Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Dead Girlfriend by Eric Wright


Some, you absolutely love. Others, well, you love to hate.

It seems it's always the annoying ones that give relatives a bad name. Don't you think? You know the ones I'm talking about. The overexcited aunt who always wants to give you a big, wet, sloppy kiss right smack on the lips. That creepy uncle who gets a kick out of having you pull his finger. The grandmother who shows those embarrassing pictures of you when you were gawky, pimply, and brace faced. Relatives! These are the people that you wish would just go away. Luckily, most do eventually go way somehow. They go home. Perhaps, they disown you. And ah! If you are one of the lucky ones, perhaps, they die! Dead! Buried! Gone forever! Phineas Bleak, however, will never be so lucky. The fact of the matter is his relatives, and I do mean all of his relatives, just won't go away.

Phineas Bleak is literally surrounded by a bleak fate of death and darkness in Eric Wright's, My Dead Girlfriend and lives in the shadows of his ghostly ancestor's legacy. Nope. It's not the typical legacy of moguls, presidents, or criminals. Nonetheless, Phineas does find himself everyday trying to escape the legacy of his family's accomplishments. You see? They have achieved greatness in the most horrifying way. They are renowned for dying gruesome deaths. The bloodier, the gorier, the scarier, all the better!

But Phineas just wants to LIVE! Unlike his family of ghosts, Death is not the way he wants to be remembered. He wants to experience all that life has to offer. He does face many challenges but his passion for LIFE shines through! He shows this passion as he battles the monster bullies, defies his family's legacy, faces off with the grim reaper, plays with man's best friend, and falls in love. My Dead Girlfriend is a quirky, witty, and horrifying tale for the living!

I was not excited to read this graphic novel. I really thought I'd hate it. Honestly, the title frightened me. But as I began to read, I fell in love with Phineas' life force. He faces many issues that today's teens face like bullying. So it was easy for me to empathize with him just as I do my own students. Bullying is so prevalent in schools today and this tale shines a light on the epidemic. Wright cleverly uses monsters to portray the ugliness that is involved with the bully and the act of bullying. But don't let the topic of bullying scare you off. Wright covers all aspects for a great read. Death and dying, love and heartbreak, and success and failure. Due to the graphic illustrations and title, boys would probably be more drawn to this book than girls. But I don't really see this book speaking to one gender more than the other. Girls would enjoy this read, too.

Read it. You'll hate to love it. But you will love it!!


Mirja said...


your writing style fits perfectly to the story that you describe. You mix all these contraries together, such as love and hate, as does the author with death and life. After you describe it very enthusiastically, all of a sudden, you say "I was not excited to read My Dead Girlfriend." I was so confused. But at the next moment, you proved, again, that black does not contradict white. I really like it.

Amanda Gifford said...

One suggestion- try to find a better cover picture, the one posted is blurry or out of focus, so I cant get a good view of it. Because it is about ghosts, do you think boys would like it?

Cindy A-L said...

It is funny you sometimes do not expect to like something and then WoW! I enjoyed your review and I am getting more curious about graphic books, so I will look into this one for sure. Thanks1

krshaw said...

I really liked the review. It caught my attention from the beginning because I definitely have relatives like this. The link to bullying was wonderful. Bullying is such a big problem in schools today and the website was very helpful.

Mary Grey said...

I think that you gave a concise and
unbiased review of this book.

You are stating that you really did
enjoy the book and that students
will too - without giving away very
much about the content of the text.

Great summary and you have a great
way of saying to try it - you just
might like it.

shazia said...

good review, lisa. i really liked your writing style. you did an excellent job of integrating Wright's style of writing into your own review, which i saw done most effectively in your intro-- when you started talking about how you want your relatives dead, i was like "huh...?" but then i caught on. :) again, good job.

Janine said...

Lisa am I remembering that you are a former drama major? Once again- good job. Very creative book talk. Though the title of the book is a little macabre, the book talk made me smile all the way through.

I think that the author choses an interesting approach to common young adult issues. This approach may better help some cope with the issues you address.

Tom Philion said...

great booktalk, lisa--nice job!