Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Three Quarters Dead

This is a ghost story, plain and simple. I've never read Richard Peck, so I can't compare this to his other numerous books. His style in Three Quarters Dead is kind of stark and bare-bones. The plot is fairly straight-forward and narrowly focused, though you don't completely understand what's going on until the very end. Kerry, a sophomore in high school, is his main character, and he gets in her head. It's a short book. I read a little one evening and finished it quickly the next morning. The book definitely pulls you in and holds you there. But I can't say I loved it.

Kerry is a sophomore, new to high school, no friends. At lunch, she sits alone at the end of a table, near, but not with, three beautiful, magnetic upperclassmen girls. Then one day they invite her into their group. She wants to be a part of them so badly that she'll do anything. She lives for lunch, where time seems to stretch as she listens to the girls plot and gossip, especially Tanya, who rules the roost. For Halloween, she helps the girls make a statement to the rest of the high school about who's in and who's not. And then Kerry's friends die, and that's where the ghost story begins.

This was a unique story, but it's still following the current trend, obsession really, of supernatural teen lit. It's interesting that a book can hold you so well but that at the end you can look back and say the book was basically about nothing. There is a moral to the story: do you just follow the crowd or live your own life? And if you want to read 190 pages about being popular, taking revenge, and prepping for prom, you'll really like this book. Such a vapid plot has never been so interesting, honestly. But having read it, do I feel like my time was well-spent? I was entertained, but was I emotionally satisfied? Not particularly. At least it was short, huh?

Three stars for entertainment value. Two stars for being worth the read.

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