Review of ‘This Is Not a Ghost Story’

A perfect ghost story, This Is Not a Ghost Story is entertaining, complete with a gripping story and a humorous narrative.

Excellent Narrative

this is not a ghost story
This Is Not a Ghost Story
by Andrea Portes
HarperTeen

One of the best things about this story is the narrative and voice of Daffodil. Daffodil is incredibly relatable and funny. Charismatic, Daffodil drives the story forward with her narration and expressive language. Socially awkward, Daffy is just fun. Her energy is fun, and I cannot stress that enough because it was the best part of the novel.

Daffy is left alone to take care of a haunted house, and when strange things start to happen around her, she tries to rationalize it. The reader can picture her perfectly because it is realistic. Her shaky laugh, her wide eyes, her unsure expression, all that detail that Portes put into bringing her life does just that: it brings Daffodil to life.

Then there are her hobbies. Daffy is weird in the best way possible. She likes weird conspiracy theory shows like Alien Encounters and Behind the Curse, eats ramen noodles like every college kid. Her personality instantly connects to the readers and her reactions to the events around her. Yeah, the reader can put themselves in her shoes.

Great Rising Tension

What also works for this novel is the rising tension of the story. It begins with an article obituary about the death of a man and woman in a house fire in the late 1800s. Then there is Daffy welcomed to the house to take care of it over the summer and watch over the renovation plans because yeah, at 17, she is totally qualified to do that (Daffy’s attitude, not mine).

Then strange things start to happen. First, a feeling of being watched by an empty house screaming for her to get out, then scratching at the wall behind the pantry, a mason jar with blood, a missing dead frog, and regular possessions and hallucinations. Everyday haunted house aspects.

Nevertheless, it works here. Nothing comes off as cliché because Daffy is telling the story. Daffy is telling this story to readers as if it already happened. Honestly, it is a bit of a trip, but in the best way possible.

It also has fantastic pacing. The story’s pace increases gradually and, combined with the tone and tension, grip the reader, hooked to reading the story faster and faster to solve the haunted house’s mystery.

Final Thoughts

With a surprising ending, This Is Not a Ghost Story is an incredible, quirky, energetic, and unique ghost story that will leave the reader awestruck.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: November 17, 2020Page Count: 288ppAge Range: 13 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-0624-2244-6Publisher: HarperTeenList Price: $17.99

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This Is Not a Ghost Story

$17.99
9.5

Writing Quality

10.0/10

Character Development

9.0/10

"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness

10.0/10

Intellectual Depth

9.0/10

Originality

9.5/10

Pros

  • Amazing voice.
  • Great characterization.
  • Pacing.
  • Tension.

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