I miss reading ghost stories and I didn't realize just how much I missed it until I read this book. When it comes to ghost stories I'mRating 3.5 Stars
I miss reading ghost stories and I didn't realize just how much I missed it until I read this book. When it comes to ghost stories I'm a pretty big fan, despite my low "scary" tolerance. I mean, the last book I read I got creeped out by a 9ft tall serial killing cookie, that's where my bar is set. For me, On the Day I Died was definitely creepy, but in the most refreshing way.
This book is a series of connected short stories that follow Mike, just your average teenage boy, who ends up having his own Medium moment when he walks into a Chicago grave yard full of teenage ghosts who all want to tell him the story of the strange and sometimes fantastical events that lead to each of their deaths. The manner of death, the time period, and the overall tone of the writing changed with each story giving each ghost their own unique perspective.
I have to say that overall this book is pretty consistent and solid. The way Fleming writes each story perfectly fits the format. This lady knows how to structure a short story and I ended up enjoying her writing a lot more than I expected to. The ghost stories were both incredibly original and creative while still harkening back to the classic ghost stories that we all tell around the campfire or during a spooky sleepover. It remains true that some of the short stories are better than others, but even the most average were still really enjoyable. If Candace Fleming writes another YA novel I would definitely read it.
The only thing that kept this from being a four star read for me was the fact that for all the originality and fantastic writing we see in the ghost stories the connecting through story of Mike's night in the graveyard was woefully underwritten. Although the end of Mike's story was satisfying, throughout the book it lacked the spark and liveliness of the ghost stories. It was jolting to go from wonderful characterization and dialogue to the choppy and out of place Mike story line. It felt like Mike was a plot device rather than a person, which took away from the overall tone of the book.
However, I would still definitely recommend this to any and all lovers of classic ghost stories. Despite the 200 page count the way the book is formatted it takes hardly any time to read (I think I was done in about 2 hours) and it is well worth it. I picked this up on a whim because I had been studying at the library and needed something light and easy to read while I waited for my ride and I am incredibly happy that I did....more
Pre-Read June 13, 2014: My mom found a 1909 edition of this book at an estate sale she stumbled upon and gave it to me for my birthday today. NeitherPre-Read June 13, 2014: My mom found a 1909 edition of this book at an estate sale she stumbled upon and gave it to me for my birthday today. Neither of us knew anything about the book before finding it here on GR, however it also came with the inscription "To May From Gerty Aug 1922 Wishing you a Happy Birthday" We thought information about the book would be a lot harder to find because no where on the edition does it say the author's name. It needs a little bit of repair work, but I will be either read a ebook copy or delicately reading the actual copy before the year is through! ...more