Review: Past Midnight

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen is the first book in a series by the same name. It was released in the U.S. on September 1, 2010 and is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperbook and eBook formats.

Published by Harlequin TEEN the print edition is 224 pages.

Goodreads description:

Let me set the record straight.

My name is Charlotte Silver and I’m not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I’m usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven’t gone unnoticed.

Something happened on my parents’ research trip in Charleston—and now I’m being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents’ creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear.

All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….


For the first time ever Charlotte Silver is getting what she wants – to live in a brand new house. Instead of one of those dark, old Victorians, she will finally get to have a room with new carpet, lots of light and the absence of ghosts. Or what her parents call “energies.”

She finally has the chance to start her senior year as a normal girl and not the “paranormal princess” she had been called in the past. Starting over with a clean slate is a dream come true.

But when she starts dreaming about a girl who went missing in the 1800’s and feels the temperature in her room drop – a sure sign that ghosts are present – she knows that any chance of being ordinary is over.

Until she can figure out what these ghosts want and how to get rid of them, she will be forced to sleep on the couch and spend her days being sleep deprived. And when that’s not enough to keep them away, she and her family will learn just what happens when they get angry.


Past Midnight is a delightful, fun and uncomplicated story, and the first book in a series about Charlotte Silver, a high school senior and daughter of two famous paranormal investigators.

After having spent most of her life on the road with her family, never getting a chance to settle down in one place for too long, she is finally happy her parents have agreed to stay put in South Carolina until she finishes high school.

Moving from place to place has not been easy, especially once the novelty of being in a family of ghost hunters has worn off. She is hoping that this time will be different. But when a couple of ghosts follow her from Charleston where her family did their last readings, she will not be able to keep her secret for long.

At just a few more than two hundred pages, Past Midnight is a very quick, but entertaining read. Although a story about the supernatural, there is a second storyline about Charlotte, her new friend Avery and an “accident” that occurred prior to Charlotte’s arrival.

Even with two very different elements in such a short story, the book does not become confusing. Both work harmoniously with one another and everything comes together at the end.

This story does not have a cliffhanger ending, nor does it have a love triangle, but for readers looking for a lighter fare, this new series with a touch of the paranormal is off to a great start.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=4]

On a personal note:

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t at all what I expected, but I was entertained from beginning to end. For some reason I thought it was about a girl who was a ghost hunter or had some special connection with the spirits, but I was not at all disappointed that this differed from what I had thought.

I would have liked to know a little bit more about the past adventures of Charlotte and her family, but perhaps I’ll get to see more in the upcoming books. It’s not every girl that is the daughter of famous paranormal investigators. I haven’t read a story about one until now, so it seems like a pretty neat idea and I’d love to hear more about their past endeavors.

I am planning on reading the next two stories back-to-back, so it will be interesting to see how this progresses.


The second book in the series, One Hundred Candles, is out in paperback today. A novella set between books one and two, Raising the Dead, is currently available as a free download from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the third book in the series, Beyond the Grave will be released later this year.

How I “discovered” this book:

Past Midnight is a “Just Discovered” just learned about book.

When I first became a member of NetGalley I got approved for an eARC of One Hundred Candles. And I soon discovered it was the second book in a series. I hadn’t read the first book and was seriously considering reading the series without having read the first book, then decided I just couldn’t do it.

So, I bought Past Midnight back in December with the hopes of reading it earlier, but only had a chance to start reading it now and so opted to read it back-to-back with One Hundred Candles in anticipation of book two’s February 15th release date.

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