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Under The Mountain

Reviewing books since 2010. Obsessive dystopia fan.

Marly's Ghost

Marly's Ghost - David Levithan, Brian Selznick Yep, you've guessed it - this is a modern day retelling of the famous A Christmas Carol. This short book tells of Ben's journey after the death of his girlfriend, Marley. Some interesting elements are added here - for instance Tiny Tim has now become a male gay couple and Valentine's Day has replced Christmas. The rest of the elements are kept quite similar and it's interesting comparing the two books.

However, I was completely let down by this story. It's essentially A Christmas Carol copied and pasted, to the point where 'Ben' (Ebenezer, geddit?) sounds like an English Victorian man, rather than a young American kid. The concept of Tiny Tim being a gay couple did work - at first - but then it became so riduclously cheesy and over-sentimental that I nearly spewed pink fluffy rainbows. The author calls this a 'remix' and I'm all for retellings, as long as the plot feels originaland this does not in any way. I could still feel the cold harsh Victorian Streets as the story was being told and I had to frequently remind myself that I was supposed to be in modern America and Ben was a teenager, not an old man.

The house that Ben lives in doesn't help towards the retelling either - he has a doorknocker, which makes me believe that either the Author couldn't think of what to use instead or that he just couldn't be bothered. Also, Ben has a great big fireplace in his bedroom. Of all the hundreds of YA books I've read, I've never heard of anyone having a fireplace in their bedroom. It didn't really seem to serve a purpose except to confuse me.

Overall, after reading this utter rubbish, I've lost all respect for the Author. I certainly won't be looking out for their books, if they're churning out classics with a dash of glitter to get money off of people.