- Publication Date: July 14, 2016
- Upcoming Book: TBA
- Fantasy, paranormal, romantic comedy, ghosts, who you gonna call?, Melody Bittersweet apparently
- Warnings: This book has some crude language and other mild adult content that anyone 16 and up probably shouldn’t read (but they probably will anyway) and quite a bit of American and British pop culture references so if that’s not your cup of tea…bye-bye?
“Life’s tough for Melody Bittersweet.
She’s single, addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers, and she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one’s swiping right on Tinder?
Waking up lonely on her twenty seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change.
Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency – kind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat.
Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there’s the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job…
Welcome to Chapelwick, home of the brand new and hilarious Girls Ghostbusting Agency series, where things really do go bump in the night.”
Straight out of the gate: this book was adorable. It’s a great fun read with likable characters and a pretty decent plot.
The main character Melody is just trying to make her own path in life, distinct from her family’s business. What does she do? She sticks to her strengths: seeing dead people and helping them with any unfinished business. Despite the story basically dealing with the dead and what’s keeping them tethered to the living world, this book was anything but dark. Melody, despite her unique hereditary ability is just like any other 20-something year old: figuring out how to do that whole “adult thing”, dealing with two very good looking men on opposite sides of the spectrum in her life, and just figuring out who she is as not only a business owner but as a person as well.
As I said, the story was really carried by the characters. Were they the deepest characters I ever read? No, and they didn’t need to be. They were wonderfully delightful for the story and there were many throughout to root for, one example being Artie, Melody’s young and adorkably charming assistant, recommended to Melody by the ghost of Artie’s recently deceased father. Artie’s metamorphosis from a shy, unsure, and lonely kid to a very valuable (and the only male) member of the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency was really cute to see. The friendship/older sibling relationship that Artie has with not only Melody but Melody’s best friend, Marina created some of the cutest scenes in the book.
I can’t talk about the characters of the book without mentioning the sexual tension between Melody, her ex and fellow ghost seer Leo, and the skeptic reporter Fletch. (Technically there’s also some flirtation with one of the main ghosts of the story but since nothing can physically happen between him and Melody and the fact that in sense of the series as a whole he’s a minor character, I’m not counting him.) I’m not sure if as the series goes on if French will switch back and forth between Melody’s interest in these two guys but, without giving too much away, I’m definitely #teamFletch.
The only issue I had with Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghosbusting Agency is the use of the word”exotic” used three times in the book. I know, some of you may not even really care or even understand why it’s not really a compliment but, intentionally or not, it’s basically a form of objectification (I mean, it’s really should only be used for describing things like plants or animals) making it not really a compliment and it’s kind of a lazy way for a writer to describe someone who isn’t white.
Sorry Kitty, but I don’t think it would have been that hard to change “We’ve been joined by [spoiler name], [spoiler name]’s rather exotic-looking daughter,” to something like “olive-skinned” or “beautiful” or even “model-esque”. Again, I really liked the book, but I couldn’t help but cringe every time I saw the word. (Check out this video from the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast about this topic if you want to know more.)
Overall, I really liked Melody Bittersweet and the Girl’s Ghostbusting Agency. It was fun, quirky, and a charming book to read with a cast of characters that really made the story worth reading. I look forward to the next book in the series whenever it comes out.
I received a copy of this book from the NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
What do you all think? Have you read Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Saturday Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.