Book Review: Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Published September 15th 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.
Length: 241 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Ghosts, Romance
Reading Level: Pre-Teen & Up
ISBN 0805089306 (ISBN 13: 9780805089301)
Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody…and Cass loves dirt. She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.
But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.
As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life, she’s surprised to realize he’s not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance…
Memories of high school, even 10 years removed, still have the power to make me want to hide in the corner and gibber. Hell is other people and teenagers are just the devil in disguise. I saw another book blog review Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe earlier this year and thought it would make an appropriate read for October and Halloween. There are no real spooks in this book and it’s more about people than the paranormal. Give Up the Ghost is a look at grief and how teens handle death. It’s also a looks at the society of children and high school. The careless cruelty of the teens in this book makes me nauseous.
I had a ‘friend’ in high school much like the character of Danielle. She was sweet as pie until you crossed her and then she was as sharp as a knife. This ‘friend’ was exhausting to be around and I was more than a little glad when college started and I could be rid of her and her drama. Her behavior forced more than one wedge between what had been a good group of friends. Give Up the Ghost shows us the effects of bullying and just how all-encompassing it can be. All it took was some spiteful words from Danielle and Cass’ whole life was upset, isolating her from her peers. We are shown death, grief, and just how unequipped teenagers are to handle it. The loss of his mother and the hope that she was somehow not really gone sent Tim spiraling down into destructive behavior. Finding out that Cass could talk to ghosts only made it worse for Tim, having a connection to his deceased mother but not really being able to reach her himself. Perhaps it would have been better if Tim had never learned of Cass’ abilities.
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe is short and leaves several questions unanswered. We are never told why Tim’s mother decides to leave him and we never learn why Cass’ sister, Paige, has remained after her death or why she was the first spirit Cass could see and talk to. There are several little plot points left hanging and that’s a bit frustrating for readers. This is a simple story that deals with some hard topics. Death, grief, bullying, and thoughts and even, I’d go so far as to say, attempted suicide is dealt with. Cass’ abilities to see and speak with ghosts offers her one last chance to connect with another person, a person that is hurting just as much as she is. Give Up the Ghost feels unfinished. We are only presented with the limited information Cass has and that leaves several things a mystery. I enjoyed it but feel Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe could have been more complete.
(Also, Cass = Cassandra = I see what you did there, miss author.)
Rating: 3.5 out 5