Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Review: Jessica's Ghost by Andrew Norriss

Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: March 5th, 2015
Rating: 9/10

Amazon summary:

Francis has never had a friend like Jessica before. She's the first person he's ever met who can make him feel completely himself. Jessica has never had a friend like Francis before. Not just because he's someone to laugh with every day - but because he's the first person who has ever been able to see her... 


As with most of the books published by David Fickling, Jessica's Ghost is unusual, important and quietly powerful. It holds within its pages a message that teenagers need more than any other, and it delivers that message with great sensitivity and understanding. It's not at all what I was expecting from the book when I started reading it, but it quickly turned out to be so much better than even I initially thought it would be.

Now, talking about Jessica's Ghost in terms of plot and story is quite difficult to do without ruining a twist and spoiling everything. So I'm not going to talk about the story, other than to say that it's about a boy, Francis, who one day meets the ghost of Jessica, a girl who died and doesn't know how or why. The two become inseparable friends, they help each other, and they make a strong team. Lots more happens, of course, but that's for readers to uncover for themselves.

What I want to talk about in this review is the importance of this book and everything it stands for. It's a book that can, and will, make a difference, if only people read it. Teenagers, specifically, will benefit hugely from Jessica's story, as will adults who need a little help themselves. Schools will do everyone a favour by having a copy of this book readily available to their students, and parents can do the same for their children. It's one of those books that means so much, but to do that it really needs to find an audience.

Jessica's Ghost is beautifully written, sad and life-affirming, in more ways than one. Andrew Norriss has taken a scary, prevalent subject and done something different with it, something that will make readers take note. It's one of those books I would probably have missed had I not been sent a copy for review, and that would have been a great shame. It's books like this that make a difference in people's lives, and I know for a fact that Jessica's Ghost can. So please go and read it, then pass it on to a friend. Let them pass it on to one of their friends. See how far it gets. It might just save a life in the process.

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