Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: Ghost Writer

Nanette's life quickly hits a road block when she loses her job, her boyfriend, her car, and her apartment all within a few months. She thinks everything is turning around when her great aunt passes away and she finds out her aunt has left her something, but is disappointed when that "something" turns out to be a dog she doesn't want and a trust fund she can't access for three years. The only consolation is a seaside cottage her aunt leaves her. That is, until she moves in and realizes the cottage comes with a cranky ghost who vows to annoy her until she finishes his novel. 

The idea for Ghost Writer was very fun. I loved the twist on the traditional ghost writer arrangement. This was a fun and entertaining read with well developed characters. 

For me, I think the relationship between the characters was the highlight of the story. Nan is instantly relateable with her down-on-life attitude and recent bad luck.I thought she handled the situations she landed in and her interactions with the other characters like a real person in most situations. Her view of life matches her situation and changes during the story as things begin to get better. Her banter back and forth with Max, the ghost, were a lot of fun, but I enjoyed seeing them become closer the more they worked together. The one area I had trouble with when it came to Max and Nan was that her initial reaction to him was so mild it seemed odd. She thought it might be a joke at first, but even once she realized he was real she just kind of accepted it. That was the one area I didn't feel she reacted realistically. 

The progression of the storyline was nicely done. There weren't any slow parts or sections that seemed to fly by too quickly. The story kept moving and stayed interesting throughout.The humor woven into the story was quite enjoyable. I liked Max's reactions to hearing people's honest opinions about the writing he thought was masterful.  Nan and her experience working on Max's last novel is a light story about friendship and what it means to care about others. I was initially expecting the storyline to be a little deeper than it was, but I enjoyed the lighter tone. It was a fun, casual read. The one aspect of the story I didn't particularly enjoy were the writing lessons Max gave Nan. Maybe because I'm a writer myself, but I felt like the explanations were trying to tell the reader why they should like the book they were reading rather than just letting them enjoy it. 

When it is mentioned that Nan's no good boyfriend, Jeff, abandons her, I immediately suspected there would be a new love interest. Indeed, there were actually two, but I don have to admit that I was a little disappointed in the romantic aspect of this book. Nan's hunky neighbor, Tad, catches her eye, but it's made pretty obvious to the reader that he's a big dud right away. I had very little reason to like him or want Nan to like him. The other interest was Steve, a member of Max's old publishing company. Right away, it was clear that Steve was a doll, and a perfect choice, however Nan seems strangely oblivious to his interest in her. I didn't feel it was realistic for Nan not to see that the reason Steve hung around so often and gave her rides and took her grocery shopping was because he was in love with her. With either man, Nan's interest was only vague. There was never a real compelling romantic moment with either of them, which was also disappointing. The more interesting love story was between Max and the woman who used to type his manuscripts, Helen. I found their story very sweet. 

Overall, this was a fun book, but more of a light, casual read than one that will really grab you. 

Would I recommend this book? Yes, but only as a casual read. 

Who would I recommend this book to? The main audience for this book will be women in the 30-50 range who are looking for a sweet story about the value of friendship. 

Ghost Writer is available now from Amazon