September 17, 2012

Review: Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator

Spookygirl For the second week in a row there will be no Movie Monday.  But that's because I have a special treat today - a guest blog from debut author Jill Baguchinsky!  Check back in a couple of hours to read it.

By Jill Baguchinsky
Available now from Dutton (Penguin)
Review copy
Winner of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction

Violet's parents used to be paranormal investigators.  Then her mother died on a ghost hunt and her dad became a mortician.  But Violet inherited her mother's ability to see ghosts and can't resist starting her own investigations.  After all, there's something awful in the girls locker room and a ghost jock in her art class.

I liked that there were lots of ghosts for Violet to help in SPOOKYGIRL.  It even led to a few twists I didn't see coming.  Okay, so I wasn't even expecting twists in SPOOKYGIRL, but that just makes them more satisfying in a way.

As for Violet's high school life, there are a few of the standard cliches.  The jocks don't like the goths and all that.  But there a few subversions of the standard tropes that breathe life into the high school scenes once they come into play.  I also liked Violet's new best friend, Tim.  He's adorably awkward, and really believes in Violet and helps her out on her investigations.  Plus, he has a hopeless crush on another girl.  Tim and Violet are totally platonic.  Totally platonic friends of opposite sexes in a novel set in high school are harder to find than a snipe.

My review of THE GIRLS' GHOST HUNTING GUIDE revealed that I'm pretty skeptical of real life ghost hunts.  While Violet does use the methods of professional paranormal investigators, I can stomach her detecting since she can see ghosts and we're firmly in the land of fiction.  But since she does use those methods, SPOOKYGIRL should be pretty satisfying to skeptics and believers alike.

Jill Baguchinsky's debut is the perfect novel for people who love paranormal fiction but want something without the now requisite romance.  SPOOKYGIRL a bit of danger, a lot of humor, and budding friendships.  It's a fun novel and there's definitely room for sequels.


  1. "Violet" and the paranormal genre takes me straight back to The Body Finder, so by the similarities there I like the sound of Spookygirl. Can't help but think, considering the cited reality of ghosts, that this is an interesting idea overall. And yay for platonic relationships. Romance is good but in YA, at least, overdone.

    1. It's much lighter than The Body Finder, but they're both good reads.

      I have noticed some authors lately bringing the platonic relationship back.

  2. Well, THERE'S something you don't see every day - Violet's mom died on a ghost hunt and her dad turns mortician!! :O
    Not only do I LOVE the title and cover, but SPOOKYGIRL sounds like such a fun, fresh kind of book --- I must has <3
    Mary DeBorde (M.A.D.)

    1. It really is a different focus from most books I've read lately!


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