What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. YA/MG Book, strong girl protagonist with a ghost brother [s]

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message 1: by elouise (last edited Jul 08, 2016 02:31PM) (new)

elouise I read this book when i was about 11 or 12, and i'm 18 now- 7 years ago.
I'm not sure about the right category bc it dealt with some issues like death and passing on. Aimed at probably, 12-15 year-olds. Genre seems to be adventure, mystery, coming-of-age. The novel is rather thick, about 350 pages The cover is typically in three broad stripes, the clearest i remember is in light blue/pink/purple, the middle strip is lighter. The cover is minimally illustrated- like dots for eyes sort of thing, with a young girl with a round tan-ish face and black hair, in jeans with large cuffs on them, carrying a schoolbag. She likely had a long sleeved shirt on. Her name _should_ be Olive or Olivia or the like, the narration is also in first person. The book is illustrated but not too much of it. The illustrations are slightly messy, black and white, but the bodies are clearly defined and smooth, quite beautiful and simple.
The plot is about her moving into a new place with her dad, especially about her apartment (where the elevator never comes quickly enough so she has to take the stairs) which has very strange houses and very strange people, quite labyrinth-like. One is entirely made of glass (with a black young woman and her baby who 'smelt like biscuits') and one is completely overgrown with jungle-type plants. She has the ability to see ghosts and communicate with her dead brother (who is supposed to have some sort of agency job in heaven to help others pass on?) and subsequently help people with ghost problems for a substantial part of the story. In the glass house she deals with the woman's dead husband. Her brother is illustrated with light hair and really lanky (white shirt?). No one else can see him but her of course.
She does a seance at some point.
She is bullied in school and ostracized- one part she talks about popping blackheads in the school restroom and she got a complicit excuse letter from the school nurse for a headache, because the nurse herself is used to forging medical certificates or something. Some girls in very tight jeans with lipgloss in their pockets made fun of how her jeans are too big for her when she was walking home, that her cuffed jeans could probably fit her textbooks or similar.
There was one significant part about her walking in her house and her downstairs neighbour would knock up their ceiling and her upstairs neighbour would bang on their ground to get her to be silent.
she might have had a pet chameleon. Eventually she learns to coexist and appreciate her neighbours, and they like her back.
Her narration is very matter-of-fact and quite me-against-the-world but the story maintains a whimsicality with the peculiar adults who she seems to be able to relate to. We don't really find out that she speaks to the ghost of her brother until slightly later in the story. Her brother and herself don't understand why he's staying on and he's the only person she can't help in passing on for a long time in the novel. Her brother is quite nonchalant and the narrator describes him as very kind.

Thank you! i've been wondering about this book for about a year now. Feel free to drop any questions to clarify anything about the novel, i'll answer as best as i can :) Thank you again!


message 2: by Katie (last edited Jul 08, 2016 03:07PM) (new)

Katie | 42 comments Olivia Kidney series?


message 3: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
I don't know if Katie has it right or not--but that looked like an interesting book, so I'm going to add it to my Himalayan Mountain Range of a TBR pile.


message 4: by elouise (new)

elouise Katie wrote: "Olivia Kidney series?"

Oh my god! it's all coming back to me now. thank you're amazing and i wish upon you a field of puppies and kittens and bunnies, thank you!


message 5: by elouise (new)

elouise Ann aka Iftcan wrote: "I don't know if Katie has it right or not--but that looked like an interesting book, so I'm going to add it to my Himalayan Mountain Range of a TBR pile."

she did get it right! :D


message 6: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 20945 comments Olivia Kidney for the default edition.


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