People who live in the UK might have heard about the YA Book Prize: it's an award for the best UK young adult book and the winner will be announced in March. However, there is already a shortlist with 10 of the best UK YA books of 2014. Up until March, I will read each of these books (one a week) and post a review - I'm reading the books in the same order as the YA Book Prize twitter account is.
It's here! THE LAST BOOK of the YA Book Prize shortlist. Number 10. And wow is the last one a roller coaster ride!
Usually, I copy the plot summary from Goodreads in this part but today I'm not going to, because there is no plot summary for this book (or not one that I would be happy to post).
The Ghosts of Heaven is basically a collection of four short stories that can be read in any order you want (I read it 2-4-3-1) and that are all extremely different yet still linked together. The central theme is the spiral, hence that gorgeous cover, and what the spiral signifies for different people at different times. There are historical stories and futuristic stories and we follow everyone from mourning fathers to young confused girls. Each story is a roller coaster on its own and put together it's even crazier.
I've never read a book by Marcus Sedgwick before, but I have heard amazing things about his writing and based on this book, I must agree. All of these stories are extremely unsettling but it's hard to pinpoint why exactly. They're not Say Her Name kind of stories, but they leave you feeling eery and lost and confused and just.... weird. Really weird.
And I think that's because Marcus is such an amazing writer. He drops little hints here and there that unsettle you a little bit, but it's the combination of all those things, and his amazing characters, that make you feel so completely freaked out by the end of the stories. I mostly had this feeling after the fourth story, which was totally non-relatable in topic, yet spoke to me on a really deep level and I'm just amazed at how he managed to do that.
Because the four stories are so incredibly different, there's something for everyone in this book. I personally didn't care much for the characters in story one and two, but I loved the characters in story three and four. And just like me, other readers will have their preferences and opinions about it.
Which is exactly why this such a great read! There's literally something for everyone and because not all stories read like YA stories per se, even adult readers will enjoy this book. I would also like to see a person read this book and not get crazy unsettled. I dare you.
This book is a solid four out of five for me. I really appreciate the creativity that went into a book like this - it's unlike anything I've ever read. Story four might be my favourite 'short story' ever, but some of the others didn't quite do it for me, so I can't give this book a five. However, if you want to read a completely innovative YA book that will make you question your own life, do pick this up - it is amazing.