Spooky Little Girl - Laurie Notaro
Lucy Fisher returns home from vacation to find her life in ruins. Her belongings are thrown out on the front lawn, her fiance has changed his phone number, and she’s lost her job. Lucy’s life can’t get any worse, which turns out to be the case when a city bus abruptly ends it. Lucy can’t move on however; she instead finds i herself in ghost school, learning to haunt the living in order to complete her unfinished business back on Earth.

Laurie Notaro’s Spooky Little Girl has a great premise; Lucy and her classmates must learn the art of moving objects, opening doors, and disembodied voices in order to aid the living and and finally move on. The character of Ruby, the teacher of Lucy’s “Suprise Demise” section, has a cheery yet blunt attitude toward death, and makes the ghost school sections of the story some of the most enjoyable.

The beginning of the story, however, is a bit of a turn off. Although Lucy eventually grows on the reader, she starts off as selfish, flaky, and unlikeable. She spends her entire inheritance on a trip to Hawaii, rather than saving the money or aiding her single-mother sister. She also loses her job due to her own forgetfulness and focus on her trip. Even after death, Lucy continues to wallow in her own self pity, refusing to accept her condition like her classmates and hindering her progress towards the afterlife.

Lucy does change as a person (and ghost) during her haunting, and endears herself to the reader as she works to notify her friends of her death, as well as remove an unwanted houseguest. Although the beginning may be a turn off, Spooky Little Girl is a fun story with an optimistic look on life after death.

A review copy was provided through the Goodreads.com First Reads Program.