GHOST MEDICINE by Andrew Smith

GHOST MEDICINE

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

To escape the ghosts lurking between him and his father after his mother’s death, 16-year-old Troy Stotts takes a job working for his crush Luz’s father and spends his free time with his optimistic best friend, Tommy Buller, fixing up town recluse Rose’s decrepit house. When the sheriff’s thuggish son tries to rape Luz, Troy and his friends engage in an escalating antagonism that leads to both death and openness. Though Smith’s lyrical prose moves at a glacial pace, the slowly building narrative gathers the heart-wrenching moments together to create a fully engrossing tale. Understating the violence, Smith instead allows readers to create their own graphic images of skewered horses and gunshot wounds. Troy’s attempts at invisibility contrast with other characters’ desire for recognition and fatherly approval. Rose grows beyond a stock crotchety cat lady to provide moments of genuine humor and insight, very much in the mold of Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax. After a slow start, Smith canters to a satisfying finish. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-37557-7
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2008




Kirkus Interview
Andrew Smith
December 2, 2014

Andrew Smith’s young adult novel Grasshopper Jungle is set in the small town of Ealing, Iowa, where Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is not your everyday novel of the apocalypse, though it has the essential elements: a (dead) mad scientist, a fabulous underground bunker and gobs of messy violence. In fact, Grasshopper Jungle is so evocative, it ended up on our list of the Best Teen Books of 2014. We talk to Smith in this week’s Kirkus TV interview about the end of the world and other fun topics! View video >

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