I'm kind of conflicted about this book. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't like. So please excuse the ramble that is about to follow.
I really liked the concept of the book. It took an old concept (ghostly unfinished business) and put a cool new spin on it. There were parts of the plot that really made me want to keep reading and I was intrigued by the storyline.
However, I absolutely hated the characters. They all felt so interchangeable. They didn't seem like individual entities, but like they were based off the same snarky, sarcastic archetype. Charlotte was the worst. She was just so dense, it was irritating. It's hard as a reader to know the character is doing everything wrong, but are too wrapped up in themselves to realize it. I finished this book quickly, partly because I wanted to get as far away from Charlotte as possible.
The writing wasn't that great either. There were some typos and a lot of awkward phrasing. I had to read a lot of sentences many times to figure out what the author meant to say. Also, many of the events are just not plausible. I'm not talking about the fantasy elements, I'm talking about the real, everyday stuff that would never happen (driver's ed debacle, everything surrounding the dance- convincing adults to use that location, cleaning up in time, etc.)
Most of the book is based on mean girl stereotypes and obsession over popularity. This led to many eye-roll moments as a reader and really frustrated me. The girls in the book are all horrible to each other (slut shaming, stereotyping, bullying, taking advantage of each other) and a lot of that doesn't really get resolved. Also, many of the comments came at awkward times and seemed out of character for the person who said it, reinforcing the whole interchangeable character thing. Most of the time it just felt like the author wanted to gain popularity by showing how snarky she herself could be. How's that for ironic for you.
I did like the cover, which was the reason I bought this book out of the clearance section in the first place. I also enjoyed the little shadow illustrations at the start of each chapter. It is definitely a cool little book.
But another tiny, little thing that impacted my opinion of this book was the physical book itself. I was first drawn to it, because of its tall, thin, coffin-like shape. However, once I started reading it, I realized how annoying this design decision was. It hurts your hand to try to read one-handed after a while, because it is so tall. But when I read it with two hands, I kept having to reposition my fingers, because they were always in the way of the text since the book is so narrow. It's a tiny point, but it definitely made reading this book less enjoyable.
So I'm still conflicted. I loved the idea of the book, but I hated the execution. I'm settling with 2 stars, because I think the things I didn't like outweighed what I did like about this book.