Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: One For Sorrow: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief.

Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie's friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her.

Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2017
 by Clarion Books

Who doesn't love a good ghost story! Though I have never read anything by this author I have read reviews with positive remarks about her previous works. For a middle grade audience I knew it couldn't be too too spooky but still enough to grab the attention of that age group.

I have to admit at the 30% mark I was ready to give up, to me this was just Mean Girls on steroids. I got the just of the picture the author was painting but it just seemed to go on and on. When we were first introduced to Annie she comes across as a sweet shy girl then she becomes so nasty, I get how that fit into the story but it felt to fast and uncharacteristic. I would have loved to known more about Elsie's home life and why she was a tattletale, liar and thief.

As for the ghosty scary spooky side of the story I didn't feel that at all and again there was a stretch in the middle/last third that was the same thing over and over again. There was no real surprise or suspense on who the ghost was, I only continued to read because I was curious about the ending.

It was a good ending and I loved how the author played on her mother's own history here. It's a time period lacking in MA HF and I commend the author for tackling it.

However I did find this book somewhat disturbing and not really one that I would recommend to my nine-year-old granddaughter.

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC ebook copy.

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