{Review} Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker


{Review} Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. WalkerAshes to Ashes by Melissa C Walker
Series: Ashes #1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books on December 23rd 2013
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance (YA)
Pages: 325

Our Rating

3 Stars

If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.

Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker's sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me and Imaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.

When Callie's life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.


I have been trying to write this review for like a week. Not because I didn’t like it but idk, I felt like I didn’t have anything constructive to say about it.

Callie is a rather typical teenage girl (in a YA novel), a boyfriend she LOVES, an eccentric best friend, an emotionally distant but loving in his own way father, and a mother gone too soon. She’s a thrill seeker, though we only have a brief glimpse of that.

She is gifted with a brand new BMW on her birthday (this was a tad unbelievable to me, since her dad was a military professor). Also, no teenager should be driving a brand new BMW, imo.

Anyways, on her way to see her boyfriend, she makes the big mistake of answering her phone and BOOM, she wakes up in a strange place after an undetermined amount of time. Soon she discovers she is in the Prism, which is part of the afterlife. Before she can move on to Solus (which is compared to heaven), she must “haunt” her loved ones to help them move on. It was a different and interesting take on ghosts and haunting.

Her guide, Thatcher (of course he’s extremely attractive), tries to show Callie the proper way to haunt her friends and family, by simply being with them and reaching their souls. Once your loved ones are at peace with your passing you can ascend to the next dimension. Callie is much too headstrong for simply sitting there calmly trying to connect to people’s souls. She wants to connect on a physical level. She wants to touch, and talk, and move things.

She meets others in the Prism that feel the same way. They don’t wish to move to the next level, they think there is no Solus; that when you ascend you cease to exist entirely. They like messing with the living and have no desire to leave Prism.

At first, what they are doing seems like harmless fun, until she sees what their real plans are.

So…I had a hard time writing this review because not much happens during this book. She dies fairly early and most the book is spent with her in the Prism doing nothing. I thought it was a bit boring. The plot twist was predictable.

I also felt that her feelings for Thatcher came way too fast, it was practically instalove. She was trying to communicate with her boyfriend while falling for Thatcher. Also the “my boyfriend is my whole world” thing bothered me. Especially because it felt very one sided. It’s hard to explain but Callie and her boyfriend’s relationship didn’t ring true to me.

I did find the take on the afterlife interesting. The whole point of being in the Prism is to help your loved ones grieve and move on. The ghost is supposed to try to connect with people on a spiritual level and help them feel peaceful and at ease. I liked this idea that instead of ghosts being something sinister, they are meant to be helpful. There are ghosts with bad intentions but the whole thing about being in the Prism to comfort your family is an idea I liked.

I felt the characters were a bit meh. I think that’s because in the short time in the book before Callie dies, we are told what her friends and family are like instead of really seeing what they are like. I didn’t really take to Callie either.

It was an ok book but I don’t think I’ll continue the series.


About Melissa C Walker

Melissa Walker is a writer who has worked as ELLEgirl Features Editor and Seventeen Prom Editor. All in the name of journalism, she has spent 24 hours with male models and attended an elite finishing school for girls in New Zealand, among other hardships. She has written for many publications including Redbook, Glamour, New York, Teen Vogue, Family Circle and more (see samples of her magazine work). She is the co-founder of I Heart Daily with fellow ex-ELLEgirl Anne Ichikawa. It’s a daily newsletter about likable stuff.

Melissa lives in Brooklyn and has a BA in English from Vassar College. She would tell you her SAT scores too, but, you know, the math part was hard. She loves meeting teenagers, and is game to speak at your library or school about writing, books, fashion, magazines or pop culture (but, you know, in a smart way).

Author: punkfarie

punkfarie lives in a virtual house of books, where she visits lands filled with knights and princesses and fairies and witches and dragons, and her best friends are vampires and zombies. Find more of her reviews at Punk’s House of Books.

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