Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ARC Review: Ghosting - Edith Pattou


(Blurb from Goodreads) On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.

From page one, you get the idea that you are not in for an ordinary narrative style. At first I thought it was some formatting blunder; but I read on (sheesh I’m so stupid) and I thought, “Whoa, this is some blessed blunder, the plot makes more sense this way”, but I’m not so stupid – this thought was immediately followed by the realization that it was intended this way.

You know life? Like how it’s happening for more than one person, and for that person (s)he is its protagonist? Ghosting applies that into its narration, everyone gets a chance to tell a part of the story as they see it; everyone including the doomed kids, the kid who doomed other kids, and the police chief who has the highlight of his career. From POV 1 you think this guy is the bad guy, then his POV starts and you think okay maybe he’s not so bad, and then another POV starts and you scratch your head.

But that’s not all. The narrative isn’t prose. It’s not very poetic (which if it had been would have made me run around hugging this book), but it’s structured like one epic poem. It feels like how Virginia Woolf experimented with The Waves (although that was poetry which was NOT structured into a poem, which was a DNF for me; the plot moved so so slow, glad you asked). And everyone takes on a different voice when it’s their turn – Chloe with POVetry titles, Felix with his weed supressed ADHD who doesn’t even bother with breaking down the prose, Faith with her short and sweet sentences, and such. You become fond all these kids.

The plot isn’t OUTSTANDINGLY outstanding or something, but the narration and its characters make it into something that you want to finish within one sitting.

VERDICT: 3.5 stars

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