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Spookygirl Hardcover – August 16, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gayle Forman Reviews Spookygirl

Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist. She began her career writing for numerous publications, including The Nation, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Details, Elle, and Seventeen Magazine. In 2002, Forman took a trip around the world, resulting in her first book, a travel memoir called You Can't Get There From Here: A Year On The Fringes Of A Shrinking World. In 2007 she published her first young adult novel, Sisters in Sanity, based on an article she had written for Seventeen. Two years later, Gayle Forman wrote If I Stay, an emotionally arresting story of 17-year-old Mia in the 24 hours after a catastrophic car accident. Currently in development with Summit Entertainment, If I Stay received five starred reviews, was honored as the 2009 NAIBA Book of the Year and was a 2010 Indie Choice Honor Award winner. Her newest novel, Where She Went, is a companion novel to If I Stay. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family. Read her review of Jill Baguchinsky's Spookygirl:

Like her mother before her, fifteen-year-old Violet can communicate with ghosts. But the one ghost she cannot talk to is that of her mother, who died seven years earlier during a paranormal investigation. After having been exiled to live with an aunt, Violet returns to live with her father above the funeral home he now runs, which, as you might expect, is a popular haunt for spooks. So, it turns out, is Violet’s new Florida high school. No sooner does she enroll than she discovers a mysterious dark presence in the girls’ locker room, and the spirit of Dirk, a dead jock, lurking in the art classroom. Violet’s ability to see Dirk earns her the moniker "spookygirl" from her classmates and the respect of the Goth kids and of Timmy, a wanna-be Goth and half vampire. Part of the book’s charm is the normalcy of it all--Violet has a pet poltergeist named Buster that is as rambunctious as an unruly animal--but this can sometimes rob the narrative of its tension. There’s no price to be paid for Violet’s powers. A plotline with the locker room and a potentially demonic gym teacher goes nowhere. When Violet takes up her mother’s mantle as a sort of ghost whisperer, trying to find resolution for the conflicts between ghosts and the humans they haunt, the story finds its heart, though the narrative seems to raise some unintentional questions: Is it really healthy for the dead and the living to go on together as though nothing has happened? That said, this is a fully realized novel, with a sweet voice, humor, some lovely descriptions, and a unique premise. Violet would be at home on bookshelves alongside the likes of Paranormalcy’s Evie. --Gayle Forman

(Photo © Nick Tucker)

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From School Library Journal

Gr 9-11-Violet, 15, can see and talk to ghosts, save the one ghost she'd love to chat with-her mother, who died under strange circumstances during a paranormal investigation. Her father, now a funeral-home owner, refuses to talk to her about it. Violet is starting in a new high school where she earns the nickname Spookygirl for talking to a dead football player. With the help of her new Goth friends, she solves a couple of ghostly mysteries, just as her mother did, and decides that she is ready to return to the old house where her mother died and find out the truth about that night. Baguchinsky delivers a funny, fresh story with some chilling scenes and a likable and smart protagonist. Secondary characters, the setting, and the mysteries are all well done, keeping readers entertained and engaged throughout.-Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canadaα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (August 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525425845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525425847
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,080,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I sat down to read Spookygirl I thought maybe I'd read for an hour and then go tackle some other things I needed to get done that day. Well, my husband finally dragged me away to eat dinner, where all I could talk about was the book - without giving anything away, of course, because he plans to read the book next! We got home and I dove back into the story, finishing it up the same day I began.

I couldn't stop myself, the characters were authentic and engaging. Each of the young characters in the book has their own way of trying to deal with the omnipresent issue of fitting in. Violet, convinced she needs no one, is cool and collected without being too Vulcan. Her wit adds levity to a book about some dark stuff. Some ghosts you _want_ to see more of because they are either hilarious, charming or sympathetic.

The author does know when to back off the jokes, though. In the more intense scenes the oppressive dark forces that Violet confronts definitely crept up and tried to close around me as well. I also appreciated the main character's willingness to talk with adults (even if they frustrated her with their responses). Too many young readers' books separate the generations in their plots, as if children exist on some plane that adults cannot reach.

Spookygirl feels like a nice mix of Ghostbusters and B.P.R.D., written for a generation of kids who search for answers to mysteries on the internet instead of in dark musty libraries. The end of the story was as satisfying as the journey to reach it, unlike so many books where the conclusion appears out of nowhere to wrap up the plot in under two pages.

I really hope that we get to read more adventures with Violet, Tim, Buster and the rest of the gang.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By the time I was done with Spookygirl I couldn't help but think, "Are... there really ghosts just hanging around here?"

Spookygirl is a young adult novel that focuses on the paranormal. No, not vampires, although Spookygirl does poke fun at them. This story is about a confident teenage girl named Violet who can see ghosts, and she doesn't really care who knows it. She lives with her dad in an apartment above the funeral home her Dad owns, and she is just trying to survive her new high school.

The young adult shoe fits Spookygirl perfectly. The story is engaging without needing to rely on a lame romance subplot to drive it forward, and there are some genuinely funny and creepy moments as well. The writing keeps you wanting more, and I was always excited to see what happened to Violet and her unlikely group of friends next.

While it's in the young adult genre, I would recommend Spookygirl to anybody looking for a good read. It has something for everybody and it is a MUCH better alternative than Twilight and the like. Hell, I'd even recommend it to the high school jocks around the world. You might learn something about that person you've been picking on.
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Format: Hardcover
Spookygirl is an easy, light-hearted read. Completely opposite of the eery "I see dead people" ghost stories, this one is closer to ghostbusters. Sarcasm and adventure meet up in a almost flippant fashion as one brave and confident teenage girl takes on the world of unruly spirits. Guaranteed laughs and sure to entertain.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it." ¯ Bertrand Russell.

TWO DAYS....I LOVED Spookygirl!! What a fantastic, fun, funny, heartwarming and delightful book! Violet grabbed me into her life from page one and took me on a journey that was worth every word! It was so REFRESHING to read your book....so nice to read something other than what is out there for the old and especially the young! I love Violet, her spirit and her for acceptance of who she is.....Isobel and Dirk tugged at my heart and every character became a friend.....SO, EVERYONE, I encourage you to go out and get this book at your local book store or from Amazon....I assure you, you will enjoy it and boast about it!!! I can't wait for the Sequel and to continue Violet's journey!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this on my TBR pile for ages but didn't get around to reading it until now. Oh my goodness, but this is a good book and one that hopefully will have a followup book sometime in the future. It's just a shame that this isn't as better known as it is, because this really deserves not only a big following but the movie tie-ins that seem to be so prevalent nowadays. It very much deserves not only the ABNA award it won, but it deserves more recognition as a whole.

This is fairly lighthearted for the most part, despite some of the darker elements that are occasionally brought up. There is mention of death and our (living) characters are put in very real peril towards the end of the work, but overall this is something that could be read by a wide variety of readers. I liked that there's really no romance to speak of in this book when it comes to the main character Violet, as the whole insta-crush thing is just so overdone in YA books that it makes me want to scream. There is one character that was introduced partway through the book that gives me the impression that if Baguchinsky were to continue on with the story, there could be a connection there.

The characters here are pretty nice as well. They're interesting in that while they do sort of fall into the typical YA UF roles (offbeat lead female, quirky friend, goth girl, etc), they don't overly revel in those roles and they're endearing enough to where you don't really care when they do come across as a little familiar. The character development could have been a little better for some of the supporting characters and for some of the characters that were mentioned, but there's enough for this to work as a standalone novel and if hopefully there are future books, this can be worked out in future novels.
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