Ghost Huntress: The Awakening (a Chick Lit Wednesday review)

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley GibsonSometimes, the first line of a book really does tell you everything you need to know. Such is the case for Marley Gibson‘s Ghost Huntress: The Awakening (2009):

It’s too freaking quiet here!

I can’t sleep. Not a wink.

As the story progresses, readers learn that insomnia is the least of sixteen-year-old Kendall Moorehead’s problems. After her family moves from Chicago to the middle of nowhere smalltown Radisson, Georgia, Kendall has to adjust to a new school, make new friends, figure out if her house is haunted. Oh, and she has to figure out what’s going on with her new possibly psychic abilities.

At the risk of oversimplifying, the story is basically a behind-the-scene’s expose of what goes on in those ghost hunting TV shows that are so popular of late but with teenage girls as the ghost hunters (huntresses). Even after growing up in a household skeptical of ghost hunting endeavors, the plot did sound promising. Unfortunately the writing was not equal to the task of holding this reader’s attention.

The main problem in Ghost Huntress: The Awakening is that the writing is extremely erratic. The book is written in the present tense, a technique that is very popular with teen titles, but it just didn’t work here. Instead of subtly making the novel more immediate, it just made it very clear that the story was written in the present tense and that Kendall was very, very talkative.

Kendall’s narrative voice was also very incongruous. Other characters in the book curse, but Kendall uses words like freaking in combination with expressions that her grandmother enjoyed–it just doesn’t fit with the worldly Chicago urbanite persona that Kendall is at pains to present for herself. Added to that Kendall’s brand-dropping, and constant reminders of what she would be doing were she still in Chicago become grating. For those reasons, the writing simply failed to hold my attention or evoke any kind of involvement with the characters.

A lot of readers talk about “junk food” that they read. Books that are enjoyable but not particularly enriching as literature. I hate to say it, but it seems that Ghost Huntress is destined to join those ranks.

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