Let me start by saying that I picked this book as my selection for July’s Book of the Month box. When selecting one of five book selections, subscribers see a genre, brief descriptions about the book, and a synopsis. I typically always pick the thriller selection. However, I had already read July’s thriller (The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager), and upon reading through each book’s synopsis, found myself really drawn to Ghosted. It confused me that the genre said “Romance” while the synopsis sounded fairly more like a mystery, but I figured – why not? Even if it had a bit more romance than what I normally read, it may be a welcome change to try something different. While I’m sure there will be plenty of people raving over Ghosted, having finished the book, I find myself feeling rather ho-hum and like the romantic bits were the only parts that kept me away from a DNF.
Summary (via Goodreads)
Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.
When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.
Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.
Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth.
Things I Liked:
Like I said, the romantic bits did keep me reading. It may be because I just kept picturing Eddie as Colin Firth, and Colin Firth is charming enough to make anything better. I actually didn’t hate the insta-love for once, and Sarah and Eddie’s scenes together truly worked for me…the key word there though is “together”. Most of those are told through flashbacks. The way the story is broken up doesn’t really lend itself well to establishing the depth of the relationship in a timely enough fashion to make the reader care about why Sarah is this level of brokenhearted over being ghosted after one week.
The reveal of why Sarah was ghosted was an excellent twist, and it answered many of the questions that had been building. It kept me guessing, and even though I thought I had it figured out, I didn’t. It definitely goes deeper than what you may expect.
I enjoyed most elements of Walsh’s writing style. The characters were interesting, and she kept the story feeling like it straddled the line between romance and mystery. I read through it in just a few hours, mostly in one sitting, and I really found myself enjoying Walsh’s use of dialogue and tension. While this was touted as a debut book, it’s actually described on the jacket as Walsh’s “American debut”. She has several other titles under the pseudonym Lucy Robinson, and I would be fairly interested to try some reading one of those in the future.
Things I Didn’t Like:
I had a really tough time finding Sarah believable. While being “ghosted” after such an emotional connection with someone would surely be nerve-wracking and spur some kind of obsession, there are some moments when I felt like she was an over-the-top teenager rather than an adult woman nearing 40. Her antics are a bit too angsty for my taste, especially when she borders on being a real stalker.
The story is spliced with flashbacks, letters, and emails which go a long way in showing us that there’s something more going on than what we might think. However, the structure and pacing of how these unfold often distracts from the momentum of the main story. Many parts felt repetitive, unnecessary, or occasionally eyeroll-inducing.
While the original twist of why Sarah was ghosted worked well for me and was mostly unexpected, the twists that take place after that point in the story fell incredibly flat. I felt they were pretty obvious choices to tie the story together, and the two I’m thinking of in particular were entirely predictable. I think I wanted the ending to be a bit darker rather than being packaged up so nice and neat, but I have to remind myself that this was meant to be a romance.
3/5. It was a very quick read and parts of it were fabulously written, but overall I found myself pushing to get through it. Didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it. Like I said before, I’m sure there will be plenty of people that love this book, so if you’re looking for a romantic story with a slow burn, give this one a try.