By Joy Elbel
Release date: Dec. 1, 2012
Copy provided by author for honest review
Available at Amazon
Love demands sacrifice... but how much?
With the haunting at Rosewood far behind her, Ruby thinks life with Zach will now be perfect but she couldn't be more wrong. In reality, her problems have just begun. As the season changes, so does everything else. Zach's behavior takes a disturbing turn, classmates unleash a new band of torture, and new friends become new enemies. Worst of all, Rita unveils a startling revelation about the summer's events -Ruby's close brush with death may have opened her up to the other side. Now knowing that what happened over the summer could be just the beginning of a very long battle with the supernatural, Ruby is faced with a tough decision. Should she reveal this fact to Zach or do what she swore she would never do again -lie? The mounting stress has devastation effects on Ruby -or is something else that cause? Paranormal activity in the school creates more danger for Ruby and Zach than she ever imagined possible. Their love is tested in more ways than one as Ruby faces The Phantoms of Fall.
Holy Raging Teenage Hormones Batman! But I'll get to that later....
So, Phantoms of Fall picks up not too long after Shades of Summer. Just when Ruby and Zach think they have nothing left to worry about and they get to have a normal relationship things start to fall apart. Ruby discovers the girl's locker room at school is haunted, Zach has become possessive and angry, attacking any guy who even looks at Ruby, Rita reveals that Ruby will never escape ghosts which could lead to the end of her and Zach's relationship, that is if Zach's witchy ex-girlfriend doesn't break them up first.
Like the first book, I was able to devour this book fairly quickly. There's quite a bit to like here. The ghost's past and Ruby's present once again parallel each other and I always like when that happens. By the end of the book, Ruby is practically reliving what the ghost went through almost as if she's possessed. People get pushed, someone falls down the stairs, and Ruby ends up showering in blood (course she only thinks its blood) Yay, for paranormal activity!
But it's not just the paranormal that plagues Ruby. There's trouble in paradise! Misty is stepping up her game in trying to get Zach back for herself using Ruby's insecurities for her benefit. Really, what's high school without the mean girl? And on top of that Zach develops this random angry possessive streak. He seriously blows a gasket when a guy jokingly hits on Ruby and she wants none of that. Good Girl! Despite wanting to smack him, I rather liked this new development in Zach. It makes him less perfect, which is how he's described by Ruby. A lot. After the way emotionally intense relationship they had in Shades of Summer I was happy to see Ruby so conflicted trying to decipher Zach's actions against his words while trying to figure out her own feelings and hormones.
Unfortunately, despite Zach's outbursts and Ruby's secrecy these two are still so intensely in love in wears on me. I'm not opposed to them being love. No, let them be in love. That's great. But their relationship is still just so intense. I wish I had a better word to describe it. When they're together somehow they always manage to express their undying devotion to each other. And Ruby is on ball of raging teen hormones. She wants Zach bad, like can't think of anything else bad, and we get a peak inside Zach's brain for a chapter and he's right there on the same wave length. It got to be so much it covered up everything else that was going on at times. I just want to grab them by their chins and say, "You're teenagers. Slow. Your. Roll!" Is that the adult in me talking? Yeah, maybe. But I like to believe teenagers aren't as completely sex crazed and ooey-gooey in love as these two. Maybe I'm just naive.
Over all, it was a good read, you just have to dig it out from under the tidal wave that is Zach and Ruby's Love (or lack there of) life. I am interested to see where the story goes because Oh my! What a cliff hanger!
Haven't read Shades of Summer yet? Check out my review and be sure to enter for your chance to win a copy of both Shades of Summer and Phantoms of Fall over on our Indie Monday post with Joy Elbel.