Sunday, August 12, 2012

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

Scarlett Dedd is dead. All her life she's had to deal with cracks and puns about her last name; being pale and thin didn't help, either. But now she really is dead due to a tragic mushroom mix-up. There are some cool things about being dead, but mostly she misses her friends, who are still very much alive. Scarlett gets a great idea: she can use her new invisibility and other supernatural gifts to cause some...accidents around her friends. At first her friends were intrigued by the idea of being haunted, but now they're starting to get scared. Will Scarlett go through with her plan?

Poor Scarlett. Her life didn't sound like much fun while she was alive (bratty brother, self-absorbed parents, second-hand clothes, self-involved friends), and then in death she still barely seems to catch a break. I did wonder why she would go to so much trouble to kill her friends, because, well...they didn't seem like good friends in the first place. Aside from Psycho, her not-really-boyfriend-even-though-they-had-mutual-crushes, no one seemed that affected by her death. But somehow Scarlett's internal logical made it make sense. Talking about the story is just one element of the book. It's format makes for quite a reading experience. It's not really a graphic novel; there's too many pages of prose for it to be considered that. But the book does have lots of illustrations and at times even the placement of the text becomes part of the art. I think the ideal reader for this would be someone who reads both graphic novels and 'word' novels; they might have an easier time getting into the flow. But don't let that scare you off from picking it up or suggesting it to readers who like funny supernatural stories (especially because there's not a lot of violence, not really, considering that it involves dead people and attempted murder). While the story wraps up nicely, there are also enough threads left that could be spun into more stories. I wouldn't be surprised if Scarlett makes another ghostly appearance someday!

Check out Cathy Brett's website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Random House.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Ember Fury by Cathy Brett

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