Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

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Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A teenage love story with a twist as the main character is dead! A little bit shallow, but an interesting idea.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: September 2009
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 978-0755347711

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Charlotte Usher is desperate to be popular. She has spent the entire summer break transforming herself to try and fit in with the 'in' crowd all in an attempt to try and attract the attention of Damen, a popular and handsome jock. Yet even after all her hard work she still remains invisible at best, despised at worst. Finally, in a moment of tragic bad luck, Charlotte chokes on a gummy bear, alone in a classroom, and dies. This isn't the end of the story however, it's actually just the beginning because Charlotte isn't going to let the little inconvenience of being dead get in her way...

I liked a lot of the ideas in this book, the whole 'dead girl' trying to win the heart of the most popular boy was intriguing, and the separate world for the deceased students, with their own classroom and teacher, and being forced to graduate still even though they've died. It throws an interesting twist on the usual American High School teen romance. However, I had a big problem with Charlotte. I just didn't like her. At all. She seems to have no redeeming features throughout the story, so you just don't care about her as a person and, frankly, I wasn't surprised she'd had no friends at school because she was such a pandering, shallow, mewling fool of a girl! Thankfully for the book, there is another key female character, Scarlet, who is much more interesting, and likeable. She's still living, and she turns out to be someone who can still see Charlotte after she's died and so they become friends, of a sort. Scarlet is quirky and independent and strong-willed, and she and Charlotte form an agreement where Charlotte is allowed to take possession of Scarlet's body to try and win Damen's heart.

As you'd expect, the popular girls are all bitches, the handsome boy turns out to be pretty decent, the scary goth girl is actually lovely and so there aren't really any surprises on that score. The dead characters are interesting however, with their peculiar quirky deaths and personal missions that they need to fulfil before 'moving on'. As I said, Charlotte is annoying, but the other characters help keep the story moving. The finale is a bit, well, unrealistic. I know that seems an odd thing to say for a book where the lead girl is dead and going around possessing people, but that much actually reads as believable somehow. The ending, however, was a bit more supernatural but not, I felt, entirely convincing. Although it's not a book I'd rave about, it did pass a few hours in an entertaining way.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of The Blessed by Tonya Hurley.

Further reading suggestion: For a more creepy supernatural tale try Ghost Chamber by Celia Rees.

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Buy Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley at


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Harley Quinn said:

I really love this book its one of my favorites