Scarlett Dedd is SUPER adorable. From it's wonderfully comical and macabre premise to the illustrations that made me think of a horror/goth version ofScarlett Dedd is SUPER adorable. From it's wonderfully comical and macabre premise to the illustrations that made me think of a horror/goth version of Tank Girl (see Jamie Hewlett). It pretty well captured the ennui involved in being a teenager that holds a great deal of contempt for the mainstream (which I certainly was, so I could relate).
So basically Scarlett Dedd comes from an eccentric family. Her parents are artists and hippies and are kinda poor, so she's stuck wearing thrift store clothes that don't exactly flatter her pale skin and sunken eyes. But she's found a group of friends that suit her and they make horror movies together. But there is a school trip about to come up and she needs a way to get out of it so she goes looking for mushrooms that will make her sick enough to fool her parents. But she picks wrong and instead makes a deathly poisonous risotto and dies. Then her family finds it, and they eat it, and they die. Then they all come back as ghosts to haunt the house they've been living in. Her friends break in because they're the kind of kids who dig death and other spooky things and Scarlett realized how alone she is so she hatches a terrible plan to kill her friends so they can all be dead together. Being dead apparently makes you a little crazy.
There's a few other things going on that move the story along pretty well and Brett uses some unusual tactics. The story is told in the 3rd person but there's a blog that ghost Scarlett keeps that gives us a little insight into her thought process, as well as a chat room she goes to where there are other dead kids, maybe not all of them trust worthy. And the design of the text isn't always straightforward, it intermingles with some of the illustrations, which is a nice touch but there were two instances where it was particularly annoying. That is, the text wound around itself in circles and I had to turn the book over and over to keep reading it. Sorry man, not cool. The other was that there were often jumps in time that the design of the text didn't indicate. Where there should have been an extra space between paragraphs or something like that, there just wasn't, so it was a little jarring jumping from one scene to another and it took a minute to realize it. Other than those two things, however, I found it a charming and engaging experience.
It is a young adult book, technically, but I would go further and say it is specifically a tween book. If you have a particularly bright ten year old or a particularly unusual thirteen year old they'd probably like this book. Any kids that are artistically inclined or like horror/mystery/thrillers or "Are you Afraid of the Dark" (is that show still on???), would probably dig this book. The prose isn't particularly sophisticated, but it's not supposed to be. Even though it's told in the third person it's still told from the perspective of a fifteen year old, and it reads like it. It's not like reading my eighteen year old niece's facebook posts though. It's way more interesting than that. thankfully....more
So much fun! I couldn't put it down and so consequently it took me only about a day and a half to read. And now everything I wear is inspired by the 8So much fun! I couldn't put it down and so consequently it took me only about a day and a half to read. And now everything I wear is inspired by the 80's for some reason (hello Van's hightops! Haven't seen you in awhile!)...more