Five days until Halloween and all hell is about to break loose. And it's all Crystal's fault. Momma warned her not to consort with the dead and tried to teach her the magic spells that would close the portal to the afterlife. But Crystal doesn't want to be a trailer-trash witch like Momma. She has dreams of going to community college and escaping the Appalachian town of Parson's Ford. Her best friend Bone is only too happy to escape the afterlife and help Crystal break the rules. Bone died too young, and she'll do whatever it takes to remain among the living. Then a teen movie maker comes to Parson's Ford, and he has a very special project in mind: a horror movie starring a real ghost. The kids who watch his movies turn into brainwashed zombies. And to totally complicate matters, Crystal thinks he's kind of a hunk, and she's afraid her boyfriend Pettigrew only loves her because of Momma's magic spells. Now it's Halloween, the night when the portal to the afterlife is widest, and somebody's been messing with Momma's potions. The fate of the world is in Crystal's hands, but she hasn't been paying attention to her lessons. And a mysterious figure in the afterlife is urging Bone to stay loyal to her own kind instead of to Crystal. The movie is rolling, the creatures are stirring, and the brainwashed teenagers are ready to welcome a new star from the other side of the grave. Crystal and Bone must overcome drama queens, coffin cuties, and mangled magic if they want to remain best friends forever-but at this rate, forever may not last much longer.
October Girls was an enjoyable read. It was well written and funny. The only part that didn't completely sell me on it was the ending. I will explain further in the review, however I'm going to try to do it without any spoilers. I'd also like to say that while I had some issues with it, those issues wouldn't stop me from reading the next book in the series or anything else from the author.
Let's go through what I really liked about October Girls.
The biggest thing I liked about the whole book was the sarcastic wit and pop culture comedy running throughout the book. Yes, I enjoyed the characters, the story and the setting. But I liked all these things because of the authors use of humor. In how they characters relate to each other, in the descriptions of the characters and Parson's Ford, in how the story itself progresses and is resolved. The humor can be dark, but it sometimes is less dark and more observational. A look beneath the blanket that society uses to hide underneath. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. It's not that serious a novel. But a perfect example of what I'm talking about is when near the end of the book one of the extras, a not so popular kid, is described as looking as if he's been in the hot popular girls room before. Another is how the entire story is a commentary on how death is viewed by the young and how it effects them, along with how destiny isn't all it's cracked up to be. Please don't put too much pressure on the book based on this review. It's not overly serious though it discussing some serious things. It makes you think without realizing that you're doing it.
Then there are the characters themselves. While a few of the supporting characters seem more one sided then others, they are all fun in their own way. Yes, characters like Royce can seem stereotypical in their obsession with stardom. But they're supposed to be, that's what makes it funny. As for the main characters, like Bone and Crystal. They are besties whose friendship is definitely put to the test by the deaths divide. However I do have to say I think that Crystal is a better friend to Bone than vice versa. But Bone's choices and actions make sense when put in the perspective of a teenage girl. Especially a dead teenage girl.
As for my issue with the ending.... It's mainly that I wanted to find out more about Bone's life after death. I hoping that, since this is book one, that book two will provide more information on what is actually going on there. The author does reveal some facts about the other side, but there are questions left unanswered. Again, this didn't kill the book for me, if anything it only made me more interested in picking up the next one. But it was a big enough deal that I felt mentioning it was important.
Overall the book was fun. There's some interesting twists. There are also some interesting twists, as well as some scenes that were really moving. I hope to be able to read more from this author in the future.
I got this book from Amazon because it was on sale and decided to review it for this event. All opinions in this fair and honest review are my own.