Sixteen year old Eileen “Echo” Stone awakens in an unknown dark room with no memory of how she got there. Trying to find out what is going on Echo finds herself surrounded by other strange kids and a surly woman that seems to run the place. Echo is told she is at Middle House, an orphanage for troubled kids and immediately argues that her parents are alive and that there has to be some kind of mistake.
With the help of a fellow resident of Middle House Echo makes her way out and to her home which is surrounded by crime scene tape and finds a gruesome bloody scene. Fearing that something has happened to her parents Echo is devastated until she see their familiar car and chases after them only to have the car pass right through her leading Echo to find that she is the actual ghost and Middle House is the in between place she will stay until she finds out who murdered her.
I have been noticing some really low reviews on Bad Girl Gone which had me a bit worried but also extremely curious picking this one up. What I found though was a pretty fun ride with Echo and company that while it’s not great literature it’s what I think it’s meant to be, a cutesy afterlife young adult mystery. I even found Echo’s descriptions of her fellow ghosts a bit Beetlejuice like if anyone recalls that waiting room scene with how they died.
The biggest complaint I’m reading about this one is the love triangle involved in the story and possibly because of being warned ahead of time by a fellow blogger I didn’t find it that horrible to be included. Echo had a real life boyfriend she can’t let go, makes a connection with fellow dead kid hence the love triangle… she’s sixteen, sixteen year olds are fickle and in love too easily so I would just say if something like that will bother people then skip this one otherwise give it a fair shot.
As far as the rest of the story, the mystery of Echo’s death as she checked off her suspects was decent enough for a young adult read. The idea behind the whole story is a bit recycled as far as the dead looking for closure with this one being they need revenge on the murderers to move on… that in itself could be argued as being realistic since for instance some killers murder more than one so how would it work if one victim got their revenge and another didn’t?
In the end though if you don’t think too hard about what seems to be meant as simply a fun, light look into the young adult afterlife and simply take it with a few laughs here and there you might just enjoy this one. I’d personally rate this one at 3.5 stars… light entertainment but still enjoyable overall.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.