Saturday, April 13, 2013

Review: Give Up the Ghost

Give Up the Ghost
Author: Megan Crewe
Published: September 15, 2009
241 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody…and Cass loves dirt. She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.
But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.
As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life, she’s surprised to realize he’s not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance…
I love a book that sucks you right in from the first page. Meet Cass McKenna, a girl who can see and talk to ghosts and much prefers their company over humans. She gets to hang out with her dead sister and get all the dirt on everyone she hates at school. Her old friends have ditched her for popularity and she seeks revenge by telling all their dirty little secrets. It works for her and she likes the way she lives, that is until one of the popular guys, Tim, decides to enlist her help in talking to his dead mom. 
Cass is one of a kind and it's not just because she can see ghosts. The way she lives her life, you'd think she'd be unhappy. She is mostly alone and her mom is never around. But she prefers it that way and her attitude is a nice change from some of the girls in YA these days. Yes, she makes mistakes and she has regrets, but that's what makes her human. Some of her action in this book made me shake my head, like her schemes to get back at the cool kids, but I understand where she's coming from. Her best friend ditched her and this is the only way she thinks it'll make her feel better. It's not your normal revenge book by far, and the supernatural twist makes it even better.
It felt too short for me because I just wanted to stay in Cass's world longer. I'm glad Crewe didn't put in some plot points that I expected her to do with this kind of novel, and I loved everything she did with it. I loved how Cass's relationship with her sister only grew after she'd died. The way she dealt with Tim was heartbreaking and realistic, making her face reality instead of living with the dead. He was the perfect fit for her because he'd lost someone as well and understood what she could do. He's the only living person that knows she can see ghosts and that's what drew him to her. 
Crewe knows how to capture grief in slight words and short sentences. This book is short, but it pulls tight at the edges with great prose, hard topics, and every sort of relationship. Sibling love, parent love, friendships and lovers, everything is pulled in different directions and I had no ending how she would end this until the last page. This book stuck with me days after reading, and still hits me hard today. I haven't read anything other ghost book like this one and it was fantastic. Crewe has quickly become one of my favourite authors.
“You see? This is why you don't get mixed up in people's lives. Because the living are messy and complicated, and things end up going to hell one way or another, every time.” 

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