Beverly Stowe McClure
Page Count: 164
Release Date: 15 November, 2005
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)
All seventeen-year-old Jade Dalton wants to do is show her paintings at Charleston, South Carolina's, annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival, swim in the ocean, forget Kurt Sinclair, her ex-boyfriend and his lying lips, and prove she's as perfect as her brother, David. So how does she end up with Phoebe, a ghost who doesn't want to be a ghost; Doc, a one-hundred-year-old neighbor who talks in riddles; and Matt, a gorgeous saxophone player who changes her opinion about guys?Listen to the Ghost is a cheery, meaningful novel for preteens and teens that dabbles on the importance of friendship, family, and perseverance.
Jade and Matt are soon caught up in a desperate search for two wedding bands that will set Phoebe free. They must find the rings by Jade's eighteenth birthday, the same day that Phoebe was to marry her fiancé, Isaac, in 1923, or she is doomed to remain a ghost for eternity.
After a messy breakup, all Jade wants to do is have a fun-filled, drama-free summer with her best friend and brother at her grandparents' mansion in her favorite town. The only problem? There's a rumor going around that the house is haunted, and to Jade's horror, the ghost may just be haunting her!
But Phoebe (yes, the ghost has a name) isn't just doing it for kicks and giggles; Phoebe needs something from Jade, and she needs it before time runs out. When Phoebe reveals who she is, or rather, who she was, Jade realizes she really needs to help Phoebe out, or else Phoebe may remain a meandering ghost forever—something that could affect her and her family's lives.
Beverly Stowe McClure creates an original, witty plot full of suspense, as well as creepy spine-tingling situations.
What I find a little "off" about this novel, is how evident it is that the narrator is not a teenager. Jade is seventeen going on eighteen, and obviously not many young adult authors are that age. However, the reason most young adult authors are so successful is because their voice and diction are both as fresh as young readers today. I'm not saying McClure is a bad writer, because she certainly isn't. But her writing is a little too chaste, as if she doesn't know how real teenagers act, or how they should act. Teenagers are inappropriate, they are moody, they are horny and angry and enthusiastic. McClure's characters are rather flat, and seem too polite, which is not very believable.
Listen to the Ghost itself is a great story, but I wish it had been written from a more perceptive viewpoint. One that really captures the essence of adolescent frustration, rather than innocence that is probably very hard to find and relate to in our modern teenage world.
Stephanie Loves: "'It has been a long day,' [Matt] said. 'I'll walk with you. I have some things to do, like planning my next assault on old boyfriends, should they decide to cause more trouble.'
[Jade] couldn't tell whether he was serious or joking. 'Kurt's not all bad,' she said. 'Actually, I owe him a thank you.'
'He taught me a valuable lesson—not to believe everything a guy tells me.'"
Radical Rating: 7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥