Sequel To DEADGIRL.
Transformed into a “phantom” by her own titanic will to live, Lucy must feed on the essence, memories, and emotions of others to keep herself solid. After defeating her Grim Reaper and learning that she could survive without hurting people, Lucy thought the madness was finally over. Her cravings for essence under control, Lucy tries to live a normal life. Apparently you have to be alive for that to work, though, as Lucy learns that one of her friends is more than she appears.
She insists that Lucy, with her ghostly abilities and tentative immortality, can join her in the fight to help those in need. Thrust into the role of teenage savior, Lucy Day finds herself battling a pack of voyeuristic serial killers, a mysterious and deadly wraith, and the idea that she might actually have to start dating again sometime this century.
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.
Pros: Main lead gets you hooked. Story has something in it for everyone: pain and fun, epic and normalcy (um, not so much), dating and acting, growing up and staying alive (sort of).
Cons: Some teen drama/angst. Almost-love-triangle with an additional complication. Pop culture references galore (some of them slightly out of the characters' reach IMO).
WARNING! Gang violence and almost rape. Teen sex (nothing overly graphic, and protection is used).
Will appeal to: Those who like a determined, yet complex protagonist who can sneak into their heart, coupled with a great ensemble cast. Those who like adrenaline reads. Those who are into theater. Those who don't mind a small dose of romance. Those who don't mind a huge dose of wisecracks.
First off...DISCLAIMER: I received this novel from Curiosity Quills in exchange for an honest review. And the author being B.C. Johnson, you all know I've been campaigning for his first Deadgirl book with all my might since 2012, when the original version came out. Also, B.C. Johnson and me have stayed in touch, if sporadically, for the whole time. I'm not what you would call a friend of his though, only a fan of his work. And an unbiased one :). As usual, this review is the love child of my penchant for quirky, uniquely worded books and B.C. Johnson's ability to deliver them. Here goes...
I might as well get it off my chest: I'm still partial to Book 1, and probably always will. It was fresh, unexpected and exciting. It was happily void of the usual teen drama (Lucy's tentative romance with Zach hardly qualified as such) and full of powerful imagery. It introduced me to one of the better developed characters I've ever met. And it didn't even need a sequel.
Now, you might wonder why - given this premise - I'm awarding 5 stars to the second installment as well. And you might suspect that I'm being nice to the author because I'm talking to him on a semi-regular basis, or because I'm trying to milk more free books from him/his publisher (despite my disclaimer). OK, the truth? Even if Deadgirl: Ghostlight isn't a perfect book (we'll get to that later), I found myself comparing it to all my 4 and 4.5 star novels, and I realised that I loved it so much more than them. That it had an impact on my heart and mind they lacked, if for a tiny margin. That I cared for the characters and loved to journey with them too much for detracting half stars. Coming from a middle aged lady, and what with the series centering on a bunch of teens none of which resembles me at ANY age, I suppose this is testament enough to the author's skill of engaging with readers :).
THE (UN)USUAL MESS
Unlike Book 1 (which was a non-stop ride spanning a few days), the second installment of Deadgirl follows Lucy and her friends for a whole year, and alternates supernatural/paranormal incidents with teen drama and a bunch of cozy (so to speak) moments. We follow Lucy while she's trying to adjust to her unlife and learn the ropes, use her powers for the greater good (which puts her in grave danger, because apparently, not being alive doesn't mean you're immune to misery), joggle parents, friends and school, and unsuccessfully stay away from potential heartbreak (i.e. dating). The variety makes for an entertaining, multifaceted, always surprising read. There's also a fresh and lively theater subplot - the author worked as a stage hand for a while, which I guess explains his confidence with this particular environment. But the acme of the book for me is the scene where Lucy finds her whole being (or unbeing) challenged, and it takes all her strenght to believe in herself, whatever she is. For all her paranormal gifts, Lucy is not a superheroine - she covers all the spectrum from weak to strong (though she definitely leans towards the strong end), and her real weapons are her emotions and willpower. Which is why she managed to escape death-death in the first place... [...]