Title: Marly’s Ghost
Author: David Levithan
Publication Date: 10-18-07
Genre: Young adult, Paranormal, Re-tellings, Holiday
Source: Gifted from family
When Ben’s girlfriend, Marly, dies, he feels his life is over. What could possibly matter now when Marly is gone? So when Valentine’s Day approaches, it makes sense that this day that was once so meaningful to Ben leaves him feeling bitter and hollow. But then Marly shows up–or at least her ghost does–along with three others spirits. Now Ben must take a painful journey through Valentine’s Days past, present, and future, and what he discovers will change him forever.
I’ve never been a huge fan of The Christmas Carol, but actually I’ve seen it performed somewhere around 10 times (my parents were theater ushers when I was little). I’ve had this book for years and years, so I don’t remember purchasing it, but I probably just got it because it was written by David Levithan and he’s amazing, not realizing what the book was actually about.
This is, by far, my least favorite book of his. Marly’s Ghost is quirky and sad and funny…but it’s also super cheesy. Although I’m not sure if there is a way to do a The Christmas Carol retelling without it becoming cheesy. Obviously the sentiment is beautiful, as it always has been, but I was pretty bored and wasn’t able to connect with the main character that much. I wish that this book had been longer; that we had been able to experience Ben’s life with Marly before she died. I think that I would’ve had an easier time getting immersed in the story if we had experienced those moments, too. It was hard to sympathize with him without having known them as a couple.
I guess that I’m glad that I read this, if only to be able to add it to my list of Books I’ve Read by David Levithan…but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anybody who’s not a die-hard Levithan fan. His being the author is the only thing that saves this book.