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The Ghosts Of Ashbury High [Kindle Edition]

Jaclyn Moriarty
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty returns to Ashbury High for a story of romance, mysterious new classmates, and the terrors of making it through your final year of high school.

This is the story of Amelia and Riley, bad kids from bad Brookfield High who have transferred to Ashbury High for their final year. They've been in love since they were fourteen, they go out dancing every night, and sleep through school all day. And Ashbury can't get enough of them.

Everyone's trying to get their attention; even teachers are dressing differently, trying to make their classes more interesting. Everyone wants to be cooler, tougher, funnier, hoping to be invited into their cool, self-contained world.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–This Australian author adds another volume to her sequence of novels centered around a private high school. When two mysterious new scholarship students begin their senior year at Ashbury High, suspicions arise. Amelia and Riley are clearly a couple with an unknown past, and Emily Thompson is determined to find out their secrets. Em is also convinced that there is a ghost haunting Ashbury, and with the (sometimes) help of her friends Lydia and Cassie, she makes the new couple and the ghost her projects for the year. Told in multiple voices through essays written by the students for their senior exam on gothic literature, emails, blog entries, and scholarship-committee meeting notes, the plot moves slowly with numerous side stories woven throughout. They all add up to tell several interconnected stories from a variety of perspectives in an imaginative manner. There is an air of mystery as readers wonder if there really is a ghost and exactly what Riley's and Amelia's past secrets are, but, overall, the suspense doesn't carry the story. Inclusions of humorous gothic elements throughout are pluses along with the ideas of giving second chances and leaving one's past behind. Readers expecting a spine-tingling tale of ghosts and intrigue are likely to be disappointed; this is more of an examination of high school friendships and social life. Those willing to stick with the sometimes slow-moving narrative will be satisfied in the end.Gina Bowling, South Gibson County High School, Medina, TN
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Fans of the previous books will enjoy clever references to past events, but this book more than stands on its own, as the students' chorus creates a compelling collective portrait of adolescence--the limbo between childhood and the shadowed future." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Moriarty has found a winning formula for her thoroughly enjoyable, deceptively simple Ashbury High novels: She takes a clever, sophisticated epistolary format, adds sparkling, effervescent wit, and applies them to a mash-up of literary genres.... The Ghosts of Ashbury High should satisfy diehard fans and bring new ones into the fold." -- Horn Book, starred review

Product Details

  • File Size: 626 KB
  • Print Length: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MC5AUI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Imagination Reviews July 19, 2010
This book swept me off my feet. I fell for it fast and hard. I wasn't even looking for love, just some fun. But once I was 10 pages in, I was under it's spell, and there was no turning back. The story is told in essays written by students for their end of the year exam. It alternates between several characters and there's even some memo's from the staff. I know what you are thinking, that sounds strange, huh? And it was at first, but after reading it, I don't know how it could be told any other way.

Each of the students had a different story to tell, but they all came together so flawlessly in the end. Each character had a distinct voice too. Em was quirky and fun, Lydia was cynical, Toby was thoughtful, and Riley was immensely mysterious. All the characters are unique and highly entertaining. I was sad to end the book. I missed them for a few days afterward.

This book is in no way a completely serious story. At times, especially at the end, there was some very thought provoking things that came up, but I giggled shamelessly throughout the book. The Ghosts of Ashbury High is full of random happenings and pure oddness, I loved every minute of it.

Moriarty has written about these characters before in, The Year of Secret Assignments. I didn't read that book beforehand, and I wasn't lost at all. I will be reading all of Moriarty's books in the very near future, though. If all her books are as good as this one, I will have a new author to add to my favorites list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moriarty does it again (mostly) July 1, 2010
Amelia and Riley are new students at Ashbury High, and their appearance there changes everything. Everyone is talking about them, but few know anything about them. They rarely show up for school but Amelia breaks all the school's swimming records. They smile politely when others talk to them but rarely say a word back. They're an enigma that everyone at Ashbury High wants to solve, including best friends Lydia, Cassie, and particularly Emily. Emily has become nothing short of obsessed with Amelia and Riley. The pair consumes practically her every waking thought until she becomes convinced that there is a ghost in the Art Rooms. Who are Amelia and Riley? And how are they connected to the ghost?

I picked up The Ghosts of Ashbury High because The Year of Secret Assignments and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie are some of my all time favorite books. I was hoping that this novel would carry the same spirit and humor as Moriarty's other novels, and while it did in some ways, in others it didn't. Moriarty continues to write in a very indirect manner. Readers learn about the story through emails, blog entries and comments, letters, and, as a new addition in this book, the writing portion of the HSC English exam. I don't really mind Moriarty's style of constantly switching narrators and perspectives, but in The Ghosts of Ashbury High, I felt that perhaps she let it go on too long. Because entries for the HSC English exam were so lengthy and at times rambling, in the middle section of the book, I got confused as to what the purpose was because the story was so drawn out. This is all redeemed in the end, because Moriarty has a fantastic way of cleverly connecting nearly everything, but I do wish it didn't take so long to get to the point.

The Ghosts of Ashbury High is sure to be enjoyed by fans of The Year of Secret Assignments and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, both by Jaclyn Moriarty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Australian novelist Jaclyn Moriarty excels at a number of things, but particularly at the challenging task of telling a story --- even a complex, multifaceted story --- through the use of letters, diary entries, blog postings, homework assignments, and other nontraditional sources. Her documentary approach to fiction is a perfect match to her subject matter; her novels often explore the overlapping lives and loves of high school students, and her stories typically take the form of mysteries. By experiencing a story through documents, readers feel simultaneously like they're fitting together the pieces of a puzzle and that they're really getting to know Moriarty's characters, the "authors" of the works they're reading.

In THE GHOSTS OF ASHBURY HIGH, Moriarty returns to territory --- and characters --- that will be familiar to fans of her earlier work, particularly THE MURDER OF BINDY MACKENZIE and THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS, both of which are set at Ashbury High and feature characters who also play roles in this most recent novel.

Here the documentary items are primarily related to a series of questions and assignments that are part of the Higher School Certificate Examination, a major test and associated projects undertaken by Australian students during their final year in high school. For the students in this book --- which include Emily, Lydia and Cass (from THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS) --- the topic of their examination is Gothic fiction, which also provides much of the background of topic and theme to Moriarty's own novel. Dark histories, suspicious coincidences, untold secrets and possible ghosts all play major roles in traditional Gothic literature; not surprisingly, they're also at the center of THE GHOSTS OF ASHBURY HIGH.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Jaclyn Moriarty June 24, 2010
I have a strange relationship with Jaclyn Moriarty. I like her books, but I think they are full of a special (maybe Australian?) weirdness. The Ghosts of Ashbury High is no exception.

This book is the 4th about Ashbury High (the other 3 are in chronological order: Feeling Sorry for Celia: A Novel, The Year Of Secret Assignments and The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie), but it's not a series, each book can be read independently, even though the cast of characters is pretty much the same.

At the center of the story are two new scholarship Ashbury students - Riley and Amelia. They are mysterious - the have been together since they were 14, they are talented, they have dark past. Everyone in the school (especially Emily) is obsessed about them and wants to know what hides behind their distant facades.

As always, Jaclyn Moriarty offers a fresh approach to story telling. Her previous books were written in the form of letters, notes, memos. This time the majority of the book is written in the form of the writing assignments for Gothic Fiction class. Therefore from the very beginning you have to be cautious to take everything the students say with a grain of salt, because, after all, they all are writing gothic fiction stories. This part of the novel is often bizarre (I find ALL Moriarty's books seem bizarre when you start reading them) and quirky and weird, humorous in a way I sometimes don't get, but beneath all this strangeness are great, real, sometimes heartbreaking stories of passion, despair, loss, friendship, and love.

Moriarty's remarkable ability to write several distinct "voices" deserves special recognition.

In spite of the slow and weird start, I enjoyed this book immensely, especially the latter part. Jaclyn Moriarty remains one of my favorite YA writers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nebulous, captivating, confusing, intertwining, and inspiring all at...
This is The Book That Has Everything.

As an epistolary novel from an author who loves to lull you into amusement before shocking the crap out of you, this book features... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Swank Ivy
3.0 out of 5 stars Soulful GHOSTS
I always enjoy the authentic voices of Jaclyn Moriarty's characters, but found this particular book a little more difficult to navigate than some of her others. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ro Major
5.0 out of 5 stars Moriarty FTW!
I have loved everything I've read by this author. She's quickly becoming one of my very top authors of all time. (Her sister also writes great books). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Katharine A. Owens
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Lighthearted Summer Read
First, let's talk about characters. This is where Jaclyn Moriarty really excels in my opinion. Her characters are nicely fleshed out, and feel very real. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Monica Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Book arrived in expected condition and in the agreed upon time frame. It was a birthday gift for my sister, the only book in the series that she didn't have. She loved it.
Published 21 months ago by Katie Mortensen
2.0 out of 5 stars "Very Hard to Understand, Different Style of Writing"
Most of the story take place in essay forms as if the HSC(Higher School Certificate) English exam was on the topic of gothic fiction. Read more
Published 23 months ago by L.Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the right price
I love this book, it's one of my absolute favorites, and even though I already owned the hard copy of the book I bought the ebook just because it was so inexpensive. Read more
Published on October 24, 2012 by Gerund p.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Aussie fiction

I loved it. The story of two mysterious students who are given a scholarship to privileged Ashbury High, and the ghosts that surround them. Read more
Published on May 3, 2012 by Cat Hellisen
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ghosts of Ashbury High
I had read and enjoyed Jaclyn Moriarty's The Year of Secret Assignments many years ago, and, since then, had also read all of her other books. Read more
Published on April 13, 2011 by Runa
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
When two new exchange students come to Ashbury High who seem to be stuck in their own world, everyone, including the teachers, starts dressing and acting differently to try and get... Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by TeensReadToo
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