HAPPILY NEVER AFTER (Savannah Shadows #1) by Missy Fleming-a review
There’s no such thing as happy endings.
Savannah, Georgia is rumored to be the most haunted place in America. Quinn Roberts knows it is. She’s felt the presence of spirits her entire life, investigating and photographing them with her best friend. Only none of those encounters ever turned violent, until now. The menacing darkness feeding off her stepmother has promised she won’t live to see her eighteenth birthday.
After a chance meeting Quinn reluctantly allows actor Jason Preston into her life, which has complications of its own. She’s not used to letting people get close. Falling for him while fighting for her life, and her family’s legacy, only complicates things more. Jason shows her exactly what she stands to lose, especially when she’s being attacked by the mysterious entity. Each attack is more violent and terrifying than the last.
With Jason’s help, she dives into the Roberts’ family history, searching for a link between a woman who went missing a hundred and fifty years ago and what’s happening now. What they find is a brutal murder and that the ghost doesn’t just want to hurt Quinn, it wants revenge.
It wants her life.
REVIEW: HAPPILY NEVER AFTER is the first storyline in Missy Fleming’s new paranormal/fantasy YA Savannah Shadows series focusing on 18 year old Quinn Roberts and the hauntings in and around Savannah Georgia. The reader is taken on a journey of house hauntings, spiritual possessions and ghost whisperers all meshed into a dark fairytale storyline familiar to most.
As the title suggests, this storyline is a dark retelling of a fairytale and in this particular case-Cinderella. Missy Fleming holds nothing back with the characterizations of the wicked step-mother and equally wicked step-sisters and, a supportive and equally loving ‘charming’ prince in the guise of a teen heart throb and Hollywood star.
Throughout the storyline we learn that much of the town of Savannah Georgia is awash in ghostly hauntings-spirits who refuse to move on because each has story to tell or out for revenge for a betrayal from the past. Quinn has the ability to hear and see these spirits and in one particular case the spirits have a deep and dark connection to Quinn’s family and her current dilemma.
The love angle adds a distinctive twist to the plot, but a twist that was fairly obvious as the storyline grew. Meeting 21 year old Jason Preston, a young Hollywood star, would awaken something long buried in Quinn but her relationship with Jason will be the catalyst that spurs one particular spirit to pull off the ultimate crime. In the end Quinn will be trapped on the outside looking into a world where she once thought she belonged.
Happily Never After has a number of the traditional earmarks of the Young Adult genre. The main characters have a definite high school mentality and were quick to stereotype and judge someone based on first impressions or incomplete prior knowledge. The relationship between Quinn and Jason is slow to build but not for a lack of trying on Jason’s part, and the wicked-step sisters will definitely remind you of the mean girls club. Add the potential for a love triangle flourishing within the final pages of the epilogue.
Many young adult authors are revisiting and retelling some of our favorite fairytale stories. Happily Never After closely follows Cinderella’s outline and the paranormal subplot is definitely predictable and not unexpected. For fans of both the YA genre and ghost stories, Happily Never After will be sure to please. Missy Fleming easily blends the reality of modern day Savannah Georgia, with a paranormal plotline that will see the past collide with the present when one spirit has only revenge on its’ mind. And for Quinn-there is no Happily Ever After.
Copy supplied by the author
Reviewed by Sandy.