Nian's Reviews > The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even

The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even by Julie Kenner
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's review
Feb 15, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: 2008
Recommended for: not recommending this
Read in February, 2008

As much as I like vampire stories, this is probably the most uninteresting, under-developed, and uninspiring one of the decade. Seriously.

Beth Fraiser’s life was all planned out and ready to go—awesome grades, early admission to college, and guaranteed valedictorian—until she discovers a shocking secret about famous football player Stephen Wills. He and the other star players are actually vampires. When he turns Beth into one of the “undead” she’s ready to do whatever it takes—i.e. kill him with her own hands and drink from donated hospital blood only—and with the help of vampire specialist Clayton and best friend Jenny, she might just get her life back. Unless Stephen decides to just kill her—for real this time.

Okay. So I really don’t understand how a best selling author can start out her novel with beginner writing language, and that’s: Hi! My name is Beth and I’m sixteen years old. (Not the exact words but close enough.) Where’s the originality, the creativity? There are a thousand and one ways to introduce your character, and if you can’t manage to do that, then the story isn’t going too well.

Which is exactly what happened. From page one, where the whole introduction started, I had doubts. Not many authors can pull the whole “my name is blah blah” thing on me and make me NOT vent in frustration. Anyway, from there, it just got worst. The first thing that really baffled me was how unrealistic and fast paced it was. And not in a good way, either. I get that it’s a vampire story, which basically means that ideas will be far-fetched and totally fake, but I know there’s a level between whacky and okay. And that part where Beth wakes up, burns her fingers, and BAM, suddenly realizes that she’s one of the undead just really doesn’t fit. I really can’t imagine anyone thinking, “Oh shit, I’m a vampire now.” Where’s the sense in that? I seriously don’t get it. I don’t even know how she came to that conclusion. I mean, I’ve read enough to know that they burn in sunlight and whatever, but what about people who know nothing about the myths? THEY wouldn’t get it. Not at all. Because it doesn’t flow.

One of the writing techniques the writer overused was the whole repetition thing. I get enough of the my-life-is-ruined-because-I’m-undead thing from the blurb, the prologue, and the first ten chapters already. I know it’s a point to be emphasized and as a humorous line, but it’s anything but that. It’s annoying and overly exaggerated. How many times can I read the line “Because I’m undead and I’m pretty sure colleges won’t accept dead people” (notice that I’m not actually quoting the author here, but just something LIKE the book) before I go crazy with irritation? Halfway through the book, the reader would have definitely gotten that message. If not, then the reader is clearly in la-la-land. And when the author makes the same statement just about every single chapter, it shows lack of originality again. Do you really need to repeat this stuff?

And, from a bestselling author, even if this is her first young adult novel (I think?) I seriously have doubts about her writing. It doesn’t even have a simple sense of flow. She went from one point to another within a snap and never mentioned point one again. Or, she just kept going with point two, on and on until you want to rip the book apart. That’d be me. It’s silly with basic language that looked like stuff I’d done back when I was in fifth grade and writing about witches cackling in my class journal.

All things apart, I can only applaud the interesting twist at the last chapter. And wondering whether Clayton will kill Beth. I think I’m saying this for the first time, but I honestly don’t like the main character and wouldn’t care if she lived or not. I’m definitely NOT reading the sequel. I still can’t fathom why anyone would.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kelly I've read her adult books as well, I don't know how she's best selling as all through each book the lead charchter is going on and on about her life being hell. It drove me bonkers, suck it up and get on with it! Accurate review in my opinion.


Barbara Collins exactly what I thought about it
I love vampire books but not written like this


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