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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Love Notes from Vinegar House by Karen Tayleur

Title: Love Notes From Vinegar House
Author: Karen Tayleur

Release Date: 1st June 2012

My Rating: 3/5

“There are some things you should know about me if we are going to be friends. Like I don’t believe in ghosts.”

Freya Jackson Kramer has done some stupid things before, but this is the first time they’ve been splashed across Facebook. When she escapes to Vinegar House for the holidays, she thinks she’s leaving her troubles behind. But Freya’s troubles are just beginning.

How will she deal with her manipulative cousin, Rumer? How can she avoid the ex-love of her life, Luke Hart? And what secrets lie in the locked attic? This is a book for readers who believe in ghosts, for readers who disbelieve, and for those who are still sitting on the fence.

In A Nutshell:
The kind of book you should pick up if you like ghost stories, solving mysteries, and dreaming about the boy-next-door. Suitable for the younger YA market.

My Review:
Love Notes from Vinegar House is the kind of book you should pick up if you like ghost stories and solving mysteries. Also, if you like dreaming about the boy-next-door, although in this case, he lives across the road.

Under the watchful eyes of Mrs Skelton and Grandma Vinegar, and while avoiding her insufferable cousin Rumer and her long time crush Luke, Freya attempts to uncover the secrets of the attic at Vinegar House, which has been out of bounds for as long as she can remember. As Freya spends her school holidays by the sea, she encounters mysterious flashes of light, the suspicious plumbing of an old house, deceptive love notes, a possible murder mystery, a midnight burglary and a potential ghost.

For the most part, Freya was an endearing character. There were a few moments however, where I just wanted to slap some sense into her, although this seems to be a common occurrence for me when the character is in their early teenage years. I suppose in hindsight someone probably wanted to do the same thing to me when I was fourteen!

In regards to the ‘stupid’ thing Freya did that was ‘splashed across Facebook’, it wasn’t really addressed that much. It was more a passing thought to explain why Freya had no problem with staying at Vinegar House. I think it served more as a warning that gossip is always blown way out of proportion and you should always seek the truth from the people involved rather than trust gossip and comments on Facebook that can blow things way out of proportion. I’m showing my age here but I am so glad Facebook wasn’t around until after I left high school!

While I enjoyed the story, I can’t help but wish there had been a little more to it. The novel was filled up with a lot of back story and descriptions of the place and the goings on at Vinegar House and its occupants including cranky Mrs Skelton, depressed Mr Chilvers and flippant Rumer, but not a huge amount of excitement until the last third of the book as the story picked up and we really got to the heart of the story. The end was satisfying and I liked the way the love notes and the mysteries all fitted together at the end.

Ages 12+


  1. Lovely review Jess! It took me a few days to piece all the themes and threads together in my mind, but after that I was satisfied too. PS - I'm glad facebook wasn't around when I was a teen either!

  2. Excellent review, thanks for being so honest! Might have to try this out!


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