Friday, July 31, 2009

Book 5 of the Summer Reading Book Challenge

Book 5: Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise (Series: 43 Old Cemetery Road, Bk 1)

Ignatius B. Grumply is a washed-up children's book author desperate for another best seller. He is determined to write #13 in his Ghost Tamer series and nothing, not even a terrible case of writer's block will stop him!

In order to get away from it all and get his head in the writing game, Ignatius decides to leave his home in Chicago and rent the 32 1/2 room victorian mansion and 43 Old Cemetery Road in Ghastly, Illinois. What he doesn't expect is to be sharing the house with an eleven-year old boy named Seymour Hope, his cat, Shadow, and a ghost! At first, Ignatius refuses to believe that the ghost of Olive C. Spence is haunting his rental home and thinks that Seymour is behind all of the spooky happenings. But over the course of the summer he not only comes to believe in Olive but welcomes her help co-writing his book!

I've enjoyed the Klise sister's (Kate is the writer, M. Sarah is the illustrator) work for a long time beginning with their hilarious Regarding the Fountain. Their newest book is just as much fun (and the beginning of another series!) I love the different methods they use to tell a story - in this one it's letters, newspaper articles and illustrations. It's a totally different way of reading and highly enjoyable! As with their other books, all of the character's names in Dying to Meet You are puns and plays-on-words: Anita Sale, E. Gadds, Paige Turner, Frank N. Beans, Olive C. Spence, M. Balm, Seymour Hope, Kay Daver and Fay Tality just to name a few.

I especially liked how Ignatius grew as a person over the course of the story. In the beginning he was miserable, grumpy and not pleasant to be around. By the end he had changed, realizing that it wasn't other people who made him so grumpy and caused his writer's block - he brought it on himself. In one poignant discussion, Olive helps open Ignatius' eyes to this fact:

"All I'm saying is that your life is a story, and that you are the main character of that story. Is your story a comedy or a tragedy? Is it dull? Or is it a compelling, spine-tingling drama? My point, Iggy, is simply that each of us is the author of his or her own life. So if you're telling me that you've changed, I'm pleased at your authorship."

A wonderful read with fun, engaging characters. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the next installment of 43 Old Cemetery Road: Over My Dead Body (coming in October 2009).

No comments: