Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison is a book that I wanted to like, but didn't really care for in the end.

It's the end of her eight-grade year, and Gilda Joyce is dreaming of adventure. Her best friend will be away at camp for the summer, and other classmates are looking forward to vacations and fun. When her teacher asks Gilda what she will be doing over the summer, Gilda impulsively announces that she will be traveling to San Francisco and writing a novel. Of course, she had no such plans up until the words came out of her mouth, but it does sound like an excellent idea. Gilda contacts a distant cousin of her mother's and invites herself on a visit, and through a series of mishaps and miscommunications, she gets a letter back with not only an invitation, but a plane ticket that will get her there. Once she arrives in San Francisco, she discovers that her uncle's old house, one of San Francisco's famous "Painted Ladies," was once the scene of a tragedy. Could the house be haunted? Gilda considers herself a psychic investigator, and she is determined to discover any mysteries that the house, and the people who live in it, may be hiding.

I know Gilda is supposed to be funny and feisty, but she mostly had me rolling my eyes. Of course, I'm not the target audience, and tweens might find Gilda's quirky, impulsive style more appealing. The book does occasionally touch on dark themes like mental illness and suicide, and there are a few spooky scenes as one might expect from a book about paranormal investigation, but all in all the tone is light and amusing. I won't be continuing with the series, as I find the protagonist so annoying, but if I run across tweens or young teens looking for light paranormal fare, I'll know what to hand them.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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