Friday, March 23, 2012

My boyfriend is a monster: I date dead people by Ann Kerns, illustrated by Janina Gorrissen

Yes, I am actually reviewing a young adult title! Although I'd give these to middle-schoolers - they're perfectly appropriate for 6th grade and up.

Nora is settling in to her family's new house, a historic Victorian mansion once inhabited by a famous author, when she discovers the previous tenants haven't quite left...she's never been able to talk to boys, but Tom, the friendly ghost, isn't like anyone she's ever met and she's perfectly happy...until the other ghosts appear, and they're not so friendly. With the help of a psychic, Nora sends the evil and lost ghosts and the darkness they've brought away.

I have several tween and teen girls at my library who adore this series - they're also manga fans. I admit that I like them too. It's a somewhat guilty pleasure, as I can clearly see the flaws after I read them...but they're so much fun in the reading! This one was mostly sweet and romantic and the art was much better than the fairy title Under His Spell (the zombie one, I Love Him to Pieces is still my all-time favorite though!). I did think the characters were a bit one-dimensional. The back says Nora is kind of living in the past, but we don't really see anything in the book that backs that up. Also, other than a rather dreamy attraction there doesn't seem to be a reason for Nora to fall in love with Tom. One minute she's shrieking in terror, the next she's calling him her boyfriend and the next they're kissing. However, I do really like that this series has a strong dose of reality. In previous books, the female lead does not go gaily waltzing off into the sunset with a paranormal creature because they are IN LOVE. In My Boyfriend Bites, the guy kindly but firmly points out that the girl needs to do some major growing up and he's got problems of his own, in Under His Spell the girl backs off from spending the rest of her life in a fairy kingdom. In this book, Nora does NOT end up with Tom, he moves on to his family in the afterlife and she finds a real, live boy who likes her.

Verdict: If you have tween or young teen girls who are looking for a gentle romance with humor and you would also like to subtly reinforce the idea that there's more to relationships than psychic tinglies, this is the series to get. This particular entry was more sweet than funny, but the art was strong and it's a strong entry in the series.

ISBN: 9780761385493; Published January 2012 by Lerner Graphic Universe; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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