Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator

Jill Baguchinsky. Dutton, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-42584-7
In a surprisingly upbeat story about ghosts with unfinished business, 15-year-old Violet has the ability to see and communicate with spirits. Her mother had this gift, as well, but she died during an inconclusive paranormal investigation. Violet is happy to move back in with her father after years with her difficult Aunt Thelma, even if it means living in his new funeral home and helping the recently departed cross over. When she returns to her old school district, where rumors about her family's unusual history still run rampant, Violet encounters Dirk, a dead jock who's still tied to the school, and befriends a Goth wannabe; together they help Dirk and investigate the haunted girls' locker room, which serve as warm-ups for Violet's mission to find her mother's ghost. Despite some underdeveloped elements and a slightly pat finale, Baguchinsky's lightly creepy debut (winner of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction) features a straight-talking, level-headed protagonist and smooth storytelling that makes ghost-hunting feel like a skill as practical as cleaning house. Ages 12–up. Agent: Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-59145-1
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