Hi there! I'm here with your requested review!
"You know your life ain't normal when you can see dead people." Now THAT'S how you start off a novel. Because after reading that, I was both confused and intrigued. Good job with the hook.
I don't know what it was, but when Ellie said, "I wasn't bouncing with excitement anymore," I was just like, "Aw..." Poor girl, not being able to tell anyone. That line in particular really gives the reader some sympathy for her.
One CC: when Ellie and Chris are visiting the graveyard, they go from being very serious to extremely peppy in like two seconds flat. I'm not sure if you meant it that way, but the change is a little sudden.
We've met Albus for five minutes and I like him already. He seems just like you would expect him to be, arrogant, but not to much so. I love how similar he and Chris already are (orange juice, anyone?), because it shows that Ellie COULD get along with Albus, because she gets along with Chris quite well.
I love how there are some slight hints in a change in Albus's behavior, like when he drops the banter for a moment. You can tell he actually wants that truce... Aww...
I love Rose's character. She's like the just right combination between her father and her mother, with Ron's humorous side, and Hermione's book nerd side.
The scene with Cassandra was just perfect. Especially when she was saying, "you can see things other cannot," and Ellie was thinking along the lines of, "well, I can see cake... oh yeah, and dead people too." I like how you used Cassandra for some foreshadowing, with the whole danger, suffering, and love thing. The happy birthday at the end was just the icing on cake (no pun intended).
Overall, I loved this chapter. Keep up the great work, and I'll see you at the next chapter!
Author's Response: Hello!
Thanks for that! I'm glad to hear that whilst you were confused, you were also intrigued enough to read on!
You see more about how the ghosts affect Ellie and her life a little later on. But yeah, I wanted to show really early that this gig wasn't a complete bed of roses!
Rereading that section, I think you have a point about the change in tone. I wanted to show a side of the two of them where they brush off a lot of heavy stuff really quickly, but perhaps I was a little overzealous in my efforts.
Albus is a fun character to write. He's more like his older brother (whom I hope you shall meet in chapter 3). Chris and Al are really similar because they've been friends for so long as well. Some habits have rubbed off on each other. And Albus wanting a change in their relationship will hopefully be explored a little further on as well!
Rose is one of my favourite characters as well. I tried really hard not to make her Hermione, but also not the anti-Hermione, so I'm glad to hear that I seem to have hit a balance.
The scene with Cassandra was surprisingly easy to write. The creepy things that Cassandra says just kept appearing on the screen... it was a bit creepy, actually.
And thanks once again for the wonderful review!