Friday 8 March 2024

Review: Ghost Roast by Shawnelle & Shawnee Gibbs, Illustrated by Emily Cannon

For as long as she can remember, Chelsea Grant has tried everything she can think of to distance herself from the disastrous damage her father does to her social life. It's not easy to shake her reputation as Ghost Girl when Dad keeps advertising his business as a "paranormal removal expert" in big, bold, loud letters all over New Orleans!

This year, Chelsea's all grown up, attending one of the most prestigious high schools in the city, and she's finally made friends with the popular crowd. Things are looking up—until a night on the town backfires spectacularly, landing her in hot water at home. Her punishment? Working for her dad at Paranormal Removal Services. All. Summer.

Worst of all, her new job reveals an unexpected secret she has to keep: While Dad hunts ghosts with his own DIY tech, Chelsea can actually see them. And when she meets Oliver, a friendly spirit, at the fancy mansion her dad is getting a handsome fee to exorcize, she realizes she has to save his after-life, even if it risks everything her father's worked for.

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📌 Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy for review from the publisher  

My favourite thing about Ghost Roast is the stunning colour palette and art style. It really brought the story to life for me.

I think this is the perfect graphic novel for the target YA audience. Chelsea struggles with a lot of things that I'm sure teens can relate to such as fitting in at school, coming from a low income background, divorced parents...

The start of Ghost Roast was a little slow, but as the story progressed and the action picked up I become more engaged. The overall tone of it gave me ghost buster vibes, as Chelsea gets roped into helping her dad with his paranormal removal services business over the summer. Apart from the ghost busting or roasting shenanigans it also dealt with some heavier topics. The manor they were hired to investigate was a former plantation so there was discussions of the slave trade and the treatment of POC during that time period.  

I have to admit I wasn't the biggest fan of Chelsea's friends and the way they treated her. However, it was a realistic portrayal and my opinion has more to do with me no longer being a teen and as such viewing them from an adult lens. I did like Chelsea's dad's assistant Russ, though. He was a guy of few words but was wise for his age. I also enjoyed seeing Chelsea come into her own and accept herself for who she was. Plus, the not quite romance with the ghost she encounters, Oliver, was very cute. 


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