Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Give Up the Ghost

This book is one of many that has been on my to-read list for years and yet my local libraries never had a copy of it, someday I will figure out why sometimes a library has a book I want and sometimes none of them do but clearly that day has not yet come, thank goodness I keep moving to new areas I suppose!

Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Cass hasn't liked her classmates for years and the feeling is mutual, she always has dirt on them and no one can figure out how, because who would even guess that she can see the dead and the bored ghosts hanging around the school love to spy on people and report back to her? There are a few rumors about it however so she's suspicious and worried when student council vp Tim comes looking for her but he's not about to expose her, he has a request.

This was a short book, just a hair over 250 pages, and yet in that time it did multiple things I really liked since they aren't the norm in supernatural stories. The story never implied that perhaps Cass should focus on relationships with living people instead of ghosts (since you know, even when you go to a small school there's always the one special person just waiting to be your friend!), just perhaps that she shouldn't really use their knowledge to commit blackmail which was a message I was fine with. To continue with the trope defying, Tim is hardly the "person will will lift our protagonist out of a funk and into greater society," while I've read many stories where I have thought something was wrong with the potential love interest this is one of the rare times where that was clearly the author's intent. The contrast between Cass's subdued grieving (of her sister still but more of what happened to her family life because of it) was a great foil to Tim's situation and it was easy to empathize with Cass when she realizes she's accidentally gotten into a situation that she has no clue how to deal with and has to "betray" Tim to help everybody. I did feel like Cass's friend was redeemed a little too easily but since that relationship, just like so many other things in the book, was left so open ended I was okay with it, this is a story that gets how life is on-going and messy and it tells one story in Cass's life and how other stories from her life interact with it.

 While I was reading the book I didn't mind that it was never explained what happened to make some people ghosts or why Cass could see them although I wouldn't have minded an explanation, without one it does feel a little like "our main character is this one unique, special person". I feel as if I haven't done the story justice here, the concept is old and even if it wasn't the sheer amount of supernatural fiction means that every idea has been done to death within moments of it's first example. But this really is a great version of the story, I was going to say that I will keep an eye out for Crewe's other books in the future but realized I've already read one, The Way We Fall, and didn't care for it as much, ah well.

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