Review: Portraits of Celina – Sue Whiting

Posted 24 March, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 6 Comments

*I received a free copy of Portraits of Celina from Switch Press via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *

Review: Portraits of Celina – Sue Whiting |
5 Stars

Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay.
It’s as if the wooden chest is luring me, urging me to open it – daring me almost. Open me up. Look inside. Come on, just for a second; it won’t hurt.
Celina O’Malley was sixteen years old when she disappeared. Now, almost forty years later, Bayley is sleeping in Celina’s room, wearing her clothes, hearing her voice. What does Celina want? And who will suffer because of it? A ghost story. A love story. A story of revenge.

Portraits of Celina is a fantastic ghost story, eerily creepy, and filled with angst!

My Portraits of Celina review:

There are many very different things going on in Portraits of Celina. Bailey, her sister and their mom moved across the country after Bailey’s dad died in an accident. As soon as they arrive, strange things start to happen. Both because Bailey has some very vivid dreams that seem extremely realistic, and because she finds Celina’s trunk of clothes – from that last summer before she disappeared.

Written in past and present tense, first person point of view from Bailey’s perspective, Portraits of Celina manages to get right into the story from the start. Moving to a new place in January isn’t ideal, and for Amelia and Bailey, it’s even harder because their mom hasn’t been acting like herself ever since their dad died. Living in the house Celina lived in when she disappeared doesn’t help, either, especially when Bailey starts wearing Celina’s clothes and people in the small village do a double take thinking she is Celina come back to haunt them all.

Little by little,the story, both of Celina in the past, and what became of her, and Bailey in the present unfolds. I was intrigued, horrified, excited, and more often than not on the edge of my seat while reading Portraits of Celina. Bringing the past to the forefront made people act in very rash ways, and as the mystery of Celina’s disappearance came to light, I was quite disgusted with what had truly happened to her, why, and how it had been hidden for so long.

If you are looking for a ghastly horror story that has ghosts, some characters that are very cold-hearted, as well as some teenagers who just want to live a life as normal as possible, Portraits of Celina is exactly the book you need.

Some of my favorite Portraits of Celina quotes:

The day I turned sixteen, we buried my father. No one realized what day it was. Not even me. We were too stunned.

 I pick up another bag, wiggle past her, and head to the front steps. I press my lips together – I don’t trust myself to say anything right now. I might even speak the truth for once. 

No wonder Deb got such a shock. I stare into Celina’s eyes and feel as if I am gazing into my own. With a sickly feeling, I realize that there is no denying it: I am Celina’s double.

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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6 responses to “Review: Portraits of Celina – Sue Whiting

  1. I think I remember when this one was on your BB&B post – and if it’s the same one, I remember saying it sounded creepy. If not, well it still sounds creepy! *ha* You have me curious though. It seems like it’s along the same lines as Mara Dyer, which I love. I like a book that keeps me on the edge of my seat in suspense as well as draws a range of emotions. So, I suppose I will stretch my muscles and climb up Mt. TBR to place this one there. (my crane needs some repairs! *ha*) I hope you’re having a wonderful day, Lexxie! **BIG HUGS**

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: Review ~ Coda ~ CD Reiss
    • I haven’t read Mara Dyer, so I really have no idea, Brandee, but Portraits of Celina was creepy and very well done. Keeping me on the edge of my seat is a good thing for a ghost story, for sure 😉 Oh my, I hope you’ll be careful climbing, don’t hurt yourself, we’re going to be able to have fun in seven weeks 😀

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