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Lily's Ghosts

by Laura Ruby

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409756,418 (3.38)3
Strange goings-on at her great-uncle's summer home in Cape May, New Jersey, draw Lily and a new friend into a mystery involving lost treasure, a fake medium, and ghosts of all sizes, shapes, and dispositions.

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
After Lily's mom's last relationship breaks up, they end up living in the old family house in Cape May on the charity of her great-uncle Wesley. But something is wierd about this house-- and about the family. It seems to be haunted. Lily meets a young man, Vaz, who occasionally hears his dead dad talking; a local fake medium starts seeing a wierd ghost haunting Lily's mom; and some unusual town characters take an interest. Including some of the ghosts haunting the Cape May beach. The result is a confusion of family hauntings, mistaken and concealed identities, and just general comic creepiness.
In one way this is a fun little book, but in in another way, it's like the author had went on a Cape May Ghost Tour and had a vivid dream afterward that they turned into a kids' book. The plot is a little convoluted and the chapters from ghosts' points of view may be confusing, and in at least one spot, disturbing.
  bunnyjadwiga | Apr 2, 2022 |
Lily and her mother have just moved into an old Victorian house filled with antiques and old paintings. Her mother had broken up with her latest boyfriend and they had to move out. Uncle Wesley, the last of her mother’s family, is letting them stay in the hold house in Cape May, New Jersey.

Lily’s mother prefers the Bohemian life style, which means Lily has moved around a lot. This place doesn’t look any better than the rest. The difference is that Lily and her mother aren’t the only residents; there seems to be some ghosts that live under the same roof.

Lily meets Vas, a local boy, and both stumble upon an old mystery involving the ghosts and Lily’s family. Lily and Vas wonder why the ghosts are still around and how they are linked to the mystery.

One ghost has targeted Lily and gives her grief. The ghost thinks Lily is an old school rival. There is the ghost of Lily’s Uncle Max. What is it he is trying to tell her?

Along with dealing with the spirits, Lily also has some of her own problems to resolve. Where is her missing father and why did he leave; having an unconventional mother. Lily discovering that she might really like Vas as more than a friend. Thirteen is a tough age.

The format of the book weaves between the ghosts and Lily’s life. You see things from both sides. The pace is steady and doesn’t drag, so you keep reading. Not a long book but a good chapter book for tween-agers and a fast read for adults. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Aug 11, 2018 |
First of all, I loved the ghosts. I loved the set up, I love how they revealed themselves and interacted with the 'living' world. I even loved their perspectives.

Lily is a great young female protagonist, and not like many. She prefers science and doesn't trust fiction (though her friend Vas loves to read, even Hemingway). Lily is wounded and distrustful, and unlike certain older characters, actually mature for her age. Fortunately that doesn't make her preternaturally intelligent or poised, she's simply used to taking care of herself and her background has actually influenced. Like said unnamed character, Lily's mother is also a little flaky, but not an absent parent.

However, I'm not sure why Vas, the eventual love interest, is the only positive male role. There aren't very many characters at all, but of the two male villains and the female villain, only the woman is redeemed in any character. I suppose Uncle Max could count as a non-villain's male, but he hardly shows up as a character. Wesley is over-the-top super-duper evil villain, all but cackling madly, the librarian shows up as a vamp (why?) who is redeemed because Max didn't really leave her, and Benten is her whiny, weak brother. Even the other male ghost is just a flabby middle-aged guy.

Still. before the live-criminal plot showed up, I enjoyed the story. Lily's burgeoning relationship with Vas was authentic and cute, and gave her mother some character development. Even the mother's reluctance verses Lily's acceptance of the ghosts at the very end was interesting commentary on the nature of belief, given their characters. And the ghosts (aside from Max, oh wait, and Kidd--was he even really necessary?) were very well developed, and engaging.

What was the point of Kidd? There wasn't one. The secret conspiracy just went too far, it was too convoluted and absurd. Wesley could have been an interesting character, and I would have liked to get to know Max, who quite frankly was far more interesting than his pyromaniac, psychopath of a brother. A 22 year old who murdered his brother, and a year later commissions a portrait of him (presumably right after his mother's suicide.) And what tipped off the mother anyway? Why, for all the 'girl power' in this book, didn't she actually do something about it? If it were for older readers, or if she hadn't aimed for a high adventure with pirates, this might have made an interesting revenge story.

That's not fair to the novel, of course. This is a book for young adults and these are just my thoughts, as an adult and more sophisticated reader, so that part doesn't exactly factor into my review.

For kids, and I think the book is aimed at the 10 and older crowd, so for that group, this book should be great fun. And for older kids and adults, it's a quick, enjoyable read, and worth a try, should you have it somewhere. ( )
  MarieAlt | Mar 31, 2013 |
Due to poor financial choices Lily and her mother move into an old family home which is over run with ghosts. ( )
  knitwit2 | Oct 4, 2012 |
Good book doesn't have as much to do with ghosts as I thought. Very good plot easy to read would help children get into reading. A fun mystery to try and solve as you go along. The story has a few twists that so you don't know where its going. ( )
  dreamer2000 | May 24, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Strange goings-on at her great-uncle's summer home in Cape May, New Jersey, draw Lily and a new friend into a mystery involving lost treasure, a fake medium, and ghosts of all sizes, shapes, and dispositions.

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Average: (3.38)
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