Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Three quarters dead, 100 percent CREEPY

It's almost Halloween so that means I get to talk about a pretty chilling ghost story I just read called Three Quarters Dead.  Although the author Richard Peck writes about all kinds of things, his other supernatural stories--Ghosts I Have BeenAre You in the House Alone? and The Ghost Belonged to Me--are also fast and frightening reads.  Despite having a Gossip Girl cover, it is so much more than a novel about popularity, peer pressure, and the desire to be part of a powerful clique, although these issues set up the supernatural part beautifully! 

At exclusive Pondfield High School, lowly sophomore Kerry Williamson has somehow become part of the most powerful group of senior girls in history, Tanya, Makenzie, and Natalie.  She doesn't want to jinx her good fortune so she doesn't question anything, even when Tanya, the cruelest of the cruel girls of all time, asks her to break into another girl's house and leave a bloody baby doll on her pillow.  You just want to shout at her, "They're using you, can't you see!!" 

One spring day, a car crash takes the lives of the three seniors, who drive headlong into an apple tree while calling Kerry on Tanya's cell. Once again, Kerry is nothing; she's three quarters dead--until she receives a text from Beyond instructing her to meet the resurrected trio for a night of pre-prom partying.  Besides being just hilariously creepy (imagine the amount of makeup and perfume month-old corpses have to put on to look fabulous) this is really a tale of cruelty, power, and the struggle to define one's self.  Luckily, Kerry resurrects her self-worth just in time to prevent the dead-but-not-yet-down Tanya from some crazy acts of revenge.  As Tanya is always saying to Kerry, "TTKU-try to keep up" with this riveting, quick read.  

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