Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 261
Funeral Girl
(Updated: July 27, 2022)
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What worked: Engaging portrayal of a girl dealing with death anxiety that just happens to live in a funeral home. This novel goes a step further than other paranormal ghost stories in which readers are introduced to Georgia, 'G', and are shown the anxieties she daily deals with. I love how the author digs deep into G.'s struggles and not just make this the typical ghost story.

G. lives with her family in a funeral home. While her twin Peter is excited about the prospect of taking over the business, G. struggles. She really wants to believe in an Afterlife, but then again the idea of living forever is equally terrifying. Her first experience with being around ghosts is after her grandmother's death. It's interrupted when G.'s screams in the basement of the funeral home have her parents rush inside. G. never sees the ghost of her grandmother again and fears that she might be caught in eternal limbo.

I really love how G shares her fears, anxiety, and struggles with the topic of death. She also shares what goes on behind the scenes in a funeral home including getting a body ready for burial. The descriptions are very realistic. It brought back memories of when I went to the funeral home after my sister's death and how the funeral director explained the process. All I remember is how my sister looked nothing like she did when she was alive. Ohland nails this and also the many conflicting emotions someone deals with after someone dies.

There's an element of Evan from Dear Evan Hanson where G's experience with Milo, a dead fellow classmate, is taken to the point of his parents and others thinking that she was good friends with him. The truth though is she. like others at their school, didn't know him personally while he was alive. This adds to her stress.

Subdued, bittersweet portrayal of someone dealing with anxiety over death, but also a story that is truthful without just being a ghost tale. Kudos also for showing a teen coming to terms with a paranormal ability while being true to herself.
Good Points
1. Engaging portrayal of a girl dealing with death anxiety with paranormal elements
2. GLBTQA+ representation
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