Author: Lauren DeStefano

Friday, June 30, 2017

A Powerful Novel about Grief: The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano

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I received this book for free from Bloomsbury USA Childrens in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Powerful Novel about Grief: The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefanoThe Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 6, 2016
Genres: Grief, Historical, Middle-Grade
Source: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Buy on Amazon

What if a machine could bring back the ones we love? From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a captivating middle grade of loss, love and hope.

In this beautiful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Lauren DeStefano tells a story of love and loss, and what it means to say goodbye.

When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.

Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.

Back in the day, everyone would rave about DeStefano’s YA series but I never really got around to reading the Wither series. Years later, here I am raving about DeStefano’s middle grade series. I honestly cannot imagine if her YA books could be any better or honestly, if any YA book could even tackle grief the way DeStefano does in every single one of the middle grade books I’ve read by her.

So probably there is some book out there that does grief better BUT THATS NOT THE POINT OF THIS REVIEW. The point of this review is so that I can sing The Girl with the Ghost Machine praises because series, this book hits you right in the fucking feels.

Emmaline Beaumont’s father starts building a ghost machine when her mother passes away but in his drive to bring her mother back, Emmaline’s father forgets about her. For two years all he does is work and work on this machine, never leaving the basement and almost forgetting that he has a daughter who needs him. The Girl with the Ghost Machine isn’t a book about how he is a terrible father though (even if it easily could be and her dad IS kind of terrible.) It’s about grief.

That old saying that time heals all wounds?

It’s actually kind of BS. Time will most certainly not heal all wounds if someone doesn’t develop proper coping mechanisms in regard to grief… But also, I am probably not the best person to talk about grief in general.

I could definitely be more specific about The Girl with the Ghost Machine. I could tell you the writing is so mesmerizing (and tbh, I am half tempted to use some cheesy metaphor to accentuate that point), I could tell you that Emmaline is truly a formidable heroine and that the secondary characters in this book are all amazing, or I could just vaguely mention those details so you might be tempted to figure out why it is I am writing this bizarre non-review.

Perhaps this book just brings out the weirdly pretentious review-writing in me. The Girl with the Ghost Machine, after all, is more literary fiction than not and I ~am~ a lit major…

The point isn’t though that I am a lit major or that this book turned me into a pretentious asshole, it is that The Girl with the Ghost Machine is an absolute winner of a book and I am truly disappointed that it isn’t getting more hype. If you aren’t in tears by the end of the book, you’re probably a monster and you should probably go get your emotions checked out.

I am rambling now so I will stop but mark my words and READ THIS BOOK. Then please come cry with me about it because I am tired of being sad all by myself.


4.5 Hot Espressos

Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by on 10/01/2015 • 2 Comments

This book was all sorts of fun to read. The characters were interesting and so was their story. What I love the most about middle grade books is that even if there is a bit of child romance, that is not the focus. Instead, the focus is more on what is happening or a building friendship. Initially I was thinking, “Oh boy, another ghost story.” but although it does have ghosts, it didn’t wear on me or feel like every other ghost book out there. There was a bit of creepiness to the story, and a lot of thrills. This is a great story for younger ones leading into Halloween season or anytime.

Pram is a very smart little girl who lives with her aunts. Her mother died when…

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by on 09/27/2013 • 22 Comments

Perfect Ruin has a fantastic concept with the same easy flowing writing from DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series. Constrained on this island the size of a fist, we’re taken into the life of Morgan who’s been starting to wonder what’s over the edge. The one thing that is forbidden to all residents of this floating city. Oh did I forget to mention that part? Yes, the city is floating somewhere above earth. This lone city. With people. Living there!

Not only is this place the size of a cracker, but now people are being found dead. Murdered. And not nicely either – if there is such a thing. Not only do I love the fitting name – Perfect Ruin – but this story had me captivated from the get go….

Waiting on Wednesday (85)

Waiting on Wednesday (85)

Posted by on 07/10/2013 • 39 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine  and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  My pick this week:


Whoa this sounds really cool and different for a dystpian/sci-fi/whatevers. I like the murder mystery included in it, too! What are you waiting on? Link me up! 🙂

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by on 02/17/2012 • 28 Comments

FeverLauren DeStefanoSeries: Chemical Garden, #2 Release date: February 21st, 2012by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Goodreads / Purchase

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago – surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous – and in a…

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by on 02/13/2012 • 40 Comments

WitherLauren DeStefanoRelease date: March 22nd, 2011by Simon & Schuster

Goodreads / Purchase

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as…