CLEMENTINE'S AWAKENING by Jennifer Soucy
“ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏꜱ ᴄʟᴏꜱᴇ ᴇɴᴏᴜɢʜ ᴛᴏ ᴛᴏᴜᴄʜ, ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ꜰᴏʀɢᴏᴛᴛᴇɴ, ꜰᴏʀᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴀ ᴘᴀʀᴛ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄɪᴛʏ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴏɴᴄᴇ ᴄᴀʟʟᴇᴅ ʜᴏᴍᴇ.”
If I could think of anything to relate this book to it would be true blood but in Savannah,GA with ghosts instead of vampires. Sounds interesting, right?
Clementine is trying to open her wings and get out from under her drug addicted mother by starting her first job as a waitress. She didn’t realize it would be some uplifting and haunting all at the same time.
I really loved how easy Soucy’s writing is. It is truly like drinking a cool glass of ice tea on a warm summer's day. This story is atmospheric in how it brings in the Savannah history and architecture of the buildings. It makes me want to visit there someday. Soucy can even get a little saucy in her writing which I very much enjoyed. She is one I’m adding to my list of authors who knows how to build that sexual tension. I was even surprised by the connections built with unlikable characters. I really appreciated how the author included diverse and LGBTQ+ characters. The only downside for me while well intentioned, I didn’t feel it had the proper perspective for the Black character in the story. So I gave this book 4 ⭐️
First off I want to say that that ending, WHOOO, changed the whole book for me. I mean it was a good book but honestly I thought I was reading a paranormal romance, and not in a bad way. Let me clarify that this isn’t a human falling in love with a ghost kind of story, but it is very romance heavy and this made it a bit light hearted at times. But again, THAT ENDING!!! It really turned the book around.
Clementine’s life has been a harsh one. With a mom that enjoyed drinking and men more than being a mom and having these men make passes at her all the time, she’s determined to get a job and distance herself from this toxic life. Enter O’Hara’s Pub, her first job ever in the most haunted city of GA, Savannah. Y’all, after reading this book I’m dying to take a trip to Savannah. I’ve been in GA for 2 years now and I haven’t really explored it but if and when I do I will definitely check out this haunted adventure that is Savannah. Soucy’s depiction of the city is so enticing and fun. She definitely made you feel like you were walking the streets of this city. She really poured in the atmosphere with the details.
One of my most favorite aspects from the book was the restaurant setting. You can tell that the author had been a waitress herself. I worked for more than 10 years in the restaurant business and this felt like I was back at the hustle and bustle of things. It was one of my favorite jobs, I know that sounds crazy, like who likes to be a waitress?, but i truly enjoyed it. Something about the fast paced atmosphere and seeing different people all the time was so invigorating to me. So, it was fun to be “at the back of the house” at O’Hara’s Pub. Seeing them do their sidework, running the food, and even the banter between co-workers was on point.
Now the whole point to this story is that Clementine makes an unconventional friend at her new workplace. A ghost named Rosemary that died 150 years ago and was trapped in the basement of O’Hara’s. Not long after this, “the bad man” makes an appearance and it’s the same individual who murdered Rosemary all those years ago. Let the seance begin because Clementine is set to get rid of the bad man and give Rosemary the peace she needs to move on.
I really enjoyed this novel. It was a fun, nostalgic, and easy read. I would highly recommend this book to beginners in the horror genre, and also to readers who like more of a romance spin to their books. If you like more of the extreme horror I would maybe not recommend this but you might want to give it a try cause you just never know!
Thank you so much to Silver Shamrock Publishing for my review copy.