much. The characters read a lot younger than they were described as being (hence my Mallory Towers thing) and the end was entirely too convoluted.
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Come When I Call You had an interesting premise and a haunting setting but despite all that and some talented writing it just wasn't for me.

Anna is staying at her remote school for the holidays with friend Penelope, when her cousin Lucia turns up having arrived on the same day a tragedy strikes. Lucia and Anna have a secret to do with seeing dead people..so I dont know maybe think Sixth Sense meets Mallory Towers. The whole set up was excellent but after that it kind of lost momentum.

It was bizarrely disjointed and rambling on occasion with a lot of long drawn out exposition that for me didn't add much. The characters read a lot younger than they were described as being (hence my Mallory Towers thing) and the end was entirely too convoluted.

However I didnt entirely hate it. The writing often drew me back to it and whilst I probably wont read more in this series I'd definitely read something different from this author.
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1.5 stars. 
I didn't enjoy this book. I really thought I'd like it because the premise sounded amazing and the prologue was actually really really good, but the rest of it... so dull. 

While I was reading it nothing really happened. I felt like it was more of an inside monologue of the main character than a story per se. Also, I didn't really like any of the characters, maybe Penelope was the most enjoyable for me, but none of them were relatable nor deep.

I gave it 1.5 stars because, as I said before, the prologue was great, but this story was not for me at all.

Thanks to Netgalley and Deep Dark Press for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review
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I had hoped that from the synopsis this book would be one I really enjoyed, but unfortunately I struggled with that. There was great potential in it, but I found it hard to relate to the characters and the story just didn't compel me to keep reading.
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Thank you net galley and the publisher for this book! So Lucia is the most intriguing character to me everything about her drew me in at first. For me this book was hard to get thru, I loved the boarding school ghost story atmosphere I just felt it was slow at times but overall a good story!
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DNF. Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for this early copy! I decided to not keep reading this one, it was not for me. Thanks!
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Come When I Call You is pitched as a contemporary ghost story centering around two young girls Anna and Lucia over the course of their winter break at a boarding school in Canada. The two girls are cousins, one of whom can see the ghosts of people that she knew prior to their death. This is the foundation for the events that follow after Lucia abruptly shows up at the boarding school that Anna attends desperate for help with a ghost related problem.

There were many things to like about this book, the setting was chilling, and the writing conveyed a sense of melancholy that only added to the haunting overtone of the story itself. However, I think there were a few things that impeded my enjoyment and made me all the more confused. One of these is the lack of background leading up to the events that take place in the story. There were many places where the writing was choppy and the main character reflected on the past in order to make sense of the present. This wouldn't have been much of a problem, but it happened way too much for my liking. I think if more time had been spent on the foundation of the story then the main character wouldn't have had to resort to constantly explaining other characters actions as well as her own. The other roadblock for me was the constant side tracking which kept me from understanding exactly what was going on in a scene and where the story was going. The underlying romance between Anna and Ben was one of those. It just got in the way of the story and took attention away from where it was needed. It would have been understandable, but the two characters never sorted out their feelings for one another and given the amount of times it was brought up they should have. In sum, if a laidback, easy to read book is what you're looking for then give this one a try. It may not knock your socks off but it will get the job done.
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Despite being beautifully written, eventually, I found it bordering and eventually crossing into the realm of slightly flowery language. I enjoyed the rest of the book and I think it captured atmosphere pretty well; however it was tainted by the redundant language, and I found myself bogged down by the abundance of details. might just be me, though. I truly think the author is really talented, but I think there just needs to be refinement of scope and a clarity of focus on the essential elements.  On the other hand, the sense of foreboding was done really well and I found myself feeling really anxious while reading it. I also loved the dark mood of the setting. Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read with a rather noticeable flaw. I'll definitely check out the author's other works.
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I wanted to like this book after reading the description and seeing the cover on Netgalley. It looked creepy and intriguing. Plus I’m a sucker for any ghost story! After reading a chapter in, I didn't even want to finish reading this book to do the review on it. It was horribly written and jumped around too much with way too many details that in my personal opinion weren’t even necessary. Not even halfway in I couldn't understand what the book was supposed to be about. Was it a ghost story or about her life in boarding school? 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ Don't waste your time picking up this book. 


Likes: creepy factors were added in giving it a ghost story vibe 

Dislikes: from the prologue to chapter one the reader can see a significant amount of time has passed; but it’s hard to determine just how much until your starting chapter 3(the author should have noted how many years have passed before starting chapter one), the story plot is hard to follow and jumps around a lot, too many details they aren’t necessary, the comparisons the author used in the book are awkward 

⭐️ 

*Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read an early readers’ copy in exchange for an honest review*
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I thought this was going to be a really fun and creepy ghost story set in a boarding school over the holiday break, but it was actually fairly dull and never really resolved by the end.
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This haunting, thriller had me reading late into the night, and watching all the shadows. It is painted with beautiful descriptions that unfold like a movie in your head. And is cleverly vague so that its hard to decipher what is real, or imagined or drug induced. Anna Maron has stayed behind at her exclusive boarding school during the holidays, together with a girl she worships and her best friend Ben. When her strange younger cousin Lucia shows up, events start spiraling out of control and Anna knows it can only end badly...she just doesn't know how. This is set against the backdrop of a historic snowstorm, which appears to be a metaphor for whats happening to the characters. This book drew me in from the first page and was impossible to put down. It was chilling and poetic and unforgettable.
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Rather silly novel, not my cup of tea.  Thank you anyway, to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.
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I really felt like I had read this before the whole time I was reading it but I know that can't be true. It's just been done so many times--boarding school., ghosts, visions, etc. Maybe if you hadn't read any of the other hundreds of similar books you'd be more enchanted but to me it seemed like a rehash of a lot of other, better books.
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I was really excited about this one, but unfortunately it just missed the mark for me. I found it quite slow, and the pay off didn't really seem worth it. The characters also seemed pretty dull to me.

I'm sure that this book would work for some, but unfortunately I was expecting more.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this E-book to review via Netgalley.
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First up a big big thank you to Netgalley/publisher for allowing me to read this book. I am glad I got the chance because gothic boarding school in the middle of winter + ghosts sounds amazing... however.. I just couldn't continue after 20+%. The characters were just meh, the text at times seemed to go nowhere (or just seemed to be endless, I think at least half of things said/described could have been shortened) + Lucia was NOT a good addition to the cast because I wasn't a fan of her when she was little (entitled little brat) and I wasn't happy to see her back, acting rather like 9 instead of 13. I don't get why our MC would want to woo her roommate, given what we see of her in the first parts... no thank you. And I don't know, I just missed more of the atmosphere. It wasn't that scary to me. Even when she met that ghost in the park.. as soon as she ran away it just got boring again. 
And after a few parts with Lucia... who was even worse than years ago... Yes, I think it is sad that she is being stalked by her mom's ghosts, but other than that... go away please. 
Also I read some other reviews, and I would already just DNF it for what the author apparently says about a vacant train platform (which I couldn't believe was added, but there it was in my copy when I searched for it). NO just FREAKING NO. You don't compare a vacant train platform with concentration camps. Fuck no.
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Sounded intriguing from the synopsis. A creepy story about a sixteen year old girl, Anna, who attends boarding school. Anna along with her thirteen year old cousin are able to see the dead. Anna decides to stay at school over winter break to avoid her family, but her cousin ends up shows up. Gothic and dark academia vibe.
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I thought this would be a delightful, scary and unique ghost story (according to my fellow reviewers). Sadly, this was very slow going read about a girl (or, actually, two girls) who could see... the dead! No spoilers here, the fact is given in the first chapter. And then... Nothing happens for a while. A lot of waiting around culminating with the superbly (!) described scene right from the horror movie.

And then - the end. I understand this is a first installment in the new series of "The Violent and Dead", but as a stand-alone book/story - it is a very weak read. I am not interested enough to wait for the second installment.

With many thanks to the publisher and @NetGalley for providing a free e-copy in exchange for a review.
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Pitched as a "Gothic Ghost Story," "Come When I Call You" is in turns creepy and oddly slow. It started really strong, but I felt like the author couldn't quite find balance between creating the right atmosphere and telling the story. There was also a lot of traipsing around the boarding school grounds. It is a fine book--definitely give it a read if you like ghost stories.
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*1.5*

Thank you to NetGalley and Deep Dark Press for gifting me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Oh boy... where do I begin with this one? I am a very generous reviewer and tend to like a vast majority of what I read, but this one was just so hard to get through for a couple of reasons. But before I get into that, let me give you a simple rundown of the story:

Sixteen-year-old Anna attends a posh boarding school she views as an escape from her life and family -- including her 13-year-old cousin Lucia, a strange, mystical girl with the unnerving gift of seeing the dead, one that Anna shares and would like to forget about. Over winter break, Anna decides to stay at her boarding school to avoid her family, a plan that backfires when Lucia shows up outside of her dorm, begging for help. We then follow them over the course of the next two days as they navigate the blisteringly-cold winter and the ghosts that come with it.

While the description bills this book as a modern Gothic akin to The Little Stranger or The Haunting of Hill House (neither of which I have read) I have a really hard time believing this. The story is punctuated with 4 bona fide ~ghost~ scenes and the rest is a mind-numbingly boring account of Anna, Lucia, and company roaming the boarding school's deserted grounds doing... nothing?

They go to the dining hall a bunch of times. They inexplicably hike out to a lake for no apparent reason. They wander around buildings looking for each other while Anna in a painful, meandering, first-person perspective tells us about how she doesn't fit in and feels alone and is in love with her guy friend and blah blah blah. I was expecting a lot more action, but by the time I hit the 60% completion mark hardly anything had happened at all -- this is my first issue with the book.

My second issue is the writing style. As a self-proclaimed writer myself, I am a firm believer that an author's style can make or break a piece of work, either sabotaging what could have been a perfectly good plot and characters, or compensating for a lack of plot. One of my favorite books ever, Duplex by Kathryn Davis, falls into the latter category. It was hard to make sense of it at times, but the writing was so lush and spectacular it didn't matter. In the case of this book, oh boy, did the writing really knock it down a notch or two or three.

When I mentioned that the narrative voice was meandering, that was an understatement -- more than once one sentence would have so many asides and sub-clauses that it was the length of a hefty paragraph. And there were So. Many. Similes. Almost every other sentence had one, and they ranged from humorously-ridiculous to outright distasteful. For example:

"...her muted misery more upsetting than anything else, unnatural and tinged with danger, like watching a known killer cradle a baby, his dirty fingernails against a plump cheek."

"Though she was clearly aware that I was there, she didn't waste another glance on me... like an autistic twelve-year-old who has acknowledged you, then... entirely blocks you out."

"The vacant platform reminded me of... a concentration camp, all those threatening stoves, the empty bunk up to the ceiling, and you the only person walking through the square where all those prisoners stood in aching rows, waiting to die."

Those are real quotes, and notice my liberal use of ellipses to cut out all of the other meandering bits of each overdrawn metaphor.

Another issue is that this whole story just seemed really unrealistic, especially since the characters were only 13 and 16 years old. If your 13-year-old daughter disappeared, wouldn't you call the police? Also, although most of the children had gone home for the holidays, there was still some staff on campus -- why did they never see the children running around, breaking into buildings, getting hurt, etc.? There was also an abundance of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes mentioned which may be prevalent in boarding schools (I didn't go to one) but seemed to be way too available to our 16-year-old characters. Plus, there were a ton of points in the plot where the narrator just blacks out for one reason or another, allowing her to lose track of the other characters, which just seems like an easy way to direct a poorly-planned plot. ANYWAYS... I digress.

This story had the perfect potential to be truly, incredibly creepy -- with an introspective narrator, a mysterious cousin with a sixth sense, and a snowstorm trapping them inside of an empty boarding school in the depths of winter. I love a good campus novel and a good ghost story, which is why I was so excited to read this book. Unfortunately, the story came nowhere near meeting my expectations because of a lack of depth to the plot and the overly-verbose writing that made this book so hard to get through. I think the next book(s) in this series would benefit from some generous editing and a tightening of the plot.

I did think the climactic scene at the end was thrilling, but wrapped up too quickly and cleanly. There were also a few really great bits of prose that I appreciated. The author definitely has a ton of potential and I'm looking forward to seeing her improve in her future works.
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Come When I Call You
Author: Shayna Krishnasamy 
Genre: YA Horror
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ / 5
Reviewed: Maya

This book seemed to go forever for me. I’m not too sure what the storyline was, because it just didn’t really have one? I felt like the book was never ending and there were too many details and not enough development. The premise didn’t grab a hold of me, but I wanted to read more horrors, so I decided to give it a go anyway. The book is very gothic, and is set in a Victorian-style boarding school, so I think there was a lot of room for more of a creepy atmosphere, but it just lacked this. I had no connection at all with the characters and I really struggled to stay awake when I was reading this because (have I mentioned?) this book is very slow. Actually, the last three chapters in this book went so quickly, except by then, I was over the book so I wasn’t able to really enjoy the plot twists. The reason I gave this book two stars was because the writing was so elegant (can you describe writing like that?) and so detailed. The author is obviously talented, however I found that there was too much focus on the details and not enough on the movement of the storyline. I would recommend this to people who really value the details in books and don’t really mind a slow pacing.
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