I was lucky enough to receive an e-book copy of Yonder (A Southern Haunting #1) direct from the author LeeAnne Hansen in exchange for an honest review.
Before I get into my review proper, I would just like to say that I think I have found one of my favourite quotes ever, on page 45 the main character Isabel says "There's nothing like the smell of old books. They smell like memories" This is just such a true statement, I think I'm actually going to make myself a bookmark with this on it.
The book is set in the 40's and is about Isabel who is called home from New York due to the death of her father and then becomes intertwined in amorous advances from two of her brothers childhood friends, Benjamin and Charles. All the while she is haunted by a young boy, but why?
The book is rich in details about the time period from the war to the coming out balls. You get the feeling of it being a simpler time right on the cusp of change. It all sets the tone nicely for the story about Isabel.
I really liked Isabel, she's a strong female character who for the most part knows what she wants. She does frustrate me at points with how young she seems, but if you look at the kind of childhood she had and how women were seen in this time, it does make sense. Charles is just awful and pompous and I didn't like him right from the beginning! He is just far too smarmy for my taste, Benjamin however seems to be a southern gentleman who makes the occasional goof. I really liked Benjamin and as you can imagine I was rooting for him throughout the story. The romance is done really well and it didn't feel tacky which is the reason I very rarely read romance books, the romance in Yonder felt real to me. I also have to point out that the love scene is beautifully done, very sensual and I didn't feel embarrassed reading it.
The haunting starts off subtle almost and then it becomes more intense and blatant as time passes. I loved how you could be enjoying a nice simple scene and then all of a sudden the child - Eli, appears and something happens. Isabel is the only one who can see him and she needs to figure out what he wants or what she can do to help him. When you find out who he is (I'm not saying as I don't want to give any spoilers because you need to go read this yourself!) and his story, my heart broke. It was so well written and so well thought out, it takes you by surprise and rips your heart out at the same time.
My only "complaints" - are slightly spoilery but nothing too much, stop reading now though if you want to know nothing and start again on the next paragraph - are that I wanted to find out what Charles and Isabel's fathers had done to Samantha (I can guess to a point but would like to know the details) and I wanted to know the reason that Isabel's father had disowned her brother Doug. I really would like to know the answers to these questions, but I may get lucky and they get answered in the next book.
I thoroughly loved this and I am looking forward to the second book already. If you haven't read this yet, you need to go and try it. Thank you to LeeAnne for allowing me the pleasure of reading her book.
I started reading Yonder on the 31st of October 2015 and finished it on the 9th of November 2015
I gave Yonder 5 stars on Goodreads