Posts Tagged: Dying

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.


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