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This Is Not a Ghost Story Kindle Edition
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"A self-deprecating and highly memorable heroine whose bawdy, laceratingly funny narration makes her instantly endearing while also revealing her flaws, uncertainties, and ethical quandaries."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Anatomy of a Misfit" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
From School Library Journal
- ASIN : B084VPQY8Z
- Publisher : HarperTeen (November 17, 2020)
- Publication date : November 17, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 1279 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 285 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0062422448
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #844,412 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Second, remarkable is the way in which Portes both creates a plausible environment of uncanny mystery and explores the psychological dimensions of fear. The ending will haunt you for a long time.
In other words, "This is not a Ghost Story" is an intelligent treatment of a subject that other authors have made repetitive. This is innovative writing punctuated by imagination and guts. It has all the elements to endure and become required reading.
I highly recommend this book. It won't disappoint you.
When I saw the cover for This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes, I had chills! And the fact that the title is telling me it wasn’t a ghost story, I was fully expecting just that! Lol. And Andrea delivers on that mark, but it still wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
The story is told by Daffodil. It’s her story and it definitely sounds like a teenage girl telling you something that’s happening. Yes, happening. It’s very much in the moment and yet, it kind of threw me off. I don’t know why, maybe because it was more of a present tense sort of thing? It was a little off putting at times, because she would be talking about this or that instead of getting onto the course of what should be the story.
Daffodil makes an impromptu stop in a small town the summer before her freshmen year of college. She’s not sure why she stopped, something just drew here there. She soon finds herself with a summer job of house sitting and the money she’ll earn will greatly help her expenses for room and board at her college. But there’s something eerily strange about this house she’s watching. She hears strange things at night, catches glimpses of shadows and figures out of the corner of her eye. It’s frightening, you could say, yet she sticks to her job of keeping an eye on things, particularly the construction crew that is working out back, yet nothing ever seems to be built or progress made.
While trying to deny the strange things that are happening in this house, Daffodil also makes mention of things from her past. Mostly about meeting a boy and the terrible, terrible thing that happened with him. Naturally, it’s a gradual process of learning what that terrible thing was, but it’s a long time coming. We get bits and pieces of the story but you kind of start to get the idea of what it was before it’s revealed. So the pacing was a little hit or miss, sometimes it was moving steadily fast and then we come to a clip where things are dragging. It was a back and forth effort. I liked how some chapters were a bit abrupt and short, but then at the same time, it was usually during an exciting moment and we were taking a pause to reflect on something or other and then bam, back to the action.
This book definitely had its creep factor. There were some seriously sinister things happening and I did get the chills every now and then. But sadly, there just wasn’t enough creepiness. While there was still a good deal of the creepy, I was also expecting to learn why there is the creepy. We are given a newspaper clipping in the beginning of an event that happen, presumably in the house, but there’s never an explanation for all the creepy! I guess we needed Sam and Dean around to get that research done.
The ending, oh what can I say about that ending? There are comments, many comments. I feel like if I get into it, I could spoil it. The ending was enjoyable and not enjoyable. I liked it and I hated it. Mostly because I am still nagging about what the heck was up with that house?! There’s NO explanation for the creepy! I need an explanation for the creepy! Don’t just write it off as nothing! The thing about books with hauntings is there needs to be a reason for all the creepy! Who are the ghosts, what do they want? Are they on a hellmouth? GIVE ME SOMETHING! And yet, it’s nothing to worry about. I think that’s the part of the ending that nags at me the most. No explanation for all the weird that happened.
This is Not a Ghost Story was a fairly decent ghost story to be truthful. The narrative is a little rough and Daffodil has times of being an unreliable narrator, but only brief moments. The big drawback is not knowing enough about all the creepy things she saw and experienced. The ending is a whopper though. I did like the shock factor to some extent, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it more had I know why there was so much creepy happenings in that house! So if you’re looking for a spooky read this fall, you could easily give this one a try. It’s a fairly quick read in the long run and has a good scare factor…just don’t go into it expecting answers in the end because there are none.
Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars
One of the best things about this story is the narrative and voice of Daffodil. Daffodil is incredibly relatable and funny. Charismatic, Daffodil drives the story forward with her narration and expressive language. Socially awkward, Daffy is just fun. Her energy is fun, and I cannot stress that enough because it was the best part of the novel.
Daffy is left alone to take care of a haunted house, and when strange things start to happen around her, she tries to rationalize it. The reader can picture her perfectly because it is realistic. Her shaky laugh, her wide eyes, her unsure expression, all that detail that Portes put into bringing her life does just that: it brings Daffodil to life.
Then there are her hobbies. Daffy is weird in the best way possible. She likes weird conspiracy theory shows like Alien Encounters and Behind the Curse, eats ramen noodles like every college kid. Her personality instantly connects to the readers and her reactions to the events around her. Yeah, the reader can put themselves in her shoes.
Great Rising Tension
What also works for this novel is the rising tension of the story. It begins with an article obituary about the death of a man and woman in a house fire in the late 1800s. Then there is Daffy welcomed to the house to take care of it over the summer and watch over the renovation plans because yeah, at 17, she is totally qualified to do that (Daffy’s attitude, not mine).
Then strange things start to happen. First, a feeling of being watched by an empty house screaming for her to get out, then scratching at the wall behind the pantry, a mason jar with blood, a missing dead frog, and regular possessions and hallucinations. Everyday haunted house aspects.
Nevertheless, it works here. Nothing comes off as cliché because Daffy is telling the story. Daffy is telling this story to readers as if it already happened. Honestly, it is a bit of a trip, but in the best way possible.
It also has fantastic pacing. The story’s pace increases gradually and, combined with the tone and tension, grip the reader, hooked to reading the story faster and faster to solve the haunted house’s mystery.
With a surprising ending, This Is Not a Ghost Story is an incredible, quirky, energetic, and unique ghost story that will leave the reader awestruck.