The murder of Millroad Catholic Academy's resident genius Aaron Nguyen shuts down student life at the boarding school in rural North Carolina... for about a week. With the resilience of youth, the student body bounces back, and the memory of murder is nothing but a streamer of caution tape fluttering in the breeze. Unfortunately for them, Aaron's spirit has some resilience as well. The school priest's exorcism fails, and before long Aaron is breathing chills down the students' necks and hurling Bunsen burners at nuns.
Georgia Collins doesn't give a shit about ghosts. All she wants is a story to prove her underground school news blog is more than a gossip column, closure on her one-sided relationship with her best friend Hiroki, and a vanilla latte. She wasn't expecting Aaron Nguyen's death to be anything more than a cold spot in the science hall, but since Hiroki has the curse of Spectral Sight, he is the only person who can see and speak to Aaron.
As the ghost's demands for attention become increasingly violent, Hiroki wants Georgia to help him investigate the crime, claiming that Aaron isn't likely to budge until his killers are caught. Still hoping for spontaneous romantic combustion, she agrees to help bring Aaron's murderers to justice and set the vengeful spirit free... but it's not quite the close encounter she's hoping for.
©2013, 2014 Lauren B. Harris (P)2014 Lauren B. Harris
I loved this story. Georgia (the narrator) has a distinctive voice that sounds very realistic for a high school girl, and Hiroki, the clueless guy she's in love with, was all too real. It's also a combined mystery and supernatural story, both of which I love. On top of that, it's just plain funny! The author has a wicked sense of humor.
I think the Georgia's humor is the thing I like best about this book. There are dozens of funny lines. I would listen again just for those.
It's a tie between Georgia and The Bishop. The performance of Georgia has the right balance of humor and teenage sensitivity. The Bishop, who the author performs with a deeper, flatter voice, starts off as a pompous teenage jerk but evolves into someone more complex.
The story's climax, where the conflict with Aaron Nguyen's ghost is resolved, was the most affecting. Georgia is not joking around here - she and Hiroki are trying to help a classmate in pain. The author knows when humor is called for and when it's not.
Looking forward to the next installment in this series!
This was definitely in the top third of the books I have listened to--and I have listened to a lot. It was a lot of fun, very engaging. I did not want to stop listening. I really hope there are more books in this series coming soon!
This is the first original Lauren Harris piece I have listened to, though I have heard her voice before. This was well done, well produced, and very enjoyable. I think she did a very good job with the different voices for different characters, helping keep straight who was talking in the audio format. I also enjoyed hearing the North Carolina accent come out occasionally.
I really enjoyed the book--Lauren Harris has a new fan.
Yes, because the one-liners make me giggle.
It reminded me a little bit of the sharp wit and sarcasm in Gail Carriger Soulless.
She's a good performer, and her voice is easier to hear in a car than many female voice actors. And you can't read while driving.
This super-natural murder mystery is short, sharp, and funny. I hope we see more of these characters.
I love Georgia, our protagonist. She is funny, self-aware, and demonstrates moments of toughness that even she doesn't expect. A genuinely plus-sized, bullied, insecure heroine who doesn't magically catch the eye of her long-time crush at last is a really nice change. Georgia feels and sounds very real to me. I could have been friends with this girl in high school.
Bishop. I like him anyway, but his vocal inflections were more different from Georgia's than her best friend's were. I enjoyed the ghost voice a lot at the end, too. That really stood out to me.
I pretty much did. It's not very long, so that's entirely do-able. I didn't want to turn it off. The action moved really well, with just enough reflection thrown in to help explain what was happening.
Did have a little trouble with the narration at the beginning. Reader had an initial tendency to over-enunciate the parts that weren't actual conversation. That might have been fine, but the narrative is in first person and therefore seemed like it would have benefited from a more relaxed way of speaking. However, either the reader adjusted her speech pattern or I got used to it, because it no longer bothered me about halfway through.
Full disclosure: I know and love the author/reader personally, and had the opportunity to hear pieces of this story in the making. Some of it came out just as she read it to me, and some of it was entirely new--and better--than what she shared with me before. It was a tremendous pleasure to see her work come to fruition, and especially to HEAR it at last, since I am legally blind. Writing is Lauren's great passion, and you can really hear it in her narrative. If you like YA with a little paranormal spice, if you like plucky heroines who feel like real people, if you like snarky modern idioms sprinkled through your narrative, then I highly recommend you give this little novella a try. It's short, sweet, and satisfying, and if it weren't so very full of story in that time I'd say it ended too soon. I can't wait for the rest of this series!
Ms. Harris does a wonderful job of breathing life into her characters. Rather than speaking to the YA audience, the book speaks in their language. Through her writing, as well as subtle pauses and accents in her narration, the author gives us an insight into the thoughts of a real live person in Georgia. Little asides (fantasies, internal threats, quirky jokes, etc.) all serve well in creating a well-rounded individual that the reader/listener can really connect with on a base level. The story itself has wonderful pacing that allows for character and plot development at a pace that never feels rushed or to drag on. I greatly look forward to the next chapter in Millroad Academy series.
I loved the chess match between Georgia and Bishop, where Hiro is signaling moves to Georgia. Pair that with the interrogation going on, and that's a wonderful scene!
I loved the way this book translates to audio. It honestly felt like Georgia was just talking to me, telling me this story while out to lunch or something. Her turns of phrase are wonderful, and I can imagine meeting her in real life. Georgia is one heck of a character, and having her dealing with this murder/exorcism is brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
I liked the way the story and narrative took me through the buildup rather quickly establishing the tone and parameters of the story. The character building was also done well with Ms. Harris using the tension associated with intimacy and the building of trust. Anytime a story and a narration fit well together and seem to make the story fly by makes me a fan!
Exorcising Aaron Nguyen is both dramatic and funny. Even the chapter titles are hilarious. Harris portrays the the frivolity of high school existence through the eyes of large-as-life characters with big hearts and big mouths. Throw in the ghosts of dead students and a little murder mystery and you have the entertaining adventure that is Exorcising Aaron Nguyen.
I'm excited to read the next installment, The Girl in Acid Park, projected to be published in 2015.
Lauren Harris narrates with a pleasant, emotive voice that matches perfectly with this first-person novella. Her intonation, measured pace, and clear accent carry the story along through its exciting ending.
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