book review, horror, Middle Grade, Uncategorized

Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko

11 year old Zee lives with her older sister, Abby, in the quiet town of Knobbs Ferry. The hardships of loss and poverty have done nothing to dampen the flame of creativity that fills Zee, and she loved sharing her stories with her only friend, Elijah.

After a storm hits the town, a newcomer seems to offer solutions to everyone’s problems, but Zee is suspicious. As the whole of Knobbs Ferry falls under the stranger’s sway, it’s up to Zee, her best friend, and her former bully to identify fact from fiction and save the day.

I loved this book. This is exactly the kind of book I would have loved to read as a child (and still enjoy!). Zee is a wonderful heroine, and all the characters are relatable and realistic. I appreciated how Malinenko gave complexity to the characters – they each have their own hardships – but still managed to weave it organically into the plot so that it added an extra depth rather than being red flagged “issues”.

On the surface, this is an exciting story about ghosts, Hell hounds and scary characters doing unsavory things. It’s full of action and spooky moments and perfect for the horror minded child (or adult).

However, there are deeper layers about the purpose of suffering, the true meaning of life, and more than a couple of digs at the craze of positive thinking and manifesting your desires by concentrating on what you want.

I would have enjoyed this book merely for the plot. Malinenko writes well and the action grabs you from the start. However, the surprising depth to this book made me love it on a whole other level, and made for a very satisfying read.

If I were to give one little nitpick, it would be that I found the plot a little too easily resolved. I was hoping for something a bit cleverer. Considering the age of the characters, the target audience for the book (8-12 year olds) and keeping in mind how excellent the rest of it is, I will let it slide.

I award Ghost Girl

Ghost Girl is available for $14.94 hardback on Amazon.

Thank you to the author and the publisher for providing me with a free book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

5 thoughts on “Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko”

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