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Monday 10 June 2013

So...I met a Ghost by Paul McAvoy


I enjoyed this YA paranormal novel: written in the first person, it’s about Cal, a teenager, who regularly takes his sketch-pad along to the local graveyard and sketches headstones. Don’t worry, he’s well aware that’s just a tad weird. It was something that started just after his parents split up.

If drawing gravestones isn’t strange enough, then an extraordinary sight on one of Cal’s sketching evenings really does top the ‘strange’ pile: he meets Beth, seemingly normal except for one thing: she’s a ghost and she’s trying to escape from a rather unsavoury ghost catcher (who else?). Cal then commits himself to ensuring her pursuer does not catch Beth and to helping her find her way to where ghosts find their eternal 'the light'. Along the way, he encounters some surprises (as does Cal’s dad), some unpleasantness (why can’t nice ghosts be left alone, and what are the ghost catcher's plans for her?), not to mention finding himself having some very odd dreams. The latter was just a little confusing for the reader; Cal becomes Beth in his dreams, and it isn’t always clear who is who when. This did need a minute or two to work out, and there were occasions when time frames were a little unclear; however,  this didn’t mar the entertainment significantly.

This was a nice, compact novel with suspense, action, humour and just a touch of sadness. But don’t let the latter put you off: it’s all well blended and balanced. The dialogue of Cal, the teenager, between his parents and little sister Rosie was well perceived and credible and the ghostly imagery equally well portrayed. An enjoyable read which can be suitably labelled ‘feel-good’.

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