Monday, June 15, 2009

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley


Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I should die before I awake,
I pray the popular attend my wake.

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.

If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is. In this satirical, yet heartfelt novel, Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at some times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.

Character Development: 6/10
Originality: 8/10
Overall Enjoyment: 3/10
Ending: 4/10
Voice: 3/10
Setting: 8/10
Recommendation: 4/10
Total Score: 36/70
Grade: C

Age Appropriate?
Cussing: Yep.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc: Don't think there was any...
Sexual Content: Suggestive in conversation.
Disturbing Images/ Violence: Gory- looking ghosts.

This book would have made a really cute, chick- flick movie. But as a book, I'm not quite sure I liked it. The voice was very, very whiny when focused on Charlotte. She was just about the most obnoxious character I think I have ever read, and she doesn't get any better until the very end. When the story was focused on Scarlet, I enjoyed it a lot more. Scarlet was a much more likable and relatable character (for me anyway).

The story and plot line was interesting, but pretty predictable. Some of the characters were well developed, but others were just 100% stereotypical with nothing more to them. Again, it reminded me of a movie, and not very close to a realistic high school. (Of course, that might be because Hurley was aiming toward a satirical approach, but I personally didn't enjoy it.)

There were some good aspects of this novel, though. There were parts that had me laughing out loud, which is definitely something you want a book to do to you! And there was also wisdom buried deep with in the pages. With that last statement, I will end with an impressive quote from Ghostgirl :

It's not about what you had, but what you gave. It's not about how you looked, but how you lived. And it's not just about being remembered. It's about giving people a good reason to remember you.


  1. I'm in your boat here. I think a lot of the satire fell pretty flat. Tim Burton could make a cute satirical movie out of it but I don't think it stood up as a book.

  2. I just headed over to your blog to read your review of Ghostgirl, Donna. I agreed 100% with everything you said. I was worried I was the only one sorely disapointed with this book. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I have to completely DISAGREE. This is unlike anything I've ever read before. People try and compare books like this, but you just can't. It's an hysterical book that's filled with unforgettable moments. Charlotte was the way she was on purpose - to make a point. This book was poignant and clever and so original. I didn't want it to end. Here's the to next one!!

    I usually agree with you, but not on this one.

  4. To Anonymous:
    I definitely understand how poeple could like this book. I think it just wasn't my type. Next time, I encourage you not to comment as anonymous. I promise I am not offended and won't hold a grudge against you or anything! I understand that people always have different opinions on books. Books effect different people in different ways. I'm glad to hear you liked it! I love all comments, the good and the bad. :) So thanks for telling me what you thought!

  5. We all have different sensibilities. I think you were clear why the book doesn't work for you. As someone who thinks you clearly know how to identify a book's strenght based on mechanics and not solely your personal preference, I'm going to trust your judgement. I've seen this everywhere.

    Might put it on our shelf for the girl who would like it, but I won't be reading it.



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