Friday, 19 February 2010

My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray

February 2010, Piccadilly Press
176 pages, Paperback
Review copy (sent kindly by the author - thank you for making sure I got a copy!)

Young Adult

Cushions: 1
Paperclips: 2
Smiles: 5
Tears: 4
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Summary from Piccadilly Press

Fifteen-year-old Lucy has been stuck in the men’s loos since she was murdered there six months ago and Jeremy is the first person who’s been able to see or hear her. Just her luck that he’s a seriously uncool geography-teacher type – but at least he’s determined to help. Once he’s found a way for her to leave the loos, she’s soon meeting other ghosts, including the gorgeous Ryan. However, when Jeremy insists that she helps him track down her killer, she has to confront her greatest fear

Uggs are such a fashion icon that I think most will be hooked by the first page. Replacing uggs is expensive, but perhaps not so much for a ghost. Afterall, if Lucy is ethereal her boots should be too, right? Naturally it is the principle of it all. Stuck in the loos is far from appealing.

I was curious why Lucy couldnt really go anywhere before Jeremy showed up. I enjoy the rules which restrict people in paranormal, not that I needed any encouragent to read on and find out more of Lucy's tale. The rules which Lucy makes up are her coping mechanism for being dead. They are funny, but with that humour I felt sad for Lucy. She seems a normal teen, interested in catching up on the latest entertainment news. But that couldn't last forever. I was surprised at how Jeremy got Lucy out. The principle behind it made sense, and laid down a problem for later on. For fashion conscious Lucy, she bravely put up with a fashion disaster. It's amazing what people do when they are desperate.

I wanted to know what made Jeremy so special that he could see Lucy. Is he more openminded and perhaps more observant? That thought went out the window at the church. I nearly bawled my eyes out at why Jeremy helped Lucy. A very touching moment, with a few others in the story that had me reaching for a tissue.It would have been interesting to have had Jeremy's point of view. I wondered what he was thinking, how strange (or not) he thought the situation was.

In some ways, once she's able to move around, life as a ghost is similar to when Lucy was alive. There are mean ghosts, arrogant ghosts, opinionated ghosts and some friendly ones too.

Hep, a ghost Lucy becomes friend's with, probably wasn't a friend Lucy would have chosen to have when she was alive, but as a ghost with unfinished business there aren't an abundance of ghosts to choose from. Lucy needed to learn how to live as a ghost, and Hep has the knowledge she needs. I feel I should have known ghost personalities would mirror those in real-life. Meeting Hep's acquaintences reminded Lucy of the people she isn't missing out on meeting in life. Not all ghosts are friendly.

I hate bullies. Yes, i was bullied, but not as much as poor Hep. When she finally comes to terms with her emotions I wanted to reach out and give her a hug for all that she had to endure. There is no doubt that Tamsyn is a talented writer, able to put to paper the whirling mass of teenage emotions. I needed a tissue when Hep reached an understanding about life.

Just when I was thinking it was time for Jeremy to bring the details about Lucy's murder, it happened. That made me content with the pacing of the story.I wouldn't call it all light hearted, but there's definitely a more serious tone to the second half of the book, where everything comes to a head for Lucy.There are scarier people than just Lucy's murderer - although I was pretty shaken by what happened with the killer.

I liked the finer details such as the phone line for ghosts. I don't think anyone would mind if they ran up a huge bill.

Random parts of the book: a good strong focus on meercats and bats, two of my favourite animals. Flying traffic cones.

Tamsyn Murray has her own website here.

I'll be getting hold of a copy of her next book: Stunt Bunny: Showbiz Sensation due out this summer!


Becky said...

This sounds so awesome. I am definitely going to buy a copy for my debut author challenge. Great review.

Tam said...

Thank you for this fab review! x

I Want To Read That said...

I finished this last night and really enjoyed it too. Thanks for the review:)

Lucy Coats said...

Sounds like my kinda book. Shall order at once.

Lucy Coats @

Lauren said...

Thanks for the review. I'm pretty sure I'm going to adore this now. Sounds like it has it's more serious moments too, which I wasn't really expecting from the summary.

Lenore said...

MUST get this one! Book Despository here I come ...