Who says a ghost story has to (a) be long to deliver a few chills and decent character development, or (b) be peopled with sympathetic protagonists? Not me. And certainly not Megan Atwood, author of The Paranormalists, Case 1: The Haunting of Apartment 101.
I came across this 2012 book in my favorite way, browsing through library shelves and taking a chance. I immediately liked the tone of the blog entries that lead off the story: brash, defiant, and funny. My enthusiasm dipped, however, in the next chapter, as Jinx, principal protagonist, made an entrance that wobbled wildly. One moment she’s humorously critical and the next she descends into an unoriginal, whiny, pain in the ass, and while one might say teenagers—and adults—do, in fact, run this gamut, I found myself wondering if Atwood meant this wobbling to last throughout the book, or if, in writing this quick book, she occasionally went for easy moments of characterization rather than working for a consistent wit and self-awareness within her principal protagonist. What saved Jinx in my eyes, and kept the book from being thrown across the room, was the compassion she shows for her faithful from-childhood-friend, Jackson, still grieving the death of his father.
I read on.