The Haunted Pub by Melanie Rushmore is a contemporary novel that will appeal to adult and new adult readers. Suffering from depression, and going through a rough time because of it, Fizz's misery culminates in his parents throwing him out, leaving him with two bags, twenty pounds, and nowhere to go. Desperate, he calls his brother, who takes him to The Queen Anne's Revenge, where Fizz winds up living in a room that hasn't had a human inhabitant for more years than anyone can actually count—a room that seems to already have an occupant.
The Haunted Pub is full of characters with flaws. Fizz has struggled with depression, and perhaps more, all his life. His parents have just kicked him out of the house, and the only place for him to stay is with his cousin at a pub that is rumored to be haunted- in the creepiest room to boot. The majority of the pub’s staff lives in the upper floors as well, and one roommate’s band also reverses there. The story is about the haunted inhabitants of the pub, and the connections the living inhabitants make as well. I really felt like I got to know five or six characters really well, and enjoyed reading about their interactions and growth individually. The ghostly aspected built slowly, but that was the perfect pace to make the big conflict at the end so real and high emotion. I became so enthralled with the characters that I really have not stopped thinking about them, and how they might be doing, since I finished the book. Since it is the characters that hook me, I know I will be looking for more from the author.
The Haunted Pub has a little bit of everything. Readers that are offended by LGBTQ relationships or characters will want to steer clear, but readers that do not care how the characters identify as long as they are well written and that their book is compelling will enjoy the read. There is a gothic feel, with plenty of adult angst and mental and emotional struggles to keep readers (and characters) guessing at every turn. I only wish I could read more about how the characters deal with whatever comes next, because life always throws something new at you when you least expect it.