Review: Girl vs. Ghost

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Girl vs. GhostGirl vs. Ghost by Kate McMurry, Marie August
Series: Misdirected Magic Trilogy #1
Published by Author on April 10, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 242
Format: eARC
Source: Author

Girl vs Ghost is a young-adult, paranormal, romantic comedy suitable for all ages.

Isabel Lindley doesn’t believe in magic, but her best friend is obsessed with witchcraft. Strictly as a favor, Isabel agrees to help with a spell and is shocked when the ghost of a teenage boy splat-lands in her bedroom. Her friend is thrilled—even though only Isabel can see or hear the ghost—but Isabel is horrified. She’s the most ordinary sixteen-year-old girl on the planet. What is she supposed to do with a ghost who doesn’t know his own name, how he died, or why the heck he’s tied to Isabel with a psychic chain? Her only hope to take back her life is to help him solve the mystery of his demise so he can go to the Light. Or wherever. She’s not particular, as long as the ghost is gone.

Girl vs. Ghost has some weaknesses, the most blatant of which is the cover art and the images between the chapters. While on some level I do think that one shouldn’t judge books by their covers too much, I definitely do. Because of the cover art, I would not have picked this book up in the store.

The plot, too, has some disappointing spots, such as the fact that the female characters are both rather bumbling for most of the book, causing pretty much all of the trouble that they get themselves into and needing help from the boys to get themselves out again. Not to mention the fact that both guys are in perfect shape apparently, whereas Tripp nearly died when she ran a block. On the other hand, Isabel and Tripp both have promise; Isabel is delightfully grumpy and sarcastic (traits I very much relate to and appreciate), and Tripp might come into some serious witchy powers.

I occasionally found myself a bit confused by the changes of perspective, as the tale switches between Tripp and Isabel. Probably, were I to write this, I would have switched off at chapters or at least indicated whose section it was. Some other things clearly felt like setup, but did not come up again in this book, making them a bit out of place (see: demons at the school, ghost powers). Also, Finnegan’s (Irish ghost) speaking annoyed me; this is a pet peeve, as I just cannot stand when characters are written in accents (a word here and there is fine, but let the reader do most of it in their head, please!).

All of that said, Girl vs. Ghost is definitely better than quite a few of the YA books I’ve read from well-respected publishers (such as Hereafter or the House of Night books by another mother/daughter writing team). And, should I happen across the sequel at some point, I would certainly be willing to give it a shot to see if it’s better; I like the characters enough to be curious about what will become of them. So if you would like a quick, easy read and to give some new authors a chance, pick up the Kindle version for only 99 cents!

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