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The Ghosts Of Ashbury High Kindle Edition

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Length: 500 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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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 (May 15, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MC5AUI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,804 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lori VINE VOICE on July 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By Agne on February 14, 2015
Format: Hardcover

Although Jaclyn Moriarty’s young adult novel “The Ghosts of Ashbury High” is the fourth installment in the Ashbury/Brookfield series, it also works great as a stand-alone. In the final year of high school, Amelia and Riley, a mysterious couple, transfer to Ashbury High and soon become an obsession of their curious classmates: Who are they? Where are they from? What do they want? But Amelia and Riley is not the only mystery at Ashbury High this year. Emily, a girl from the popular best friend trio, is convinced that the Art Rooms are haunted, while another student, Toby, is fascinated by a ghost from the past: the letters of an Irish convict who was banished to Australia in 1800s. Gossip, romance, mystery, history, Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams… The final year at Ashbury High is everything but boring.


1) Exceptionally executed multiple viewpoint approach.
The whole book is written in the format of essays, exams, emails, blogs, letters, meeting minutes and interview transcripts. Such a format is not only unusual and very engaging but also well-thought-out and skillfully presented. In addition, everything is written by multiple people, each of whom has a very distinctive voice and provides a unique angle to the same story. Well done!

2) Mysterious, unexpected and neatly wrapped up.
Since a majority of the story is told through students’ memoirs with gothic fiction elements (HSC English exam question), the vibe is ghostly and mysterious. To be honest, at first I felt perplexed: the book just seemed so… weird. Soon enough, however, things started looking more earthly and also quite interesting. Yet the best part was a completely unexpected, well-thought-out and fulfilling (but still slightly strange) ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Stein VINE VOICE on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By Teen Reads on June 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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