SCARY SCHOOL by Derek the Ghost Book Review
Series: Scary School, #1
Publication Date: June 21st 2011 by HarperCollins
Rating: – Acceptable |
Book Summary: You think your school’s scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
“Ms. Fang,” an 850-year-old vampire
“Dr. Dragonbreath,” who just might eat you before recess
“Mr. Snakeskin”–science class is so much more fun when it’s taught by someone who’s half zombie
“Mrs. T”–break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry “Tyrannosaurus rex”
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein’s monster on the loose
The world’s most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator’s an eleven-year-old ghost
Join Charles “New Kid” Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends–including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf–and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky
Scary School by Derek the Ghost Book Review Overview:
- A fun (and totally not too scary) book for young early chapter book readers
- Loved seeing the various characters illustrated in each chapter
- Reminded me of Louis Sachar’s Wayside School series
SCARY SCHOOL by Derek the Ghost is not my typical read. I usually don’t read this young, but I decided to give it a shot because his email pitch was so convincing and his website is so awesome. I have a younger sibling and a bunch of younger cousins so I wanted to give this book a shot and see if it was something that they might end up liking.
SCARY SCHOOL by Derek the Ghost had me feeling a little nostalgic. It reminded me of Louis Sachar’s Sideway Stories from Wayside School series – which i had read while growing up. Scary School is not your ordinary school. There’s a giant T-rex on the school faculty and a one-fanged teacher who teaches monster math… Dying is a daily occurrence – but don’t worry, you’ll probably end up coming back as a ghost. Each chapter focuses on a different character and by the end of the book, readers will have met a colorful (and frightening) variety of students, teachers, and faculty monsters – I mean, members.
I was afraid that I would be a little too old to get the jokes and the silly antics in the book, but I admit that I did end up laughing out loud a few times. I can only imagine just how funny this book would be to a younger audience. The playful illustrations only added to the fun. It was great seeing the different whacky characters illustrated in each chapter.
Overall, SCARY SCHOOL is a fun refreshing first in a chapter book series by Derek the Ghost. If Hogwarts and the Wayside School were somehow able to make a baby, Scary School is what you’ll get.
About the Author
Derek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.
Find the Author
Summary: The Flower
Doomed to a life of unending toil, Heather Simmons fears for her innocence—until a shocking, desperate act forces her to flee. . . and to seek refuge in the arms of a virile and dangerous stranger.
A lusty adventurer married to the sea, Captain Brandon Birmingham courts scorn and peril when he abducts the beautiful fugitive from the tumultuous London dockside. But no power on Earth can compel him to relinquish his exquisite prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed prize. For he is determined to make the sapphire-eyed lovely his woman. . .and to carry her off to far, uncharted realms of sensuous, passionate love.
Heroine: I guess the heroine would have to take the blame for the squick-y rapey scene at the beginning. It’s just…. how stupid can you get? Okay, maybe I shouldn’t blame the victim, but Heather was a bit too naive in the beginning of the book. But I grew to like her. She’s not the most memorable heroine though.
Hero: I have really no complaints about Brandon except that he picks an ugly name for their child.
Supporting Cast: As much as I loved Hatti, I didn’t like the “racial profiling” of TF&TF. I understand that slavery existed during the time of the novel and racial stereotypes were dominant, but I just couldn’t get myself to accept the colloquial way that Hatti spoke. She was a great character, but I didn’t like how her speech was characterized “overly black”.
Plot: This one isn’t intense on the action or the mystery. It really focuses on the progression of the relationship between the heroine and the hero. There was a lot of tension in the romance department up until the last 100 pages so I was hooked. After that, I felt like the side / secondary plots were stretched out a little too much.
Romance: Lots of unresolved sexual tension. I knew immediately from the beginning that I was hooked. Woodiwiss just has this fantastic talent. She can reel you in. You need to learn what will happen to the characters. In terms of actual steamy scenes, they are lacking in this book. They happen, but nothing is ever described explicitly. No complaints from me, however.
Love Potion Strength:
– Exceeds Expectations
Woodiwiss is swiftly becoming one of my favorite romance authors. Her novels are quite lengthy but I think they are worth the page count.
Summary: The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.
- Kept me guessing
- Not a fan of the secondary characters, especially Chelsea
- Decent sequel but doesn’t make me want to read on with the series.
Similar to THE BODY FINDER, I initially had a hard time immersing myself in DESIRES OF THE DEAD. There is something about Kimberly Derting’s writing that throws me off. What it is, I can’t put my finger on it. The novel is told in third person perspective, but I don’t think that would be the reason why. Derting still manages to do a fantastic job to get us into the head of Violet. I haven’t heard anyone else comment her writing style so maybe it’s just me. I had a hard time getting into the story which made it difficult for me to like the book.
Another obstacle that made the first third of the book such a challenge was the secondary characters. Oh my God. Seriously, Chelsea annoys me so much. Violet keeps defending her saying that’s really not how she acts and that’s really not her character when they’re alone, but it’s tough to get over it. Sure she has her bright moments, but it was really annoying to read her constantly flaunting herself to get Mike’s attention. Geez. It came off as needy and desperate and I really had to stop myself from constantly rolling my eyes.
Then there’s the introduction of new character Rafe. I definitely feel like Derting is setting up a love triangle for the books to come. Rafe is okay, I guess, but the fact that he refuses to tell Violet anything about himself no matter how many times he comes up in the book makes him that mysterious guy. And of course, mysterious guy will always end up part of a love triangle (ugh)… Especially since there seems to be a spark between him and Violet every single time they touch. Every. Single. Time. If that’s not a blatant sign, I don’t know what is.
As for the actual plot of the novel, it can basically be summed up in four words: Violet has a stalker. While there is a bit of body finding throughout the book, it ends up being a lot secondary to the point that Violet’s secret may be in danger. Mystery of who the stalker is made you think it was predictable, but Derting came around and made a twist to it. Still, once the mystery started to roll, I wanted to know how Derting would unfold it. Overall, the mystery wasn’t as strong as the first book especially since it was more about Violet than body finding….
Jay/Violet is cute and that is one of the reasons why I kept going especially in the second half of the book…. But if I hear one more time about how hot Jay is and how sick Violet is of seeing all the girls draping themselves over him….. Geez, I know I shouldn’t be one to judge since I am a little superficial myself (I mean, I appreciate good looking men) but I don’t necessarily want to read about it… It gets tiring all the time. It started to feel repetitive and I just wanted to say, get on with the story already.
I wasn’t a big fan of THE BODY FINDER to begin with. I thought it was an okay book and DESIRES OF THE DEAD was an okay sequel. If you are a big fan of the book, then you’ll probably enjoy it a lot more than I will. While the book turned out a lot better than I thought it would, I doubt I will continue on with the series.