Book Review Wednesday: Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

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I received this book courtesy of NetGalley, prior to its publishing, but only just finished reading a few months ago.

There is something about the title, Ghosts of Harvard, that makes this book so enticing. Also, the cover? It's the kind of book you want to curl up with on a stormy night, with twinkle lights around you and a cup of hot tea. 

Ghosts of Harvard is truly the mystery to end all mysteries because there is so much involved. It's a heart-wrenching book, in many ways, but it is also just so good. The book is about so much... it's about mental illness, family relationships, blackmail, and murder.

I can confidently say it's one of my top favorite books of the year.


Publisher's Summary

Cadence Archer arrives on Harvard’s campus desperate to understand why her brother, Eric, a genius who developed paranoid schizophrenia took his own life there the year before. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady’s life, and while her decision to follow in her brother’s footsteps threatens to break her family apart, she is haunted by questions of what she might have missed. And there’s only one place to find answers.
 
As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure at Harvard, she investigates her brother’s final year, armed only with a blue notebook of Eric’s cryptic scribblings. She knew he had been struggling with paranoia, delusions, and illusory enemies—but what tipped him over the edge? Voices fill her head, seemingly belonging to three ghosts who passed through the university in life or death, and whose voices, dreams, and terrors still echo the halls. Among them is a person whose name has been buried for centuries, and another whose name mankind will never forget.
 
Does she share Eric’s illness, or is she tapping into something else? Cady doesn’t know how or why these ghosts are contacting her, but as she is drawn deeper into their worlds, she believes they’re moving her closer to the truth about Eric, even as keeping them secret isolates her further. Will listening to these voices lead her to the one voice she craves—her brother’s—or will she follow them down a path to her own destruction?

My Thoughts

I raved about it at the beginning of this post but Ghosts of Harvard moved me. At its core, it's about a sister wanting to find out what happened to her brother. She wanted to know why he did what he did, she wanted to do it all while being who she thought she wanted to be. 

When Cady starts to hear voices, she starts to wonder if she is like her brother, Eric. That sends her on a spiral of trying to solve the problems inside her head, juggle school, and figure out what happened when Eric was at school.

There were a lot of different plots but it all came together kind of perfectly. You had the ghosts in Cady's head, her relationship with Eric's friend, her studies, and trying to figure out what went on with Eric.

As the book went on, I started to slowly figure out *maybe* what happened with Eric (I had no idea why Cady was hearing ghosts) but the book took off in many different directions and what you thought was actually happening, wasn't happening.

The ending of the book was a truly wild ride. It was definitely slow at first but by the end, the stories sped up and I couldn't believe what I was reading. UGH. It was a book I just want to read over and over again.

I can't even fully explain the depth that this book goes in terms of mental illness and history and family relationships. It's something you can't comprehend unless you read the book.  Like I said, it has everything you could want in a novel and never once was it boring. It kept my interest the entire time.

Keep an eye out in December because this will 100% be on my best reads of the year!

What are you reading this week?
xoxo
B

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