Saturday, 30 October 2010

Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett

September 2010, Headline
280 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Young adult

Gore, haunting, teen humour, teen angst, teen relationships, regret, friendship

So long as it works, at the bottom of this post is a movie for Scarlett's book :) 

Summary from Headline
You're dead Scarlett...

Previously a poor taste jibe from school frenemies, now a statement of fact. 

Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself while trying to get out of a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her.

Life as a ghost is pretty dull - if only some of her friends were dead too...

Nayuleska's thoughts
The idea of a story concerned with blogging drew me in. I can be faint stomached and at times felt a little green - mostly because of the illustrations, which are cool. I liked the mixture between blog posts and the narration. Once dead, Scarlett gets manipulated by other dead people into trying to make her friends dead. I thought it was odd, but Scarlett doesn't realise this until it's nearly too late. She's very lonely, and very confused. And she gets awful side effects from hauntings and being dead. Really gross side effects! I laughed at what her brother gets up to, because it feels like a typical brotherly thing to do (if they are dead). He livened up the story when life (the dead life) was getting Scarlett down. Scarlett does eventually learn that there is a life for ghosts - she gets help from an unexpected quarter.

This is an interactive book, with the different font styles, sizes and forms. As well as being a positive selling point, this was also a negative selling point for me. Some of the text is written on top of illustrations (which can cover the whole page). This made it extremely hard to read, so much so that I had to skip a few pages. If the background had been a few shades darker, or if the font had been lighter I could have read it. I like the concept of font within the picture, but not at the cost of being unable to read. This is a format issue, not anything to do with the story. On two pages the writing was really tiny and was shaped in two circles (with several lines of text). I didn't even try reading these pages - I read the end line and turned over. Turning the book round and round wasn't an option for me - I have weak hands and was not up to it. Please don't get me wrong, I like exciting ways to present text, but the ways highlighted in this review aren't accessible for all readers. This doesn't put me off reading more books by Cathy Brett, but it would be nice to be able to read every page.

Final conclusion
Scarlett is a blogger with a large twist to her life: not for the faint stomached.

For another teen's take on being a ghost try My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray


The Slowest Bookworm said...

This book is intruiging me. I think I'm going to have to read it now lol.

Charlotte said...

Sounds intruiging to me too! I've added it to my list...