Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Marly's Ghost

A romantic treat for Valentine's Day (or any other day of the year, if you're a romantic at heart), David Levithan's Marly's Ghost is a "remix" of A Christmas Carol with a Valentine's setting. Ben's girlfriend Marly is dead, and he's being quite a "Scrooge" about Valentine's Day this year. Heartbroken at his loss, Ben has isolated himself from his friends and has become bitter about love. He wants only to be left alone to remember Marly and their time together. But his tight grip on the past is preventing Marly from moving on. Her visit to him (weighted down by her charm bracelet filled with tokens of their love) is the first in a series of spiritual visits that will convince Ben that he can risk loving again.
While the Victorian language of Marly's ghost seems a bit much (I think normal teen-talk would have been more fitting, but that's just me), this remix is loads of fun. Kids who aren't familiar with the original tale & its Victorian setting might think some of the language, etc a bit strange, but that won't interfere with their enjoyment of the story. While Levithan has kept many of the original trappings of the story, there are some fun changes, such as Tiny and Tim, a young gay couple flush with new love, who are on the receiving end of Ben's Valentine's Day humbug - and first in line to receive his newfound Valentine's Day cheer.

Levithan, David. Marly's Ghost. New York: Dial Books, 2006.

What I'm Reading: Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
On My Bookshelf: King Dork by Frank Portman


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