This is being posted almost a month after first reading simply because I did not have the time to write it. Be assured, I have triple checked everything while typing this up, but my thoughts on this have not changed. It was the YA Room August book of the month and, to be perfectly honest, that is the only reason I picked it up. Why? Because the cover made it look like a tween boy novel, not a YA fantasy a 20-year-old girl would enjoy. Now because I wanted to have read the book for this months book meet, I decided to make this the second book I read during the readathon I took part it. Here are more thoughts on Gap Year in Ghost Town by Michael Pryor.
Title: Gap Year in Ghost Town
Author: Michael Pryor
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release: August, 2017
Anton Marin is our MC and he is a bit of a dork, so obviously I love him. He has the ability to see ghosts and help them move on so they are no longer stuck here in a world they no longer belong. This job is called ghost hunting and Anton is not sure he really wants to be a part of it but agrees to spend his gap year trying it out to please his father. The title of the book has been explained. The secondary characters are his father, Leon, best friend, Rebecca or Bec, and the other ghost hunter, Rani Cross. They are all quirky and odd in their own ways, so obviously I love them. They all help Anton during a particularly crazy ghost hunting case.
Rani is from Righteous a ghost hunting organisation in London, from which the Marin family parted under not-so-good circumstances and moves to Australia way before Anton was born. This causes a little conflict as their ghost hunting methods are very different, but also provides us as readers that wonderful ‘you can never really know what is right and wrong’ lesson that everyone should be reminded of from time to time.
Just flicking back to the ‘Australia’ bit, it needs to be mentioned that the book is set in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs so I was able to picture some of the locations in my head. Being set in Australia means us readers are also gifted with some very Aussie sayings, my favourites being ‘huh’, ‘thingos’, ‘whatsits’ and ‘yeah, nah’ – all part of my daily vocabulary. We may sound uneducated but we Aussies generally know what we mean.
I found the storyline interesting and captivating. I did not want to put the book down until I had read every page. Some minor focal points of the story I would have liked to see more of include a tragic event occurring in Anton’s childhood that tore his family apart and a mysteriously missing Aunt Tanja. These were both somewhat explained, but I would like to know a bit more about both topics. Perhaps a book 2 is in order? (Please, oh please, may there be a book 2!)
The writing style was somewhat different to many of the books I read in that it didn’t feel overly polished, which is actually a good thing. It felt natural as if Anton was telling me the story of all the crazy ghost things that had been happening around Melbourne.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
While not everyone will have love the book as much as I did, for me this was a 5-star book so that is what I rated it on Goodreads and I feel it deserved every last star! I loved it enough to add it to my list of favourite books and not even my beloved Harry Potter has made it there.
Now I mentioned that it was the YA room book of the month for August, the only reason I picked it up, and it is to them I have to thank for three reasons:
1. they introduced me to another favourite book.
2. they had the author, Michael Pryor, at the book meet and it was amazing to listen to him talk about writing and books. He was also lovely enough to answer all of our questions.
3. thanks to him being at the book meet, I now have my copy of the book signed to me. This is the first book I have had signed that also has “To Amy” so I am super excited about that.
I will not be able to make it to the September book meet, but I hope to be at the October one because I am very much enjoying talking books with this wonderfully bookish group.
Who has read Gap Year in Ghost Town?
What did you think of it?
Will you be attending the YA room book meet?
You can comment below or leave a comment on another social media platform.
Until next time bibliophiles!