ghostgirl: Lovesick is third in the ghostgirl series by Tonya Hurley. To read my review of the first novel, ghostgirl: http://bibliophilesupportgroup.blogspot.com/2009/06/ghostgirl.html To read my review of the second novel: http://bibliophilesupportgroup.blogspot.com/2009/06/q-with-tonya-hurley.html To read my interview with author Tonya Hurley: http://bibliophilesupportgroup.blogspot.com/2009/06/q-with-tonya-hurley.html
So, of course, if you haven't read the previous novels in this YA series - DON'T READ THIS REVIEW.
Anyway - our ghostgirl cast of Charlotte, Scarlet, Damen, Petula, the Wendys, and the ex-students of Dead Ed are back and so is Tonya Hurley's unique, blunt, not-at-all-shy, clever writing voice that jumps out at you from the awesomely designed pages.
First off we meet up with a slightly older, slightly more sophisticated Scarlet on Valentine's Day. Then we catch up with Charlotte who has managed to start up a kinda-romance with a fellow dead guy, but her deceased buds Pam and Prue don't approve. Next, we see that Petula has also changed - it seems for the better... or is it? A big theme in ghostgirl: Lovesick is how people change and whether the changes are good or bad. I don't want to give away too much more except to say that a bunch more plot-related stuff happens and, well, read it and find out!
There is a quote on the back of ghostgirl: Lovesick that mentions the novel having a Tim Burton feel. That is spot on! Some readers may be put off initially by the almost-odd tone of the series, but once you accustom yourself to it you find that ghostgirl is an original, gothic, comedy satire. It's different from pretty much anything I've ever read. It is literally incomparable to me in style and voice.
Charlotte is a fantastic character because she has a real-life personality - one that has a lack of representation in literature, I feel. We've all felt invisible, which makes her very relatable. She's also super sweet (but not so much that you drown in sugar, either). Once you add this likability factor to the twist that she is dead - well, how can you go wrong? ;)
ghostgirl: Lovesick is both an excellent, biting exaggeration of high school cliques and "types", as well as a touching character study that delves into raw emotions and the less likable side to ourselves.
Though there were some scenes that happened off page that I was disappointed to not witness as a reader, and sometimes I was truly frustrated with how certain characters were acting - there always manages to be a poignancy and surprisingly bittersweet redemption in Tonya Hurley's writing.
Then there is the big shocker about two-thirds into the book that throws a huge curveball that manages to cause ghostgirl: Lovesick to be even more awesome and page-turning. A little supernatural suspense only adds extra spice to what is already a delicious dish of artfully peculiar YA.
The biggest thing to me about this novel is how I actually truly care about these characters. Even ones that seem unlikable have their unexpected moments of humanity. ghostgirl: Lovesick is funny, sharp, touching, sad, realistic, mysterious, romantic and absolutely crazy all at once!
Though the end was satisfying and felt, in a way, conclusive - I sure wouldn't mind yet another foray in ghostgirl's unique world! I'm hoping Tonya Hurley will be kind enough to whisk us there again! How 'bout you?