Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Spookygirl by Jill Baguchinsky

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Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator
Jill Baguchinsky
Publication date: August 21st 2012
by Dutton Juvenile


Violet doesn’t remember much about her late mother, but she is certain of one thing: she too can see ghosts and communicate with the dead. But when Violet discovers paranormal activity in the girls’ locker room, she finds herself ill-equipped for handling the school’s ghostly echoes. Through Violet’s own investigation and with the help of some unlikely allies, Violet discovers there is a lot she doesn’t know about her special skill–and more still that can stand in the way of its power. With sharp wit and determination, Violet sets out to uncover the truth behind her school’s haunting, to finish the investigation that led to her mother’s sudden death, and to learn why the only ghost she has ever wanted to see is the one that has eluded her forever.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review purposes*
Ahh! Morbid humor! 😀

I have to admit, I almost didn’t pick up Spookygirl because of its title. I was afraid it would be a bit too cheesy for me, so I’m happy to say that this wasn’t the case. Sure there are some… less than mature moments, but overall the humor is very clever and witty: What you would expect from a teenager who has been seeing ghosts her whole life.

Initially I found myself debating between a 3 and a 4 star for this novel. It has quite the predictable plot and parts of the ending are a tad underwhelming, however I can’t deny that it’s a fun, enlivening novel — exactly what I was in the mood for — that I thoroughly enjoyed regardless of its debilitating factors. With Violet’s ability to see and communicate with the dead, her father being a mortician, her mother’s mysterious death, and friends who go along with her dangerous antics, how is it possible to not get absorbed in this story? Violet’s fantastic sense a humor is incredibly amusing, and you can expect to get creeped out a time or two. She’s dealing with something evil, something that may actually contradict what her mother has always told her – ghosts can’t you you. The secondary characters range from the half vampire (or so he thinks) best friend, to the goth, to the poltergeist pet; all quite charming and unique in their own way, they become good, loyal friends to Violet that, though not notably developed, are great accessories to the story.

Fair warning for romantics, there is a complete lack of romance in this novel. I, for one, found it quite refreshing. There is plenty going on inside this plot that a romantic side story is not required. I never felt like there was something missing, nor did I hope for any romantic developments between any of the characters — to be honest I didn’t even make note of it until I wrote this review. It was a great change to have no distraction from the main plot which was plenty interesting on its own. My one complaint is that it’s a little underwhelming when it comes to conclusion of the hauntings. I was expecting something much more sinister from the vibe they were emitting.

All in all, with a great equilibrium of humor and fright, Spookygirl is a quirky, yet creepy read that is bound to entertain you fully. 

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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19 Responses to “Review: Spookygirl by Jill Baguchinsky”

  1. Nick

    I’ve never heard of this book before today. It looks to be a fun read! The characters seem to be quite funny! 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the book, Giselle. I’m happy to hear that this book doesn’t have a romance. Seems a lot more realistic that way.
    Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  2. Helen Keeble

    Not heard of this one before, but it sounds right up my street. While I enjoy a good romance, I do find myself longing for more girl-focused YAs that don’t involve the seemingly-obligatory subplot with a hot boy. I’ll definitely be picking this one up!

  3. Amy

    This sounds like a fun book. I love books with a lot of humor in them. I like that there is no romance in it. It’s nice to just have a book with a good storyline that doesn’t have to have a romance. I mean, I love a good romance as much as the next person, but it’s not always necessary. Thanks for the fab review chick!!

  4. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    How refreshing that there is no romance in this story! Sometimes it really messes up a book, because the author seems to think that it has to be part of the story. I also like the fact that the humor is clever and witty.

    I haven’t heard of this book, but I’m definitely going to check it out 🙂

  5. Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

    First time seeing this! Haha, I do honestly agree with you on the title, so glad to hear it wasn’t what was expected. I do like the sound of it being romance-free though..definitely would be a great break for us once in a while >_< Great review!

  6. Meg K.

    Ah, so glad you enjoyed this one! I saw it on Goodreads the other day and it looks quite interesting. 🙂 Too bad about it being too predictable, though. That kinda takes away the suspense and tension. :/ I don’t mind a novel not having romance, so I think I might actually like this one!

    Great review as usual, Giselle! 😀

  7. Bookluvr Mindy

    OH! I <333 I wanna read a Morbid Humor book! I think I need something like this. Have you read Drink Slay Love? That was kind of stupid funny for me but it was a nice change to what I normally read. I could see why you would struggle between 3 & 4 stars but I think I need a little change from what I've been reading lately. Thanks for sharing.

    Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

  8. Danny

    yeah!!! I am totally up for this book! It sounds awesome – humor and quirky with a little creep! and.. I’m picky with ghost stories… but this one sounds fun 🙂

  9. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter)

    Woah … hold on. A LACK of ROMANCE? Is that even possible?

    Truthfully, I’d probably be pissed because I like at least SOME romance in my books. 🙂 Though it does sound like a great read! I love a good mix of creepy and quirky.

    Great review!

  10. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Sometimes, when a plot isn’t all that, as long as there’s humor and a great MC, that’s all it takes to make me happy. This one sounds really cute & worth checking out!

  11. Camille Picott

    I am SO okay with a YA book that does not have romance!! So glad there are still some of those being written. This series sounds cute — sort of Supernatural with girl power?

  12. Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan

    I agree, Spookygirl does sound kind of cheesy lol. I was reading along thinking to myself, this sounds like something I’d like, then I seen there was no romance, and I tuned out lol, not for me. Great review Giselle 🙂