Marly's Ghost by David Levithan, published by Electric Monkey on 8th January 2015
When Ben’s girlfriend, Marly, dies, he feels his life is over and the prospect of Valentine’s day without her fills him with bitterness. But then Marly arrives – or at least, her ghost does – along with three other spirits. Now Ben must take a journey through Valentines past, present and future – and what he learns will change him forever.
A remix of 'A Christmas Carol' which is one of my favourite Christmas stories but with a twist. David Levithan has added a Valentine's Day setting and given the story a set of contemporary characters and a protagonist who has closed himself off to love and life after his girlfriend Marly dies.
This was a really quick read. I finished it in about an hour but it was nevertheless extremely well told and I enjoyed the fresh take on a well loved classic. Ben is visited by the ghosts of love past, present and future, warning him of what will happen if he gives up on a life without Marly. I loved the overall message about appreciating life and the people you have around you, as well as enjoying each day because you never know what will happen to you next. It's something that I think we all should try to remember.
There are some other familiar faces in the book, including Tiny and Tim, as you've never seen them before! I thought it was so clever how David Levithan really brought the story and characters up to date and made it much more relevant to readers today.
Throughout the book there are some lovely illustrations by Brian Selznick. These are also adapted from the original drawings, giving 'Marly's Ghost' a real spin on the old and the new.
I think this was my favourite David Levithan book so far. It contained a truly heart warming message all wrapped up in a treat of a story.