Friday, February 2, 2018

Review - Ghosts

by Raina Telgemeier
Date: 2016
Publisher: Graphix
Reading level: MG
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 256
Format: e-book
Source: library

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake - and her own.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm in the minority here, based on the book's high Goodreads rating, but I just didn't like this all that much. I felt like it wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be: a serious "issue" book or a fantasy. I certainly wasn't expecting all those ghosts to actually show up... or to look so corny.

My main problem, though, was that I just didn't like the characters. Maya was obnoxious, and though I know she was supposed to be a spirited (and occasionally annoying) younger sister, she just rubbed me the wrong way. Cat was even worse. She was downright rude. If I'd behaved toward new neighbours the way she did--in front of my parents, no less--I would've gotten an earful... and probably been grounded. I get that teenagers can have an attitude, but Cat wasn't called out on her rudeness. Which made me kind of hate her parents. Actually, the only character I sort of liked in the whole book was Carlos, but he was kind of unrealistically perfect for a teenage boy.

The style of art didn't do much for me, either. In fact, I preferred the sketches that were included at the end, even though they were black and white. The whole Day of the Dead theme was interesting, but... it wasn't really enough to save this book for me.

As I said, though, I'm in the minority. Lots of people like it, so if you like graphic novels with stories about sick kids or ghosts, you might enjoy it more than I did.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 3/5
Writing & Editing: 3/5
Illustration: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.38 out of 5 ladybugs

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