Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: April 30th 2013
My rating: 3.5 stars
Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.
No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.
Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel.
What would you do if a ghost asked you for help to move on? I know what I would do (run and scream!) but this isn’t about me.
Jeff has moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles and is starting school at Whitestone, a private and exclusive school in Santa Monica. He quickly runs into Kimberlee, a girl no one else can see. Kimberlee is ecstatic that someone can finally see her after a year of wondering the school hallways. You see, Kimberlee died a year ago and can’t move on. She thinks she knows why but needs help to make amends. After some convincing she gets Jeff to agree to help her return “a few things” to people she stole from while alive. Jeff is shocked, to say the least, that he can see Kimberlee and doubts his sanity or the reality of the situation. But if returning a few items will get Kimberlee, a conceited and abrasive ghost, out of his life, the sooner the better. Two things he doesn’t count on are falling for Sera, who is basically the prime enemy of Kimberlee, and something in regards to the items stolen. I won’t elaborate on that.
Jeff was sweet, smart, and easy going, so it was no trouble being inside of his head for this story. He provided humor with his inner commentary and his male perspective felt authentic. He also provides a wake-up call and conscience to Kimberlee who was quite unlikeable as a ghost, but even more so in real life. When her deeds come to life I couldn’t help but be disgusted with her. Sera was a great contrast to Kimberlee. She was imperfect, as we all are, with mistakes in her past but she’s strived to change for the better. One of the chief reasons Kimberlee hates Sera so much is because her changes show just how deficient Kimberlee’s character was/is.
It’s been hard for me to nail down my thoughts and emotions on this read, but I think I’ve finally figured out why. This story is both light and dark. Light in the parts with Jeff: his growing romance with Sera, his wonderful and open relationship with his parents, and in his sweet and steady personality. The romance was a highlight for me (shocker!). Here’s a swoony quote to sample:
Her mouth was so soft and warm I could hardly believe it was real. But when I got nervous and pulled away, her fingers pressed tight against my back and she ran her other arm up around my neck, pulling my face back down to hers…Her hands gripped my shoulders, almost like she needed help balancing.*
By contrast there is the darker story of Kimberlee. She’s trying to right her wrongs, but mostly for selfish reasons throughout much of the story. I didn’t like her at all, especially when the full extent of her actions is revealed. She really hurt so many people, but Sera and her brother Mikhail in particular, and horribly!
Jeff was the perfect person to finally see Kimberlee because he was just such a good guy. Kimberlee’s past actions and how wrong they were finally started registering to her, but sometimes this is too little, too late. Anyways, my feelings we’re both happy and sad when I finished, and I’m still not sure what I feel exactly, but I did enjoy the story. I was totally invested in seeing how things played out.
This was between 3.5-4 Stars for me. I'm still going back and forth.
*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.
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