Review: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley

Lovesick by Tonya Hurley (Ghostgirl #3)

July 2010, Little, Brown & Company

Young Adult paranormal romance

Before she can rest in peace, Charlotte Usher must return to the tragic site of her death: high school. She still has one last assignment to complete, but no one explained what happens if you fall in love with your class project.

Charlotte would die (again) for love. But when her only chance at an afterlife means having to face the dreaded, all-too-familiar pains of being invisible, it may be too much for her to withstand.

The Ghostgirl books are not easily forgettable. The first one, simply entitled Ghostgirl, made a strong impact on me–I’d even go so far as to say it changed my life. Twilight this isn’t. I feel guilty about slapping the “paranormal romance” label on it, because this, along with the previous two in the series, is a well-written, at times satirical, and carefully planned book that could be enjoyed by all sorts of teens and adults. And think of all the stigma attached to the genre! This is one of the best examples of it, and one that stubbornly refuses to become a franchise. It should be more well-known than it is.

Tonya Hurley knows how to manipulate readers’ emotions. If you’ve read books one and two, Lovesick will wrench you heart, threaten to rip it in two, and leave it in a bittersweet state once the book is closed. Over the course of the series, I grew to care so deeply about Charlotte and her human best friend, Scarlet, and seeing them both change from the forms I met them in was a bit painful. And Petula–the trendsetting prom queen we’ve all grown to deliciously despise–will definitely surprise fans.

(If said fans haven’t read it already, that is. I waited for this one to come out in paperback. Ahem.)

Hurley continues to meet her standards of smart, sharp, and mostly realistic dialogue, excellent scene-setting description, and vivid characterization. The book’s beautiful design in both paperback and hardcover editions will draw old and new readers in–but please, if you’re just getting into the series, start at the beginning. It’ll only confuse you, and going in without any background will take away half of the experience.

I will admit that the plot gets a little repetitive in Lovesick; the same thing happened with book two, Homecoming. I didn’t care too much, though. This is, overall, a great installment in this fascinating series, which, if the closure–The end?–is to be believed, will be as infinite as any afterlife, whether Hurley continues to write it or not.

Rating: 4 stars


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