Review for Ghoster Heights
I received this book from Netgalley/publisher in exchange of an honest review.
What I had expected, a cute maybe spooky story about girl and a ghost and the spooky new building she lives in. I was totally hyped and excited because that is what I need and want right now. What I got was a depressing read about ghosts, problems, issues, loss, mourning, and distress. I thought I would be reading a book that would make me laugh, or scare me lightly, something to distract me from things, but instead I was just crying. This sounds negative, but yeah, I just had a whole different set of expectations. If I had known that this book would be so sad I wouldn’t have read it right now. I would have, well… read it later. Yes, I should have read the blurb, though reading the blurb now, I am still not sure if I would have seen it was this depressing.
In this book we follow a little girl called Ona. She is 8-year old and lost most of her everything. As the story goes on we learn more and more on what happened and why she is now living with her dad at her Baba’s apartment. My heart broke each time we learned something new. Something more startling. I did love her friendship with Haunty (which is an adorable name). I loved the tamagotchi (are those still around, wow?). I was happy when she finally stood up to that bully. It was great to see her walk through the building to find stuff for that sale thingie and how she learned about all the residents. I loved how in the end she faced her own grief and trauma and got out stronger.
I loved her baba who wasn’t always sure how to handle things, but was there for her son and grandchild when they needed her. She was there to offer a shoulder, a hug, maybe some yummy food. Yes, I have to be honest and say I wasn’t sure about the baba at first. She was just a bit, how do I word it, as if she wasn’t too happy with them around. But she turned out to be fantastic. A real help. I also absolutely loved her cats. They were so fun and full of personality. I loved how they were there for Ona.
While I loved that Ona went to find out what everyone’s ghosts were about and tried to help them all out, I did think that maybe she should have sought help. I mean, she is 8 years old, is still mourning and still recovering and still has a lot of things to organise to get everything right, and yet here she is, solving the problems of the whole building. And it just felt too much. I don’t know about you, but if I was 8 years old and had to work through a shitload of things? I would probably just burn and crash from doing all this. I wouldn’t be able to carry it all.
So yeah, I think I was just not in the right head space for this one. The last 9-10 months haven’t been the easiest for me and I just feel very not OK so many times. So reading about this book featuring grief, bullying, people in distress, mental health, and lots of sadness, it just wasn’t for me. It was a good book. Really. But just not for me. Not now. Maybe one day I will less like I am burning out and more like me again and I will read it again.