Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro

Lucy's life has gone from bad to worse to worst. She returns home from an indulgent vacation to Hawaii to find all her belongings on the lawn. She even has to fight a homeless woman for her wedding dress. Her (now former) fiance, Martin, refuses to speak to her in order to clarify the situation. At work, events conspire involving a neglected deposit and a positive drug test. Long story short, Lucy gets fired. Without a job, home, or fiance, Lucy decides to start fresh and move in with her sister Alice. On the first day of her new life, Lucy is on the way to the unemployment office when she steps in front of a bus...and Lucy dies.

She ends up in a class with other Sudden Deaths, learning the finer points of haunting. The point of the classes is to teach them to navigate as a ghost so that they can fulfill their mission and move on to the next level. Lucy is assigned to the house she used to share with Martin. He now lives with Nola, a horrible woman with whom Lucy used to work. Nola has taken over Lucy's life and is afraid that Lucy will return one day and take everything away. Everyone, Martin, Nola, and her best friends Marianne and Jilly all think she is going to return because they don't actually know she's dead.

Lucy decides that her mission must be to scare Nola away. Along the way, she has to deal with her feisty grandmother, mysterious lumps on her poor aging dog, and a seance and possible trip to the dreaded white light. The book hooked me from the beginning, as I wanted to know why Martin kicked Lucy out. As it went along, I was as sad as Lucy that nobody came to her funeral, and was waiting for what seemed like forever for any of her friends to find out that she was dead.

I was a little nervous about reading this book because things related to dying give me panic attacks (See my nearly unwatched box set of "Dead Like Me" for evidence). Spooky Little Girl actually made me a little less afraid of dying. That's a pretty good thing in my book.

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