Despite Washington Irving references, about 90% of this book focuses only on the lovestruck gazing at a mysterious friendly boy who likes to hang out at a cemetery - Casper CaspIAN. Not a 'friendly ghost' at all, why'd you ask??? Yup, I just gave away the big plot point of this book. Which everyone, except the protagonist, is able to see from a mile away, with all the anvil-sized hints the author drops.Now, the idea of this story sounded interesting - our teenage protagonist Abbey knows that her best friend's death is likely very NOT accidental, and she just happens to live in the town made famous by Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The one with the headless horsemen, you know? However, the interesting premise goes right out of the window the moment Abbey meets a mysterious strange boy and - of course - immediately and automatically falls in love with him. Because that's how things apparently now work in YA novels - insta-love seems almost a genre requirement. Forget about the dead best friend - there is a boy to swoon about.But my biggest gripe with this book is this - the story reads pretty much like a young girl's diary. I remember starting one when I was nine (I lasted about a week); it went pretty much like this: "Dear diary, this is what happened today - *cue a long list of mundane things*". Well, this is what this story reads like. It details EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of Abbey's days - her wardrobe choices, her baking cookies, school, Caspian, school activities, cookies, making perfumes, Caspian, baking cookies, school, Caspian, cookies, perfumes (yes, cookies must be an important plot point given how often they are mentioned)... Okay, I'd keep the perfume part in - it is original and interesting, but the rest is just filler that bogs down the book and bloats the story that should have occupied a compact few hundred pages into three way-too-long books (yes, I've read the entire trilogy - only because I wanted to know how this dragged out story ends. Answer - unsatisfyingly, very much so).******** I just wish Jessica Verday had trusted that her readers can picture what is going on in the story without being spoon-fed every minute detail of everything. We do for the most part have working imaginations, y'know?Kristen (the dead friend) gets promptly forgotten for the most part. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is referred to only on occasion. It's all about the friendly ghost mysterious boy for pages and pages and pages and pages. Because CLEARLY the world stops turning once a cute boy shows up. Who, for no good reason at all except the intended romanticism, starts calling her Astrid instead of Abbey. Witness protection program or what?"At that moment - in that small, concise, perfectly clear moment of time - I knew. It was that moment I fell in love with him. It actually caused me to stop, and time froze for just a second. But that feeling was so right, and so strong, that I knew I wasn't wrong."These sound like famous last words (of a potential victim of a crazy dangerous guy) - "I knew I wasn't wrong." *Eyeroll* I wish YA heroines would occasionally actually get to know a guy before deciding to irreversibly tie their destiny to him. Well, unless the boy is THIS CUTE!!! :) Abbey is not a terrible YA heroine. She actually has goals and aspirations for the future, actually related to her talent - perfume making. She is written to be quirky and independent. Unfortunately, the puppy-love and unnecessary detailing overshadow her potential.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Verdict: It's a predictable YA paranormal romance that is overly detailed, drags on way too much, mostly lacks character development, and could have benefited from some heavy editing. Nothing special about it. Granted, I am not a target audience and only read this one in support of Jessica Verday's stand on that whole "Wicked Pretty Things" debacle (Verday was asked to change a story for a teen anthology because her characters were gay, and that was not okay with the editor). Still, I expect an exciting story, target audience or not, and this one failed to deliver. 2 stars only because I liked that whole perfume-making bit.