Exorcising Aaron Nguyen
By: Lauren Harris
Publish Date: August 22, 2013
Series: 1st book in The Millroad Academy Exorcists series
Recommendation: Oh yes. Enjoyable quick read/listen with a mystery.
The murder of Millroad Catholic Academy's resident genius, Aaron Nguyen, shuts down student life at the boarding school in rural North Carolina...for about a week. With the resilience of youth, the student body bounces back, and the memory of murder is nothing but a streamer of caution tape fluttering in the breeze. Unfortunately for them, Aaron's spirit has some resilience as well. The school priest’s exorcism fails, and before long Aaron is breathing chills down the students' necks and hurling bunsen burners at nuns.
Georgia Collins doesn't give a shit about ghosts. All she wants is a story to prove her underground school news blog is more than a gossip column, closure on her one-sided relationship with her best friend Hiroki, and a vanilla latte. She wasn't expecting Aaron Nguyen's death to be anything more than a cold spot in the science hall, but since Hiroki has the curse of Spectral Sight, he is the only person who can see and speak to Aaron.
As the ghost’s demands for attention become increasingly violent, Hiroki decides that Aaron isn’t likely to budge until his killers are caught, so he recruits Georgia to help him investigate the crime. Still hoping for spontaneous romantic combustion, she agrees to help bring Aaron's murderers to justice and set the vengeful spirit free...but it's not quite the close encounter she's hoping for.
Exactly one week after Aaron Nguyen's body appeared on the soccer field with his head smashed in, I found my best friend, Hiroki Satou, leafing through an exorcism manual behind the chapel.
My Thoughts and Summary:
Trying to get back to a normal life after Aaron's death, a death no one understands, isn't as easy as simply starting classes again. Aaron's ghost is seen by Hiroki and he's causing trouble. However, Georgia's best friend, Hiroki, is determined to snoop around the crime scene, hoping to help a Buddhist ghost move on (where the Catholic exorsisms by the Nuns and Priests don't work), Georgia and Hiroki get drawn deep into the mystery of why Aaron was killed. Hiroki thinks he may be able to help Aaron's ghost move on, since he can see and talk to him.
I think I like audiobooks in first person, at least from Lauren Harris here, because I felt like I'm right there with Georgia. Lauren is the author AND also the narrator and I feel like she's talking directly to me. When Lauren does other voices there is a difference; Hiroki is deeper, Bishop is raspier, Priest What-A-Waste (lol) is southern, and others as well.
A ghost story with diverse characters. The characters here are not the perfect images but they are the image of the REAL people we are. Diverse in visual description and personality. Georgia is a great character. She has a strong personality, though we see there is so much more to her as well. She's also a blogger!
The story is in first person, but that works amazingly well with Georgia's personality. She pops off the page for us. Georgia feels as she's a friend of mine while I was listening to the audiobook. Georgia has a history that is hinted at. I was becoming more and more curious about that past, and we get that answer in the end, which also helps tie things up too. Hiroki is a big player in this story as well. He's the gifted one, until Georgia gets konked in the head (and at the end we learn a very important piece about her past), the one that sees ghosts.
The story is in a current day setting. We get glimpses of the school through events and where they are which fills us in on the people and surroundings of the school. Just enough detail at the right time.
It is a Young Adult story with the high school age characters. I do want to mention, with saying YA, that there is strong language here. I have no problem with it, but some people might. Georgia drops the F word on occassions and all other swear words are used as well.
I don't want to say much more as I'll start talking about the story and I don't want to give away the mystery and ghostly events.
There was a light feel to the story. I liked it and it fits Georgia so well. There is a tearful moment but then Georgia brings a smile to our face in the next. Enjoyable listen!