Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Review: My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray
My So-Called Afterlife is one of those effortless reads that whips you away from everyday life and transports you into another world as soon as you open the first page. The novel follows the story of Lucy Shaw, a teenage ghost who becomes trapped in public toilets after she’s murdered by a serial killer. At first, she thinks she’s destined to remain there, alone forever, but then Jeremy, a dorky geography teacher starts talking to her. It turns out that he can both see and hear spirits. Despite their differences, they begin to work together to free Lucy from her supernatural shackles.
As the title implies, this book is pretty darn funny. Lucy has a kick-ass attitude and this leads to some great one-liners. She’s able to look after herself and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, especially rubbish ghost hunters! Although the novel is sad and scary in places, Lucy’s dry sense of humour shines through. She’s able to learn too. I found her (platonic) relationship with Jeremy particularly moving as she matures from critical teenager to supportive friend.
I also loved the depiction of the afterlife. I’ve not come across that many ghosts in teen fiction so I really enjoyed finding out about the spirit world and its rules of engagement, some familiar, some brand new. The author describes it in such detail that you completely believe in Lucy’s experiences.
So, all-in-all, a fab debut from Tamsyn Murray with enough action and comedy to satisfy the most reluctant reader. Even better, I’m slightly behind publication with this review, so Tamsyn’s other supernatural novels - My So-Called Haunting and My So-Called Phantom Lovelife - are already lined up and ready to read.
Just by chance, Nicky Schmidt posted a marvellous interview with Tamsyn today. You can find this over at Absolute Vanilla.