Title: The Carousel Ghost
Author: Andrea Pelleschi
Genre: YA Supernatural
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amazon / MuseItUp Publishing
I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
Fourteen-year-old Kate’s traditional first day at Wildwood Lake Park couldn’t get any worse. Besides problems with her best friend and the obnoxious, but cute, boy from school named Tommy, there’s the new haunted carousel ride. When Kate goes for a spin, she finds herself transported back in time and into the body of a ghost named Isabelle, circa 1928. Isabelle’s husband carved the horse, and the rumor is that he also murdered Isabelle.
Back in the present, Kate teams up with Tommy to solve the mystery of how Isabelle died, even if it means more terrifying rides on the carousel. As the investigation goes on, Kate finds herself growing closer to Isabelle than she is with Meghan. So when the carousel is slated to be dismantled for the park museum, Kate hurries to solve the mystery before Isabelle is doomed to wander the park–and Kate’s dreams–forever.
What I liked: A great clean ghost story that does not rely on blood and mayhem.
This is a ghost story without shock or bad luck. It is just a simple ghost story about a woman haunting a carousel which is a great contrast to most ghost stories that are used to scared people. The story of Isabel spiked interest instead of terror.
Kate was a great protagonist. In the first chapter, she was a bit annoying with the whole “I don’t like Meghan’s new friends so I’m going show I know more about her” attitude but it is realistic. Kate would feel possessive about her friendship with Meghan around new people who want to claim Meghan as their new best friend. The fact that we see this possessive side of her is a good thing because it shows Kate’s character growth. She slowly goes from being pessimistic about losing the friendship and finds a silver lining in moving away from from Meghan. As much as this novel is about solving a mystery, it is about the Kate growing up.
One of the best features about this novel is that even though Kate is hanging out with Tommy, it is not focused on building a romance between them but rather a friendship. Kate, at the start, couldn’t stand Tommy because he acts like a typical boy for his age. She grows to tolerate him and then truly considers him a friend because the mystery murder quest brings them together. He may turn her into a little trespasser and lawbreaker but that is part of growing up. Tommy proves he is just not an annoying boy but can be a loyal and interesting person. He helps Kate mature as a person and he does too.
The ghost story of Isabelle haunting the carousel was a nice, little creepy story. Especially with the dream sequences. Isabelle had more power to communicate with Kate through the dreams than through the carousel warhorse. She wasn’t creepy, she was just sorrowful. I like how they solved the case as well. It wasn’t just independent research or looking for clues. They had adults involve in the case (without full details) in a positive way. The adults weren’t too oblivious and instead of hindering the case, they contributed to it. I applaud Pelleschi for showing well-meaning and present adults.
Overall, this is a five butterfly rating for me. It is a different type of ghost story, Kate and Tommy grow into their own skins, and a positive portrayal of adults make me love the book.
53rd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Ghostly