Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: Ghosting by Edith Pattou

From Goodreads:
On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.
I love the idea of YA novels written in verse.  I really and truly do.  What a great way to introduce teens who would never even glance at poetry to the form?  It makes for a great introduction and jumping off start that could lead to a love of poetry, in theory.  Unfortunately, I can't say that I'd use this book as an example.  The problem, and I've seen this in other novels in verse, is that there's no reason for this to be considered "poetry".  It's written just like prose, just with more page breaks.  There's nothing that sets this apart in form, voice, or content from any other prose.  I felt like the author wrote this as a short novel and then randomly inserted line breaks to make it "poetry".  Other than printing format, I'm hard pressed to come up with a reason to call this poetry, which really disappointed me.

Entertainment Value
In terms of being entertained, I have no complaints.  It's a young adult issue novel, which is my favorite type of YA, and it deals with hard topics.  There's nothing really exceptional either way.  I was entertained, I read it in one sitting, and I enjoyed it while I was reading, but it doesn't stand out to me as a must-read for young adults.  It's not one I'll be purchasing for the library or recommending to teen readers.  I hate to say it, but there's just better stuff out there.

Meh.  I was really disappointed in the writing.  It wasn't poetry (in my opinion) and it wasn't even exceptional writing as far as prose is concerned.  It entertained me and was a fine use of an evening, but it's not something that will stay with me or that I'll be passing on to others.  However, I seem to be one of the dissenters when it comes to Goodreads reviews, so feel free to click the link above and check out what others are saying.

Thank you to Megan at Spark Point Studio for providing me with a copy to review!


  1. I have thought the same thing about some of the books I've read in verse before!!

    1. I've heard great things about Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish A Novel by David Rakoff - I think it'll be my next foray into verse-form novels.