Sunday, November 29, 2020

This is Not a Ghost Story

Portes, Andrea. This is Not a Ghost Story
November 17th 2020 by HarperTeen
E ARC Provided by Edelweiss Plus

Daffodil is glad to be escaping her humdrum life with her grandmother in Nebraska. On her way Bryn Mawr during the summer before college, she happens to disembark in a town that seems to be calling her, and before long has a better than expected job, working for a college professor watching his house and overseeing a renovation there. It's a mansion out in the country with a troubled past, and she runs into any manner of quirkiness while there. There is an older, very exuberant neighbor, the foreman of the renovation who occasionally is very odd, and a large animal scratching outside of the house. We also hear about her life in Nebraska, especially about a boy who liked her, and we learn more and more about how this situation didn't end well. As the odd instances increase, Daffodil starts to wonder if she is imagining them, or if there is really something odd going on in the house. Can she figure it out before more tragedy occurs?
Strengths: Creepy houses out in the country where things seem odd, well meaning neighbors who seem to be possessed by demons, protagonist doubting her sanity-- all good things. The cover is just creepy enough, and the book was a good length and moved quickly. 
Weaknesses: This was more of a Young Adult title, with a little language. The style was what made this seem less middle grade to me-- it almost read like Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hallway, with a dense, descriptive, somewhat rambling quality that took a bit of readjustment to follow. This is fine for older readers, but I think most of mine would struggle with this. The idea of an unreliable narrator often doesn't do well with younger readers. 
What I really think: I'm always looking for scary stories for my students, but they want something more like Brown's The Forgotten Girl, Currie's Scritch Scratch, Lawrence's The Stitchers, or Harmon's Hide and Seekers
Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment