Ghost Island by Bonnie Hearn Hill
So, you’ve been hearing a lot about ebooks and are wondering if you should try one. But wait, you’ve also heard ebooks are sophomoric, self-indulgent, self-promoting drivel by authors who couldn’t get a traditional publisher’s attention if they handed out manuscripts clad in red spike-heeled pumps and see-through raincoats.
Let’s talk about it.
Normally, today’s post would be Writer Unleashed, but in honor of Read an E-book Week (March 4-10), I’m shuffling the schedule to bring you a ghost novel review of an e-book entitled Ghost Island.
Now, let’s proceed to the ebook, shall we?
Livia, the heroine of Ghost Island, hails from a foster home in Emeryville, CA and is embarking on a cruise with other high school students to Catalina Island. Her father is in jail for killing her mother, but Livia is convinced her mother is alive and assumes the burden of finding said mother.
Once on the island, Livia intends to rest, recreate, and enjoy the respite from foster care. Of course, she sees ghosts, but that’s nothing new for her. What is new is the form these island ghosts take, and the mystery and unrest surrounding their needs and desires.
Soon, Livia notices everyone in her group exhibiting strange behavior. It seems students and teachers alike enter a dream world in which the dead visit and play out the unfinished business of loved ones, taking the dreamers on dangerous quests.
Livia must discover who the dead really are—and, in fact, are they really dead? Is their purpose benevolent or malevolent? And why do some of her fellow cruisers appear to be undergoing personality transformations?
And then there’s the mysterious, beguiling Aaron who fades in and out of her own life on the island. Is he real or another of the yearning undead?
This is classified as a young adult novel, probably based on the ages and interests of the characters. I think adults can enjoy this book alongside their teens and preteens. In fact, this would be a good mother-daughter book group read as issues of authority vs. adolescence, honesty vs. responsibility will provide much fodder for discussion.
And, for those who have been waiting to try an e-book but have heard the quality and grammar of such books is suspect (and this criticism is not without merit), Ghost Island should prove the doubters wrong.