Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Creepy Crush (Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley)


'"You can't ban me from the dance! I AM THE DANCE!" Petula screamed.' - Tonya Hurley, Ghostgirl

Usually, when I give a book a low rating, I say that it's not the book. It's me.

In this case though, I think it was the book.

We'll start with the main protagonist, Charlotte. She was so obsessed with Damon that it was actually creepy. Even creepier, her obsession with Damon pretty much defined her personality. She had no goals beyond dating him and becoming more popular. The fact that these remained her only two goals after death is mind-boggling to say the least. Did she have no goals for the future? No actual human connections to mourn the loss of? 

Damon himself was just a really nice, sporty guy. Hanging out with the popular (read: mean) kids, and dating Petula somehow did not stop him from being a really nice guy. I am still trying to work out how he ended up in his friendship group when he seemed to hate them so much. Also, he was essentially dating three girls at once (he thought he was dating two) and yet he was never called out for being unfaithful. None of the girls seemed to mind except for Petula, who we weren't supposed to like or agree with. 

Everyone else was defined by one or two singular characteristics and most of them were stereotypes. Scarlet was the gothic loner, Petula was the mean girl who inexplicably had the world revolving around her, Pam was the pushover of a best friend...and on and on and on. Usually, I don't mind the odd stereotype, especially when they've been given the odd twist. The problem here was that none of the characters ever developed beyond their assigned stereotype. The only character I liked was Scarlet, and that was only because she was sarcastic and called Charlotte out once or twice.

Plot-wise, I struggled. This is a book aimed at the teen audience. To outright say in a book aimed at teens that the reason that teens don't go straight to the afterlife is because they're selfish is awkward to say the least. Throughout the book, there was a constant emphasis on how teenagers didn't think of how their deaths would affect their families and friends, only of how it affected them. This was essentially the entire reason that there was a plot at all. Charlotte spent the entire novel pining after Damon and ignoring her new responsibilities.

And this is what saved the day in the end.

Yeah. On the one hand, teens are selfish people. On the other hand, being a selfish person will save the day. I was also really confused by Damon's reaction to finding out that Charlotte and Scarlet had both been flirting with him. It seemed a little...odd.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this one. I have learned my lesson about picking books up just because they look pretty.

Has cover love ever blinded you to common sense?