Charlotte has spent the entire summer working on a new image for herself: She wants to be a popular, made-up cheerleader instead of the girl who no one notices. Oh, and she wants to go to the Fall Ball with Damen, the jock on whom she's been obsessively crushing for God knows how long. Lucky girl, she winds up with Damen for a lab partner on the first day of school. But before she can even make it to her next class, she chokes on a gummy bear and dies. Oops.

Now she's in Dead Ed, where all the students are teens who died in various gruesome and ridiculous ways. (Piccolo Pam swallowed her piccolo; Call Me Kim got too much cell phone radiation.) But Charlotte would rather hang around Damen and plot how to get with him even though she's dead—and invisible to everyone except Scarlet, the local goth and sister of Damen's bitchy plastic girlfriend, Petula.

The best thing about Tonya Hurley's ghostgirl is its spectacular design. The images on the web don't do it justice. It's a really, really cool-looking book, from its unique size to the pretty endpapers. Unfortunately, the writing and characterization are not much more than cute. Charlotte has no personality and is therefore difficult to root for. All we know about her is that she wants to be popular, she wants Damen, and she's pretty good at physics. Scarlet is a bit more sympathetic, but she, too, is underdeveloped. I did like some other macabre little details, like the school marching band that plays "The Beautiful People" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart." But overall, this story seems better suited for a graphic novel or movie. They should have subtitled it "an unfortunate series of events."


love,gidget said...

it is too bad the characters were not more developed, it sounds like the book had some really cute ideas.