Saturday, August 22, 2009

Young Adult - Ginger High

Ginger High by Melissa Burmester
As a freshman in High school, Daisy Fisher was surprised to be paired with a senior during in-school detention. Befriending Fredrick Ramsey changed her life, first she witnessed his part in the school burning down, then she finds that he would be attending the same school as her. Mixed feelings and thoughts about him and many of her new friends at Ginger High are compounded with the new understanding that everyone at this new school has special powers. When several deaths occur shortly after her arrival at school, a healer (Amanta) from the parallel universe of Animist arrives, between him and his best friend (Matthias) they are determined to help find the person responsible. The answers may not be as easy as they would like with Amanta in a weakened state and Matthias keeping secrets. Is anything what it appears to be?

I understand this was written by a 14 year-old, keeping that in mind, I really enjoyed the concept of the story. The parallel universe, the special powers that each of them possess has a bit of an original twist in it. The introduction of a similar situation from 1901 seemed a good way to start, even though some of it was unnecessary. There was a lot of familial characters and that did make it a little easier to follow. I would have liked to get to know the important characters a bit better. Daisy accepted thing way to easy and without question, Fredrick did things just because and seemingly without a second thought. While the little bit of back story for Amanta and Matthias was helpful in understanding these characters, there was still huge holes in the characters. I like to get attached to the characters and had trouble getting attached to any of these. There was also holes in the story, the conclusion only answered one of the dozen or so questions that came to my mind. There is several parts that I wondered how exactly they got to that position and would have liked more definition, action, conversation, description, history - something, just more of it. Decent first attempt at a novel - concept, story premise, even characters are great, the work needs to be done in the presentation of the story, the ‘painting of the picture’ and getting the story to flow so that it comes through with fewer holes and dropped sub-plots. (***)

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