Book Review: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (Unbelievables) by K.C. Tansley

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in the Unbelievables series by K.C. Tansley is a young adult novel. Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut. Accompanied by her research partner, her best friend, and another student, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton. But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever. 

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is a book that captured my imagination. I liked Kat's intelligence and perseverance. She is not opposed to working hard, and is willing to pitch in even when it puts her personal safety at risk. Ignoring the ghosts has worked well thus far, but surrounding herself with the research about a murder and curse is not helping her keep the ghosts at bay.  Jumping in further with the research trip makes it impossible to keep her shields up. I liked the dynamic between Kat and her best friend Mallory, and the humor that fellow student Seth brings to the group. I will admit that I was initially creeped out a bit by the connection between Kat and Joshua- the next possible victim of the curse the group is investigating. I enjoyed the enemy to friend vibe between Kat and Evan, but I could enjoy a gothic style mystery without any kind of romance hinted at just fine- not all girls are looking to forge romantic relationships their entire lives. I would love to pick up a young adult or new adult novel that skips hints at love triangle and romance once and awhile, particularly when it is not vital to the mystery or larger story line. That being said, I found that the mystery and paranormal aspects of the story were the focus for the majority of the book. The magical time travel was well done, and I liked the explanation of ghosts, spirits, and the differences between them. The curse and mystery surrounding it were well constructed, and interesting to watch unravel. I liked the layers and complexity of the curse, mystery, and the paranormal aspects that connect them and the characters. I did get a little bored with some of the ritual and spell work, and the emotional games being played in the past. However, I did enjoy the read and might pick up the next book if I run across it. However, I am not going out looking for it at this point.

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is a good mystery with gothic and paranormal aspects. While I do not have patience with emotional games, I think there are many readers that will enjoy the read and get fully invested with the characters and mystery.

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