Ghost Hunter’s Daughter
“Supernatural meets Mean Girls” in this YA horror mystery for older teens.
Sixteen-year-old Anna sees things from another world, the spiritual world, a skill that isn’t exactly useful in high school. It’s bad enough that her mother, possessed by a demon, took her own life when Anna was a child, a loss she remains tortured by. Now her father makes his living “clearing” haunted objects, and Anna’s job as his assistant makes her a social misfit. Most kids in her suburban New Jersey town refer to her just as “Goblin Girl.”
Only Freddy and Dor remain loyal friends. But Anna’s so focused on her own problems, she’s missed that her connection with Freddy is moving beyond the friend zone and that Dor is in crisis.
As junior year approaches, a rare solar storm lights up the night skies and the citizens of Bloomtown begin to act strangely: Anna’s teachers lash out, her best friends withdraw, and the school bullies go from mean to murderous. When Anna realizes she can harness this evil power, she sets out to save Bloomtown and the only family she has left.
But to do so, she must keep her own increasingly dark urges at bay.
*Trigger Warnings* – suicide (while possessed), suicide ideation, bullying, mental illness (hoarding), self-harm, animal cruelty, predatory and abusive adults in positions of power.
I’m not much of a horror reader because I don’t like gore, but I’ve been branching out lately. I figured a YA horror would be a little more “safe” for me, and I was not prepared for the intricate layers in this beautiful book.
Anna (aka “Goblin Girl”) is the daughter of a paranormal investigator who kind of made me think of Sam and Dean’s dad in Supernatural if he hadn’t been as awesome. I didn’t *like* Anna much, but part of that may have been due to the events going on in their little town of GenericSmalltownName. I feel like she had some good personal growth by the end of the book, and having a likeable main character seems to matter less to me in this genre than it does when I read romance, so it didn’t really affect my rating. But she’s kind of a jerk to her friends, and that dynamic was more believe to me than the quasi-love triangle going on. I had to keep reminding myself that she’s 16, haha.
I love that Caroline Flarity kept me guessing about what was causing all the hoopla and craziness. The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter has a lot of fun twists and turns, and is creepy without being TOO scary. Basically it’s the perfect Halloween read and a fun way for the non-horror read to dip their toes into the genre.