Scary Mary, by S.A. Hunter.
Format: Kindle eBook (free)
Release Date: August 16th 2006
Published by: Lulu.com
Taken from Goodreads
Mary just wants to be left alone, but the cheerleaders, jocks, guidance counselors, and ghosts won't stop harrassing her. When a new boy starts school, he surprises Mary by befriending her. That's a rare thing for the school freak, but her unusual abilities put a rift in their budding friendship when Mary has to tell Cy that his home is haunted and not by Casper, the friendly ghost.
I've been more than a little lackadaisical as far as the blog is concerned recently. What with the new school term, marking, a new puppy and a trip to Butlins, life has been pretty hectic! There's been little time to read anything other than GCSE Controlled Assessments! So it was kind of nice to stumble across Scary Mary. I needed something to read on my iPhone in bed and this was free!
I have to say, I wasn't exactly feeling super encouraged by the blurb. The mention of "jocks" and "cheerleaders" had me grimacing. It made the book sound like what far too many people expect YA to be: formulaic, fake and full of school-yard niches which don't often exist in the real world.
My worries about the book weren't exactly proven groundless. Many of the characters were typically two dimensional. "Cheerleader" Vicky was about as deep as a puddle. The "BFF" had so much impact on the story that I've completely forgotten her name. Cyrus, the "Hot New Guy" was too nice to evoke any realistic empathy. However, Mary wasn't half bad. She was a gothic-dressing, black-lipstick-wearing, clairaudient "freak". That in itself isn't exactly original, but there were aspects to her character which I got along with. My favourite thing about her was her ghostly pet dog called Chowder!
The story itself was by-the numbers, but not in a really bad way. It was nice to have some bubblegum for my eyes to chew on. There were some nice, unpredictable elements thrown in along the way, too. I liked that Mary could only hear ghosts, but not see them. I loved the idea of haunted items (especially the haunted desk in then guidance counsellor's office) and the ending wasn't what I'd dreaded.
Overall, if you're looking for a read that you can swallow whole in an hour after a busy, bookless couple of weeks, then Scary Mary might be for you. It's not great literature by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a nice little story with some nifty little quirks mixed in.