Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ghostgirl - Tonya Hurley

Sometimes high school really is a matter of life and death.

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is. Even worse: she's dead. And all because of a guy and a gummy bear.

In this satirical yet heartfelt novel, Tonya Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.

Title: Ghostgirl
Author: Tonya Hurley
Genre: Young Adult, Ghosts
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
My Rating: 1/5

I really wanted to like this book. I thought it would be good, especially since it was packaged so well. Unfortunately, it was just a nice package; there was nothing in the story that really jumped out at me. We, I think, are supposed to feel empathy for Charlotte, the main character, but she was a very unlikeable character. From the beginning of the book she is whiny, self-involved and gives us a crash course in "Stalking 101". There are glimmers of hope for this story when we are introduced to Scarlet. Her character, at least, is a very definitive one. There were a lot of clichés and that exasperated me as well.

The premise for this story is that Charlotte likes a boy named Damen. He is popular and she is "invisible". He is also dating popular, self-involved Petula. In an effort to get Damen to notice her, Charlotte thinks she must act more like Petula so she emulates Petula, puckers her lips like Petula does, and just all-around acts like Petula. She ends up being partnered with Damen in Physics, and is supposed to tutor him, but she dies choking on a gummy bear before she can even have a second conversation with him.

Even after death, she is still obsessed with Damen. She befriends the only girl who can see her, Scarlet. Scarlet, incidentally is Petula's younger "goth" sister. We never find out why Scarlet is the only one who can see her, or even why she can see her in the first place. Charlotte possesses Scarlet on numerous occasions, and doesn't care what she does in her body, as long as it gets her closer to Damen. As Scarlet is being possessed, her spirit is displaced. She can still see what is going on around her and wanders around while Charlotte is inside her body. Consequently, Damen does not realize that he is in fact talking with Charlotte, so when Charlotte is NOT possessing Scarlet, he is getting to know Scarlet. He likes both "sides" of Scarlet's personality and Scarlet and Damen start to fall for each other. This makes Charlotte jealous; so much so that she forcibly pushes her way into Scarlet's body on numerous occasions so that she can be near Damen. (Scarlet is maybe the only character that I do like in this book.)

There is a secondary plot in this book as well. Charlotte is supposed to be helping out a class of the deceased pass on. She apparently is "The One". The secondary plot is very confusing. In an effort not to ruin the book for everyone, I won't go into any more detail about what happens. All I'll say is that I did not like this book and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's book blog.


Melissa said...

Nice, honest review. I have a feeling I'll be passing on this one ;)

Dahlia said...

My thoughts exactly. I was really excited to read Ghostgirl, and then I was really disappointed with what I got. :P

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I only read about 50 pages of this before I gave up. I like you also really wanted to like it but it just wasn't my thing.

Christina T said...

Thank you for your review. I've decided not to read this book. I was curious because of its popularity and the interesting cover but it doesn't sound like something I would like.

I hate it when the main character is someone that readers can't stand to read about! It's like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. I made myself finish the book but I hated her character!

StephTheBookworm said...

That's too bad! I was definitely interested in this book because the cover is really cool. I'm not sure now whether or not I'll pick it up.

Tammy said...

I appreciate your honest review of this book. It has been in my TBR pile for a while but I think I'll take a pass on it now. Like you said, pretty package-too bad the book was a disappointment.

Allison said...

I remember reading this on a 16 hour flight. It was really hard to get into and I don't know why I didn't just give up to read one of the other books I brought. Scarlett was probably the best part of the whole thing. Can't believe I read the sequel too.