Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 15, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
It’s summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie. As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But there’s something about her that he can’t put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annie’s hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wes’s questions ."
Wes, an aspiring filmmaker, is spending his summer at NYU studying film. While on assignment with his roommate, he comes across a strange girl when filming. He can't stop thinking about her. When he tracks her down after the fact, he comes to find that her name is Annie and she lives in the city as well, but she's not your usual city girl. In fact, she is really different. Her hair is different, her clothes are different, her slang is different, you get the idea. As Wes spends more time with her, he learns that she's a ghost (but Wes never actually uses the word ghost!) and Annie needs his help. Why is she stuck here? Why can only Wes see her? Who really is Annie? The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Catherine Howe is an eerie and haunting ghost story perfect for the fall season.
Usually when a female writes a male protagonist, I have issues with how it sounds and whether it feels authentic, but Howe did an excellent job. I think she captured Wes very well and it was believable. When he first sees Annie, I felt like he was just intrigued. It was almost like he couldn't look away and then feelings grew from there. We all sort of knew she was a ghost, but Howe purposely never uses the word ghost in The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen.
Howe also captured Annie very well and the flashbacks to 1825. The chapters that Annie narrated were confusing as well as frantic at times as Annie is sort of a mess and also confused as to why she is "here" in present day New York City. I love the historical fiction aspects of this book and how Howe merged them with not only present day, but she also gave readers some supernatural elements as well. The more we learned about Annie's past, the more I was interested in her.
Unfortunately, I wasn't overly convinced with the love story in The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen. I just wasn't feeling the sparks, so this aspect of the book disappointed me.
The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen was an eerie read, which means it would be perfect for the fall/Halloween season. Although it wasn't my favorite read and some aspects of the novel were less than stellar, I still liked how Howe combined historical fiction, fantasy and contemporary fiction.