Ghosts: My Thoughts
By Raina Telgemeier
I loved the sisters bond here. Maya was a bundle of joy and I was very very surprised to learn this family did not actually exist. Maya is just very realistic and I love her.
This book however has faults. Like Pumpkinheads, it gives us a tour of the location, but this is ofc better as this has a good story with it, but like that, the location tours didn’t really end up adding much to the story for me. I would have preferred less places and more depth. So in a way, it feels underbaked and surprising that it’s a one-off, we get hints of so many interesting places, but only one is really expanded upon and the rest become throwaways.
Also I think this suffers from being a little too sweet. The conflict in this story arises from the protagonist’s lack of belief which I found only natural. This creates a dilemma where the narrative momentum is significantly hindered by the fact that you like all the characters. It is too sweet for it’s own good. I would have preferred a better moral to this story than just “believing”. The character growth here felt stunted because of that. Realistically, the argument is just and the way the tension is released is not satisfactory. It feels like the story rushing to it’s conclusion.
I feel like a lot of the first half of this story could be cut and the second half expanded. I loved the little skeleton kid though. He has my heart. His cameo was perfect. The ending twist is also very sweet and subversive and I really enjoyed it.
However, the story does lag in bits. I love the family, but the dramatic tension here is not escalated enough i feel and we don’t get quite as much as we expect from the investment. The setup feels so slow and breathy and chilly you would expect a similarly toned finish, but a lot of it is thrown away for pure joy and sweetness. But too much of this does end up hurting it and just yeah. While this is a very good effort, it could be better paced in the last two quarters and taken its’ time to air out its’ mysteries.
This just ends up feeling too short, too sweet.