Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Ordinary Ghosts by Eirreann Corrigan
For years, the all-male student body at Caramoor Academy has held an underground tradition of bestowing a secret master key to the campus onto one "worthy" (read: mischievous) student each year. Emil Simon would never have gotten the key in the usual way, but when his older brother took off after their mother's death, he left the key behind. With his emotionally distant father away on business, Emil uses his after-hours access to the school grounds to create a private place for himself. Eventually, he forges a connection with the art teacher's daughter, who is also making clandestine use of the Caramoor property.
The plot of Ordinary Ghosts is at times slow-moving, although Emil is an interesting central character. I did found it difficult however to handle Emil’s flippant, defiant manner and casual attitude toward sex, drugs, alcohol, and school. The book seemed to cast a bad light on teenage boys, inferring that their lives revolve around buying drugs, doing drugs, and having or thinking about having sex. Now, I don’t know what goes on inside a boy’s head, but I hope that my brother and other guys I know don’t always think the way Emil does. Besides that, Ordinary Ghosts is a touching story that deals with death and abandonment in a very realistic manner.