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Give Up the Ghost Hardcover – September 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805089306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805089301
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,584,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—A supernatural twist on the "Mean Girls" plot provides page-turning action. Cass McKenna sees ghosts. Her first spotting was her sister Paige, who failed to pass on to the afterlife following a drowning accident. Unfortunately for Cass, Paige and the ghosts that inhabit her school are her only friends. A junior-high bullying incident left her jaded and angry, and as revenge, she uses her supernatural informants to spill her classmates' juiciest secrets. When the student council VP discovers her covert ability, Cass unwillingly helps him contact his dead mother, leading to changes in her social status. Cass isn't the most lovable of protagonists, but her resentment is well developed and convincingly sustained throughout. Mysterious plot elements and the budding relationship between Cass and the VP will quickly engage reluctant readers.—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY END

Review

“Crewe’s first effort will make readers wonder what else she’s got up her sleeve.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This coming-of-age novel avoids unrealistically neat moments of closure—it will make readers hurt, and maybe even believe.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A supernatural twist on the “Mean Girls” plot provides page-turning action. … Mysterious plot elements and the budding relationship between Cass and the VP will quickly engage reluctant readers.”—School Library Journal

“A school-dynamics story with a great original hook.”—BCCB


More About the Author

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives with her husband, son, and three cats in Toronto, Canada (and does on occasion say "eh"), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she can't look at the night sky without speculating about who else might be out there.

Customer Reviews

GIVE UP THE GHOST is a fantastic debut by author Megan Crewe.
Michelle's Minions
I hate to say this, but teenagers are just plain mean, and that really does suck for Cass, since she has to deal with so much crap from her peers.
April
I really enjoyed this book and the life-like personalities of the characters.
Alexa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Saundra Mitchell on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
That Cass is grieving is more than evident, from her inwardly turned ways and her broken family- and oh yes, the regular visitation of her late sister. In fact, Cass sees a lot of dead people these days, and she takes advantage of this rare gift to collect gossip on her schoolmates.

She uses the details provided by her ethereal cohorts as a sword and shield- keeping everyone at bay, and now that she has dirt on the ex-best friend who's made her miserable since junior high, she might finally have a chance for revenge.

But when Tim, a popular student abandoned by his father after his mother dies, asks Cass for help, she has to decide whether to stay hidden in her own grief, or to finally let a painful past go.

This book is deceptive- a fast read, you'll plow through it the first time in a single afternoon, engaged by the characters and the quick-moving events. But you'll want to come back again and again to enjoy the details- the finely turned out phrases and the delicate metaphors at play. Crewe has crafted a debut novel that's both a pleasure to read and to savor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer VINE VOICE on April 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cass McKenna is one angry girl. Ever since she parted ways with her childhood best friend, she's been absolutely mean-spirited. Instead of trying to move on with her life, Cass is on a mission to tear down and make fools of her fellow classmates. Cass knows things about them that she definitely didn't witness first hand because she's able to communicate with ghosts. There are 3 ghosts that hang around her school and spy on her classmates for her. Anything they find out, Cass uses against them to bring them down and to make herself feel better.

Then someone suspects what Cass can do, and coaxes her into helping him make contact with his recently dead mother. Tim is the VP of the Student Council, and Cass loathes him because he is friends with her ex best friend Danielle. Though she doesn't want to admit it at first, she's becoming friends with him. The more time that Tim spends with her, the more he is able to see through the shallowness of the people he calls friends. Whether they want to admit it, Cass and Tim need each other, and Cass is going to have to let go of her prejudices if she's going to keep Tim from joining his mom on the other side.

This wasn't at all what I was hoping for with this book, and by the time I made it all the way through I was pretty disappointed. Maybe I should have read more reviews, tried a chapter or two before buying it so I knew more of what I was getting myself into. I wanted more ghosty stuff, but the ghosts are merely part of the device to get Cass and Tim talking to one another. I wish that Crewe had developed that aspect of this novel more, maybe let us know how exactly Cass is able to communicate with ghosts. All we know is that she couldn't see ghosts, but then her sister drowned and became a ghost, and now she sees them everywhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mint910 VINE VOICE on October 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Oooh did I like this book! It was serious but funny and sad but exciting! It had a little bit of everything and gave me a lot to think about!

Right off the bat I loved the main character, Cass, she was relatable and likable and I totally would have been friends with her (even if I am a breather!) She's the outsider that used to be an insider until her best friend turned on her out of jealously. So now she lives her life chatting with her friends that no one else can see, ghosts.

I really like the first ghost we meet, and I'm not going to spoil who that is because I didn't know about them until I picked up the book and I was pleasantly surprised. Besides that unnamed ghost we have the two ghosts that "haunt" Cass's high school, Norris and Bitzy. They report back to Cass about the naughty going-ons of the students and staff of the high school and she basically throws it into their face that she knows what they are up to. We see a lot more of Norris than Bitzy, I'm not really sure why but I would have liked to have seen more of Bitzy, they are good friends to Cass.

Another character we meet is Tim the student council vice president, and in the same group as Cass's old best friend, which makes him instantly the enemy. But when Tim needs Cass's help he doesn't take no for an answer and it opens up a whole new world for Cass. I thought that Cass and Tim played off each other beautifully and I loved watching their friendship group.

Ok enough about the characters, Give Up the Ghost had a great sense of humor about it. The way Cass describes people or the comments she made, it definitely had me laughing! And while the book was really funny it was also sad (in a good way) at parts. And that balance made me love the book that much more, it covers all the bases.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If there's one sentence that could sum up Cass McKenna's life, it would probably be that infamous line from the movie The Sixth Sense: "I see dead people."

Ever since Cass's big sister, Paige, drowned the night of her Junior Prom, Cass has had the gift - or curse - of being able to see ghosts. Or, to be technical, to see, hear, and communicate with spirits who haven't moved on to wherever spirits go after people die. The morning after her sister's death, Cass made the mistake of mentioning to her parents that Paige couldn't be dead, since she was crying upstairs in her bedroom. One therapist later, Cass has realized that telling people about her little "secret" of communicating with the dead isn't a good idea.

Cass has learned to use her ghost-seeing powers to great effect. Never all that popular to begin with, she's made a lot of enemies at Frazer Collegiate by using the information that her spirit friends provide for her. Cheating on your girlfriend? Cass probably knows about it. Posting nasty things on a blog about the girl who does your homework for you? Cass probably knows about it. Passing along information to keep one of your best friends off the Athlete of the Year list? Cass knows about that, too.

It's not hard to see why Norris and Bitzy, the two resident school ghosts, are Cass's only friends.

But then enters Tim Reed, Student Council Vice President, who somehow manages to find out Cass's secret. Tim wants Cass's help in contacting his dead mother. Cass reluctantly agrees, planning to use Tim's popularity status to get dirt on the one person she needs to knock down the most - her ex-best friend, Danielle.
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