Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Diary of a Part-Time Ghost by Vered Ehsani

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Fifteen-year old Ash wants nothing more than to be a normal kid who blends in with the crowd and avoids trouble. And then his birthday gift transforms him into a ghost and zaps him back in time to the beginning of the American Revolution. If he thought that was bad, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Armed only with an ancient history book and the quirky advice of an annoying mentor, Ash must rescue his ancestor from one danger after another, including an implacable enemy who controls the very shadows. What starts out as a brief experiment in time travel rapidly changes into a race for his very survival, and Ash is running out of time. Despite his efforts to stay out of trouble, Ash finds plenty of it as he must decide what his role will be in the shifting balance of forces. As he moves through one shadow-plagued adventure after another, Ash gradually discovers that he can be a force of change and that true power lives in the most unexpected place: himself.
My Thoughts: I picked this book up because I've been on a bit of a ghostly kick lately and I wanted something that wasn't too dark and foreboding. Well, here we have a boy who can travel to the past and who, for all intents and purposes, *is* a ghost when he's there. Half of my bookish wants have now been crossed off. As for hoping it wouldn't be too dark and foreboding... Ash's sisters help lighten the mood whenever they pop in and Ash, himself, keeps things light as he tries to deal with all the weirdness popping up around him. Perfect!

I really, really liked the idea that we are what we put out in the universe. Those that think negatively and allow negative things to happen without doing anything to stop them become an agent of darkness and are swallowed by the shadows. (Dramatic, isn't it!?!?) Those that make the decision to step in and not let things happen become a force of light. It's a fundamentally easy concept to wrap your head around but several of the situations that Ash finds himself in drives home the idea that there are times when it's NOT OKAY to say or do nothing. Seeing as these books have a middle school/young adult vibe, I thought this was particularly timely and could be a way to open up a frank discussion between kids and their parents.

I also enjoyed that when Ash found himself plunked down into the middle of the Boston Tea Party he was pretty clueless as to what was going on. He figured it out eventually, but it amused me that all those history classes went in one ear and out the other on this poor boy.

A very captivating and interesting read, Vered Ehsani has done an excellent job capturing both Ash's family dynamics and the internal struggle most teen/pre-teen kids go through as they try to find their place in the world. Genuinely enjoyable with plenty of setup for more adventures with Ash in the future.

More books by Vered Ehsani

Reading challenges: Ebook Challenge
Diary of a Part-Time Ghost was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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