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SCARY MARY

Nothing says it’s a good story . . .

By Donna Sirianni, editor

Sep 1, 2008:  . . . like one that makes me want to scream at the computer screen. And in a good way.

Is this your sort of traditional high school story with the freaks and geeks and popular kids all butting heads? Yeah, it appears to do that. But there’s something so much more. It’s like Sabrina the Teenage Witch crossed with The Craft without the obnoxious and over the top elements involved.

It’s a much more real story. Mary garners sympathy instead of just going around pitying herself and it makes me connect with her that much more. I do wish there was a little more depth to the jocks and cheerleaders since they’re the most "standard" fare in the story but by the end of the fifth chapter, I started to see a little bit of that in Vicky. Her normally poised and ready for attack demeanor was shattered at the seance and I got to see her at a moment that she probably didn’t want to be seen in. You don’t get to see the popular chick fall on her face, literally, all that often.

I like how the story isn’t "la-de-da, I talk to ghosts" and Mary makes it part of her everyday life to just deal with it. She hasn’t dealt with it and, from what I’ve read, doesn’t really like it. It seems that if she could get away from it, she would. If a freak is a freak of her own accord, that’s one thing but if a freak is a freak due to something she has no control over, it’s just that much more painful to watch. I know I wanted the other kids, especially Cy, to understand but they’re teenagers. Understanding and acceptance doesn’t come too easy in many cases.

Go read this now. I’ve seen this story listed on other sites and avoided it at first because of the high school setting. It wasn’t something I wanted to read but since I write YA myself and am jonsing to read as much teenager interaction as I can, I dove in and I’m so glad I did. It really made me remember what it was like to be a teenager (although I’m not that far out) and to see very real, and frustrating, teenage interactions. I’m learning and enjoying at the same time and I can’t wait to read more.

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