Reading Level : Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Bought at Books-A-Million
Cover: I was instantly drawn to this book because of it's cover. I like this because it feels like we've stepped into a private moment. The model (who is supposed to be the MC Cass) is smiling like she's listening to a secret (which she is) while putting up her book and it feels like someone just captured this at that second. I guess i'm saying it doesn't feel posed and that makes me feel in on the secret. I also love that the ghost whispering into her ear sort of looks like it could be the hoodie to her shirt. The coloring is also great with all that blue and pops of pink. This cover is a winner!
First Sentence: "You would think it would be easy getting a long with a person after she's dead."
The Mini-review: Give Up The Ghost isn't your normal paranormal novel. While the ghosts play a large part, this is a story about the characters and they don't let the paranormal elements overshadow them. It's a must read.
Here's The Blurb:
Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over "breathers". Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable. 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...
When I picked up Give Up The Ghost, I really had no idea what to expect. The description at the top could have gone a lot of ways and I wasn't sure how all of it was going to work itself out into a plot. Guess what, it did and beautifully!
The thing that most impressed me about this book was the awesome balance between the paranormal and the regular. Yes, Cass can see ghosts but it's not the only thing about her. The author did an awesome job of fitting the ghosts in so they felt just like real people who happened to be dead and then allowed the wonderful characters she created to shine from the situations they were in. No one or the other was competing for dominance.
Cass was an awesome main character. The thing I loved about her is in the beginning of the novel she was in a position of power and doing with it what she thought was best. Sure, she was alone and friendless, sure her life was no where near perfect but she did have a goal and she was doing what she thought best with the information her ghostie pals gave to her. Reading through her eyes made me feel strong. She was willing to confront people on their crap. Her reasons weren't all noble but she was trying to make people fuss up for the awful things they did to each other. I really liked that about her. As she goes through the novel, she learns, grows and you can physically see her icy exterior cracking with every page you turn.
The supporting characters were also great. I loved her ghost friend Norris and they way he'd help Cass, no questions asked. He was funny, charming and really helped round her out. Tim, the VP in question, also felt very real to me. Watching him desperately search for his mother's ghost, for some way to connect with her, was really heart breaking and worked perfectly to help peel away Cass's tough exterior. The character I was most impressed with was Danielle, Cass's one time BFF. Danielle was rude, sort of bitchy and the quintessential mean girl but she felt real. Her reasonings for the things she did, her understanding of her situations and even the way her attitude only changed slightly (but that was enough) all made her stand up off the page.
Also, the writing was so smooth and seamless, I'd look down on the bottom of the page and 100 pages had passed from when I last took a peek. I enjoyed the way Cass saw things, I enjoyed meeting all the new characters and watching them grow and I liked seeing both Cass and Tim have to learn to give up the ghost(s). It was a quick, delightful read with an ending satisfying enough to leave me thinking about what happens next.
Seriously, Give Up The Ghost is an awesome, easy read. Cass, her delicious band of ghost pals, and her schoolmates are worth getting to know!