Monday, March 22, 2010

YA Weekend: the ghostgirl series

I'm not sure what drew me to Tonya Hurley's ghostgirl series. I think I read some reviews on various book blogs and thought the concept sounded interesting.

In the first book ghostgirl, Charlotte finds herself starting her junior year of high school. She has vowed to do anything she can this year to become part of the popular crowd. She spent all summer planning her return to school and how she was going to reinvent herself. And on the very first day of school, she is lucky enough to get paired up with her dream guy in Physics class. Then she just so happens to choke to death....on a gummy bear. From there she is whisked away to the Afterlife or actually somewhere in between. She (as a ghost) now must attend Dead Ed in the same high school she attended while living. She learns she can pop in on her living classmates and see what they are up to. While doing so, she realizes that Scarlet, the sister of Queen Bee Petula, can see her. The two embark on a strange friendship. Throughout the course of the book, Charlotte refuses to accept her death and still tries to get the guy and be popular by living vicariously through her "living" classmates. By continuing to deal with the living, she alienates herself from her fellow dead students.

The second book Homecoming finds Charlotte now moved on to the other side, though she's not quite sure if this is heaven or some place in between. She and the other Dead Ed students are working in a phone bank answering calls from teenagers who can use their help. Day in and day out Charlotte's phone never rings, frustrating her to no end. Back at her old high school, Queen Bee Petula has contracted a deadly staph infection from a botched pedicure. It seems the only way to help her out of her coma is for her sister Scarlet to go to the other side to find Charlotte to help her.

These books are very light fare and perfect for the 13-15 year old set. For me, Charlotte gets a bit annoying with her whiny attitude toward the injustice of her death. It also bugs me how much she wants to be one of the popular girls. I love the character of Scarlet. I was glad that the football jock dreamboat seemed to have more depth to him than what you would expect. These are somewhat fun, but a bit mediocre overall. They are very quick reads. The books themselves are gorgeous with a die-cut cover, color and decorative embellishments on every page and silver trimmed pages. HOWEVER, the extra height of the book (and perhaps the silver trim) make the book very heavy and awkward to hold for long periods of time.

These are very good for escapist reading. A third installment ghostgirl: Lovesick is due out this July.

Source disclosure: I borrowed these books from the library.

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