The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don't quite know how to review this book.
On one hand, I enjoyed it--it is unabashedly Malaysian, it plays deeply on feelings of friendship and betrayal, loss and grief--yet, on the other hand, I put it down after the first half to go do something and I had no real desire to pick it up again to finish it off. And I really don't know why.
It's not the creepy/horror factor. However horrible or terrible the original creatures are (and are hinted to be), Pink doesn't stray too far from being just mischievous. Suraya's grandmother and the Pawang are people of power and who do nasty, evil things, but it's not described much in the book; it's MG, after all.
Maybe it's just because it's MG and I haven't read an MG book for a long time?
(It could just be my current reading mood; it probably IS just my current reading mood.)
Whatever it was, Suraya is the loner who finds a friend in the pelesit her grandmother bequeathed her. Then Jing comes into her life, and with this talkative new girl full of Star Wars references, a rift opens between Suraya and Pink. A story of friendship and bonds, light and dark, set against the backdrop of a Malaysian kampung and small-town life. Slight shades of Gaiman's The Graveyard Book towards the end, plus a super-touching ending.
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