Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

This book has a very attractive design: it is a little taller and narrower than the average hardcover teen novel; the cover has the silhouette of a girl in Tim Burton-style art seen through a cutout in the shape of a coffin; the pages are of heavy, good quality paper, edged in silver; pink Art Nouveau florals adorn each page; each chapter begins with a quote by such luminaries as Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe... And now I've run out of good things to say.

From the back cover: "Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is. Even worse, she's dead. 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."

The message may be a good one, but I found the story such a slog that after reading the first third of the book, I skipped to the final chapter. Teen readers who like school clique stories will probably be more patient.

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