"You would think it'd be easy to get along with a person after she's dead”. With an attention grabbing opening line like that, how could you not be drawn into a book like Give Up The Ghost?
Bullied teenager Cass is on a mission. Unlike most people who discover they can communicate with the dead, Cass embraces her unusual ability and exploits it to help her difficult social standing at school. Former best friend Daniel has unfairly destroyed her reputation, and now Cass’ only real friends are the ghosts she comes into contact with on a daily basis. They are able to dig up all sorts of dirt on anyone Cass asks them to and you would not believe how much lying, cheating and rumor spreading goes down on a daily basis. Cass holds her classmates dirty deeds over their heads as a means to avoid any future bullying, but she also helps out other students who are picked on too.
Give Up The Ghost was both heartbreaking and heartwarming for me. It pained me to see a young, pretty girl so badly damaged by cruel teenagers, especially someone whom she trusted and considered to be her best friend at one time. Her relationship with her dead sister was poignant. I loved how the two of them needed one another, even though while she was alive, Paige avoided her, and Cass hung back resentfully in her shadow. The other ghosts had quirky, interesting personalities- I liked Norris the greaser and Bitzy, the voluptuous ghost who still worried about her figure! While I would’ve liked to have learned more about how Cass came to control and use her powers or Tim’s family dynamics, the themes of hope and healing really drew me into the story. Cass and Tim were two extremely likable teens and it was easy to feel to connected to them.
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 Pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 15th 2009)
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