A review by lilly_reads98
The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero

dark inspiring sad fast-paced


I loved the writing in the first half, it’s very poetic. In the second half though, that type of writing stops and the main focus is on this monster who eats children’s souls. I did not like the second half which brought my rating down a lot. The entire story just changed the setting for the second half and I didn’t like that setting, it only went back to the original setting for the last few pages. I loved the first half though, I was taking pictures of so many quotes that I loved. “They study cello, opera, how to transform strings of notes on a page into tales about swan girls, queens of night, and wolves with wild intentions.” (P. 11) 
“Prague is a place where a girl your age can find herself…Aunt Zofie is a storm who only pretends to be a woman. Her hair drifts above her head, a cloud of thoughts and enchantments.” (P. 17) The story was just normal and then it became so bizzare at the end. I love everything about the setting at first; Prague, a rose cottage on a rose hill, a cemetery with overgrown ivy and roses that has a ghost. The city filled with artists and poets and musicians. I loved it. “Aunt Zofie became an artist in Prague. She makes her own world filled with: faeries, river sprites, and queens.” (P. 20) “We spin around and around on Rose Hill, carried aloof by the gentle waves of music as I usually am by the sea. Our grins flash like stars crossing an ink-toned sky.” (P. 120) I really like the story but I wish that the man she meets that was playing violin was just a nice man who wants to teach her, the thing about him eating children’s souls is so random and strange and unexpected, I did not like it. The story already has the sadness from the main characters parents and multiple other things, I think it’s just too much to also add the sad aspect to all of the characters like that’s too much. And when that became more prominent the writing also focused less on being poetic. I thought I would love this book because I loved so much of the writing in the beginning but I was very uncomfortable reading the conflict with Wasserman once she’s in his house, I was not expecting that at all and I hated reading that part. I wasn’t expecting that there’s going to be this creepy man eating childrens souls who then physically fights teenagers? I don’t think that’s good to just craft a story and then completely change everything halfway through and leave the reading wanting it to go back to how it was. I just wanted to read about how it was in the first half. In the 3rd paragraph of the synopsis, which I didn’t read until the end, it kind of hints that wasserman is a villain but that also spoils the ending of the book so I’m glad I didn’t read that before reading the book. I’m just very conflicted since I loved the writing and story in the beginning, I really enjoyed the becoming friends with a ghost and tending to a cemetery, that was nice to read about. I wish it would have stayed that way and not taking a huge turn, and I don’t think it needed so much of the plot to be taken over by a monster. I did like the message at the end of following your passion, and not  doing what your parents want for you.  I would have given this 4 or 5 stars in the beginning but I don’t really think the middle/end was enjoyable at all, it just completely veered off the way the plot was going and takes up so much time that by the time it’s over the book is over. I was just really excited to read this because I loved The Dollmaker of Kraków by this author, but the same thing happened in that one where the writing was very beautiful and magical and I loved it but then the end was just very sad. I enjoyed that one much more though, and I love all of the covers and concepts for this authors books. I just personally don’t like the unexpected sad endings especially since it wasn’t just the end it was like the entire second half of this book. Here are some more of the quotes from the first half that I loved; “Her hearts a mystery that I can’t solve.” (P. 18) “I can visit museums whenever I like. I can walk to the library where the walls are painted with the stars of a hundred constellations and every book invites me inside.” (P. 19) I’m just big on settings, I loved the setting in the beginning but not the second half, the entire story changed and never went back to how it was before. I would have absolutely loved the whole story if the whole thing had focused on Llana and her aunt at the cottage more, she was supposed to be there to learn from her aunt but we never even got to see that. I wish the whole story had just focused on her being at the cottage and hanging out with Benjamin and her aunt.

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