Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Release Date: 8/1/2008
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Release Date: 7/1/2009
About the Books: Ghostgirl: Charlotte Usher longs to be popular. She has spent all summer learning to be like Petula, the ultimate popular girl at Hawthorne High and Charlotte's idol. Plus, she's determined this will be her year to win Damen Dylon's heart. But everything changes when Charlotte chokes on a gummy bear on her first day of school and finds herself in Dead Ed. Now she has to help her classmates cross over. But Charlotte is determined that even death can't keep her from popularity.
Ghostgirl: Homecoming: Charlotte has a new "job" working on a teen help hotline, but she's not getting any calls. Until a tragedy strikes Petula and her sister Scarlet and Charlotte may be the only one who can help. Being a ghost could come in handy after all.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I really enjoyed these books. They took a typical high school popularity story and adding a Gothic twist. The School Library Journal review on the back of the books says they're reminiscent of Tim Burton, and I somewhat agree. But I don't think the books are so heavy on the dark Gothic side that readers who aren't usually drawn to that couldn't enjoy them. Mostly, they're a fun satirical look at high school and popularity.
Ghostgirl actually took me awhile to get into, but once the story got going (and Charlotte met up with Scarlet who is my favorite character) it ended up being a fast read. I kept telling myself one more chapter, and before I knew it the story was over. Ghostgirl: Homecoming kept the momentum going from the first book and I think I enjoyed this one just a little more than the first.
I really like how Tonya Hurley is able to write in third person, but gets you inside the heads of each of the character. It feels like you're watching a movie with a narrator explaining what's really going in and what the characters and thinking and feeling. She's also very witty and clever and her love of music is apparent. I love that Scarlet is a huge fan of Death Cab for Cutie-love that band!
My favorite thing about these books is the packaging, which is very creative and fits the books so well. The dye-cut cover is different and fits so perfectly. I had them on my desk at work and teens kept asking about them and picking them up. Major kudos to the design team-the art and the glossy silver pages really make these books stand out. I really like how each chapter starts with a quote and then a little piece on what Charlotte (or Scarlet) is supposed to learn or take away from that chapter. The way it's laid out sort of reminds me of a silent movie screen, when they would show the dialog that the characters were speaking.
Overall, I think anyone looking for a fun unique take on high school would enjoy Ghostgirl. I'm hoping the series continues, as I would eagerly pick up another Charlotte Usher adventure. Also, be sure to check out the Ghostgirl website, which has a playlist and lots of fun activities!
Thank you to Lisa at Little Brown for sending me review copies of these books