Rating: 1-5: 3
What did you like about the book? Annabel and her mom have just moved into the mansion her great-uncle left them when he passed away. Uncle Maxwell, who built the mansion on the grounds of a cemetery, was considered crazy for talking to people whom no one else could see. Annabel finds a cell phone in the woods nearby and slowly, reluctantly comes to the conclusion that ghosts are using the phone to send text messages to her. Short chapters and clever line drawings keep things moving, but can’t overcome the shortcomings of this horror/humor hybrid.
Anything you didn’t like about it? It was disappointing that Annabel did not stand up for herself or anyone else. She desperately wanted to join the popular crowd, and even did their homework for them so they would include her. She spent the whole story rejecting the fact that she can speak to ghosts. Even at the end, she doesn’t embrace her ability or try to help the many ghosts who asked for help. Other characters are mainly caricatures such as a boy-crazy weird girl, a whole posse of look-alike mean girls, and a cute friendly jock.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to girls in grades 4 – 6 who have exhausted all other horror options.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries with a heavy demand for quirky, spooky stories.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve in Fiction or with Horror in Genre Shelving
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 7/3/15