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Brown Girl Ghosted

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Violet Choudry may be part of the popular clique at school, but as one of a handful of brown girls in a small Illinois town, all she really wants to do is blend in. Unfortunately for her, she’s got a knack for seeing spirits. When the queen bee of the school ends up dead following a leaked sex tape, Violet's friends from the spirit world decide it’s the perfect time for Vi Violet Choudry may be part of the popular clique at school, but as one of a handful of brown girls in a small Illinois town, all she really wants to do is blend in. Unfortunately for her, she’s got a knack for seeing spirits. When the queen bee of the school ends up dead following a leaked sex tape, Violet's friends from the spirit world decide it’s the perfect time for Violet to test her skills and finally accept the legacy of spiritual fighters from whom she’s descended. Her mission? Find the killer. Or else she’s next.


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Violet Choudry may be part of the popular clique at school, but as one of a handful of brown girls in a small Illinois town, all she really wants to do is blend in. Unfortunately for her, she’s got a knack for seeing spirits. When the queen bee of the school ends up dead following a leaked sex tape, Violet's friends from the spirit world decide it’s the perfect time for Vi Violet Choudry may be part of the popular clique at school, but as one of a handful of brown girls in a small Illinois town, all she really wants to do is blend in. Unfortunately for her, she’s got a knack for seeing spirits. When the queen bee of the school ends up dead following a leaked sex tape, Violet's friends from the spirit world decide it’s the perfect time for Violet to test her skills and finally accept the legacy of spiritual fighters from whom she’s descended. Her mission? Find the killer. Or else she’s next.

30 review for Brown Girl Ghosted

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review (updated 3/26/20): Not even one star I do not normally rate books that I DNF, especially when I do so this early on (I had to FORCE myself to get to 15%), but I would like for folks to consider this a warning not to waste their time. Also, I skimmed the rest to see if I should persist. NO. This novel needs so much editing. The flow of information is nearly impossible to follo Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review (updated 3/26/20): Not even one star I do not normally rate books that I DNF, especially when I do so this early on (I had to FORCE myself to get to 15%), but I would like for folks to consider this a warning not to waste their time. Also, I skimmed the rest to see if I should persist. NO. This novel needs so much editing. The flow of information is nearly impossible to follow. The main character sounds like a 40-year-old trying to talk like a teenager. The word choice, the interactions between characters, and so on are ridiculous. My mom might as well have run into the room while I was reading and yelled, "That's like totally tubular!" in 2019. I laughed repeatedly and inappropriately several times during the first couple of chapters due to the bizarre choices demonstrated throughout. Like many other reviewers (I HAD to know if others were having the same extreme reactions), I thought the premise sounded super interesting and was excited to read this. However, it is a complete disaster, and that is apparent from the jump. I truly dislike writing negative reviews because I know how much work and heart go into producing a text. That noted, I'm having a hard time understanding how this is making it to publication. I hope to see much more polished, organized, and focused work from this author in the future. There is NO chance I'll be recommending this to my students or colleagues.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    This book was billed as "We Were Liars meets Riverdale" and I was like SIGN ME UP, but that is......not at all accurate?! I think something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be a better (if older) comp. But, fine, that's not the author's fault. What is the author's fault is the reallllllly weak character and worldbuilding. The premise--Violet Choudhury is called to be an aideo, an ancient order of warriors trained as guardians against demons & other supernatural baddies, but she rejects it bec This book was billed as "We Were Liars meets Riverdale" and I was like SIGN ME UP, but that is......not at all accurate?! I think something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be a better (if older) comp. But, fine, that's not the author's fault. What is the author's fault is the reallllllly weak character and worldbuilding. The premise--Violet Choudhury is called to be an aideo, an ancient order of warriors trained as guardians against demons & other supernatural baddies, but she rejects it because a) her mom died (or did she?) on aideo affairs and also b) she's one of very few kids of color in her small midwestern town so she doesn't want to do anything that would make her stand out...ok, sure, I can work with that premise! Honestly would LOVE to work with that premise, I'm always looking for more diverse urban fantasy-type books to read. But then it's just like...we learn SO little about Violet beyond the fact that she doesn't want to stand out in a crowd. And we learn so little about the aiedeo itself--like at first I assumed it was tied to Indian culture but then the main other aiedeo figure we see is a rando white dude named Lukas (who has a really weak enemies-to-romance going with Violet). also--I think this was just because of an error in the ARC formatting that abruptly inserted Lukas's POV into the middle of chapters, but it was off-putting. Also I searched for the term "aiedeo" to see if that was an actual tradition from India, and the ONLY matches I found for it are for this author's full name, Aideo Mintie Das. Honestly kind of a baller move, if confusing, since other terms used are from aspects of Indian culture/religion (BTW I know "Indian culture/religion" is like a really broad term) like "bhoot" (Sanskrit for "ghost") are used. Anyway then the PLOT involves her having to solve the rape and murder of the school queen bee, and Violet learns Valuable Lessons about slutshaming and not running away from her ghosthunting duties. It's just kind of a mess and also wasn't even very entertaining (which, say what you will about Riverdale, it's ALWAYS entertaining.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |

    Sweet Baby Cthulhu. I read this crap so you wouldn’t have to. That’s what I told myself to get through three-fourths of Brown Girl Ghosted at least. I wanted to just walk away from it, but it was a friggin train-wreck that I couldn’t stop rubbernecking at. My main complaint with this book boils down to: “Did it have an editor? At all? Even for five minutes?” Because, uh, how do I put this nicely… I’m pretty sure it didn’t. Yeah, okay, we give ARCs a pass for minor formatting errors and typos, etc Sweet Baby Cthulhu. I read this crap so you wouldn’t have to. That’s what I told myself to get through three-fourths of Brown Girl Ghosted at least. I wanted to just walk away from it, but it was a friggin train-wreck that I couldn’t stop rubbernecking at. My main complaint with this book boils down to: “Did it have an editor? At all? Even for five minutes?” Because, uh, how do I put this nicely… I’m pretty sure it didn’t. Yeah, okay, we give ARCs a pass for minor formatting errors and typos, etc, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single section break other than a chapter heading in the entire thing, and sometimes even those were missed! It was a jarring, sloppy read from that alone. But the story had its issues, too. I gave Brown Girl Ghosted some slack because it’s a YA book and those are going to almost always be more focused on the hormonal side of things. (Shout-out here to books like Shutter by Courtney Alameda that managed to tell a good story without devolving into everyone is SO hot! And.. and…and.. Did I mention everyone was hot?) However, as you might have guessed by the previous sentence, I became very quickly disgusted with this book. Everyone was hot. ERRYONE. Okay? Like, OMG. Don’t you get it? FYI, everyone is SO hot! …and if you get a little twitchy at abbreviations being used as actual speech, this book will bother you… I was able to overlook it the majority of the time, but when a girl stood up and shouted “OMG!” I eye-rolled so hard I gave myself a headache. Then there was the badonkadonk, so fly, etc. While I could forgive some of the lingo because apparently some people do speak like that, it felt so crammed full of it that it came off more as a 40-year-old trying to speak like a ‘fly’ teenager than anything else. What feels like most of Brown Girl Ghosted in a nutshell: Everyone is hot. I am, like, super-powerful but I don’t want my powers. Did I mention everyone was hot? Also, I’m on the POM squad and, like, just want to fit in, but, uhm, I have these special powers I don’t want, and did I mention everyone was hot? The word “hot” in relation to how attractive people were was mentioned so many times I was ready to beg the author to please, for the love of all things moist and tentactly, pull up a bloody thesaurus and look for other ways to indicate desirability. PLEASE. Also, there’s just the fact that there is this emphasis on everyone being hot. I was a teen. I remember thinking, yeah, certain people were hot, but I did not rate everyone in my friggin life on a scale of how hot they were. The best part of this novel is how persistently race plays a part in it. It makes you realize – in a way you really can’t understand as a white person – exactly how much race, and the knowledge that you are different simply because of that, affects so much of your life. There was a line about superheroes with secret identities being all white men, so how could an ethnic Harry Potter not get roasted at the stake that really struck me. It was a great paragraph and it’s a great topic. The whole perceived sexuality comes into play multiple times as well and it should. Girls really are expected to ride the line, but not cross it. However, it’s not a clear cut line and it is way too easy for them to fall on the wrong side of it. As a parent of a child who will be a teen in a few years, it bothers me more than ever how much emphasis we put on the sexuality of teenage girls. We should be pushing them to develop their minds not forcing them to conform to ideas that started in men’s nether regions. Unfortunately up until about the 60% point the book just isn’t worth reading. After that it gets more interesting – but how many readers are going to stick around for it to actually get good? I stuck through only because I was basically rage-reading by that point. From 75% on, it’s actually a halfway decent read. Is it a *good* read? When you’re going from pretty much bottom of the barrel bad, even a few steps up is still bad, you know? So it’s hard to say. Maybe the author was trying to show us something in the maturation of Violet from the beginning of the book to the end. Maybe it was a growth for her going from everyone is hot to concentrating on the actual story itself. Maybe. Possibly. But even if it was, it was still sloppily executed. Sci-Fi & Scary supports diverse creators and we have made it our whole goal for 2020 to shine a light on the voices that don’t easily get that light. That’s one of the reasons why writing a negative review for a book from a diverse creator is so hard. I wanted to be able to shout from the rooftops about an amazing book from an extremely talented creator. Instead, I’m forced to write this. We tell people to give diverse voices a chance – to read outside their comfort zone – but this is the content that is easily available to them? Small presses are putting out some quality work by diverse writers. (Check out Zero Saints by Gabino Iglesias if you don’t believe me!) But small presses don’t get the attention that the major presses do. No one is getting any favors done for them if they pick up this book, fully willing to give someone a chance, and walk away with an unpleasant taste in their mouth. I think Brown Girl Ghosted could have been good if Minti Das had had a team that worked with her like they should have worked with her. But they didn’t. And instead, people tune in to an awesome idea and tune out when they see execution that is so poor it makes a book reviewer cry, “Send it back to the editor and give it back to me when it’s actually finished!” Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Where did I stop? 21% in Why? The blurb made it sound so interesting and the concept had so much potential. I didn’t want to believe the low ratings and bad reviews. Unfortunately, you better believe them. It read more like a first draft than anything even close to being pub-ready. The book’s about a girl who abandons her supernatural warrior history yet the book doesn’t start with that. No. You get that, in total passive voice, in chapter 3. The book starts with a tropey mean girl scene and the Where did I stop? 21% in Why? The blurb made it sound so interesting and the concept had so much potential. I didn’t want to believe the low ratings and bad reviews. Unfortunately, you better believe them. It read more like a first draft than anything even close to being pub-ready. The book’s about a girl who abandons her supernatural warrior history yet the book doesn’t start with that. No. You get that, in total passive voice, in chapter 3. The book starts with a tropey mean girl scene and the MC constantly referencing back to things that happened in the past as a way to dump as much exposition on you as humanly possible. All this book does is look backward. I know nothing about who Violet is as a person in the present day but I have her entire life story. Except I know she uses slang that ranges about 30 years (I promise no one uses wack anymore and hasn’t since Justin Timberlake lost his bad bleach job) and is an encyclopedia of pop culture references. So many pop culture references. This book is trying so hard to be relevant and hip it’s like the paper version of Amy Poehler’s character in Mean Girls. It’s just so horribly pandering it’s uncomfortable and unnatural. Violet is a caricature of a teenager, has no depth, and does nothing to endear the reader to give a damn about her story. The story isn’t bad in an enjoyable way. It’s just bad and to call the writing mediocre would be a kindness. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Seanean

    I gave up on this book at about 70% because I just couldn't force my way through it anymore. The author just kept changing the rules to suit the story and it was driving me nuts. Spirits can only affect the people who can see them. Wait! Spirits can affect the physical world. Nope! Spirits can go through everyone's personal belongings as if they were physically there, BUT the people don't notice because it's done in some alternate space? And, apparently because the author couldn't think of any o I gave up on this book at about 70% because I just couldn't force my way through it anymore. The author just kept changing the rules to suit the story and it was driving me nuts. Spirits can only affect the people who can see them. Wait! Spirits can affect the physical world. Nope! Spirits can go through everyone's personal belongings as if they were physically there, BUT the people don't notice because it's done in some alternate space? And, apparently because the author couldn't think of any other way to do it, boys are just dumb and always set their phone passwords to 1234. All of them. Every single one. Even her crush. The perspective would also shift on a dime with one character having about 2% of the story with no warning of when it was his perspective vs. hers. Even the main character's time and location would shift with no warning. Part of this may be an ARC Kindle formatting issue, but there were quite a few times that I had to scroll back and reread to try and figure out what the heck was going on. This was just not well done. I strongly recommend avoiding this one. ARC provided by NetGalley

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lea McMahan

    If I could rate this book any lower, I would. I'm really disappointed to be saying that, as this book seemed so promising! "We Were Liars meets Riverdale", powerful female characters, murder mystery, supernatural forces... sign me up! Unfortunately, this book did not deliver on ANY of those fronts. This book is completely lacking in tact and nuance, and it was frustrating to read from beginning to end. The dialogue and references are dated, inconsistent, and completely off the mark of how a high If I could rate this book any lower, I would. I'm really disappointed to be saying that, as this book seemed so promising! "We Were Liars meets Riverdale", powerful female characters, murder mystery, supernatural forces... sign me up! Unfortunately, this book did not deliver on ANY of those fronts. This book is completely lacking in tact and nuance, and it was frustrating to read from beginning to end. The dialogue and references are dated, inconsistent, and completely off the mark of how a high schooler would talk in 2020. The plot themes are confusing, and lack stakes; the supernatural and worldbuilding elements are lacking and contradict each other; the mystery-solving element and all the steps to get there have no impact WHATSOEVER on the solution; the bullying, sexism, and racism faced by the characters are blatant and loud in a way that seems unrelatable to the more subtle (but just as insidious) microagressions that many young girls and poc face today... All in all, try as hard as I might to find some semblance of a silver lining in this book, I really can't. This book is overall inconsistent, ham-handed, lacking in stakes, and if I wasn't reading for a book club, there is no way that I would have finished. If you are contemplating reading this book, or part of the way through trying to decide if you should finish in case it gets better, don't bother. As someone who has finished the book, let me tell you that the ending leaves just as many questions as answers (and not even in a good cliff-hanger sort of way). The biggest lingering question of all: how did this book get published?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Sharpe

    The rules in this fantasy world change from chapter to chapter... even page to page. Ghosts can interact with physical objects and yet they can't. The plot has more holes than my dog's chew toy, and the mystery element is almost nonexistent. Characters are flat and undeveloped, and the ending seems to have come straight from r/thathappened. Pop culture descriptions are dated, and most of the book could be deleted without losing key information. The book claims to be a #metoo book, yet the males The rules in this fantasy world change from chapter to chapter... even page to page. Ghosts can interact with physical objects and yet they can't. The plot has more holes than my dog's chew toy, and the mystery element is almost nonexistent. Characters are flat and undeveloped, and the ending seems to have come straight from r/thathappened. Pop culture descriptions are dated, and most of the book could be deleted without losing key information. The book claims to be a #metoo book, yet the males accused of rape never see any punishment. It's an unfulfilling and confusing read that I only finished because I had to read it for a book club. The summary has promise, but, unfortunately, the book itself needs a lot of editing to be decent. Avoid.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Vandersyde

    This book was clumsily written, including confusing prose, multiple unnecessary scenes, and poorly utilized or explained supernatural elements. It tackles themes of intense importance- racism and rape culture specifically- but only has a surface level analysis of any of them at best. At worst, the book's shallowness and deeply problematic execution sabotages anything that might possibly be worthwhile in it. I read the entire book and I can only hope that I will forget it. Do yourself a favor and This book was clumsily written, including confusing prose, multiple unnecessary scenes, and poorly utilized or explained supernatural elements. It tackles themes of intense importance- racism and rape culture specifically- but only has a surface level analysis of any of them at best. At worst, the book's shallowness and deeply problematic execution sabotages anything that might possibly be worthwhile in it. I read the entire book and I can only hope that I will forget it. Do yourself a favor and give it a pass.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kacey

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are not affected by the free copy. This is a really difficult one to talk about, because it does touch on a lot of things that are important and worth discussing. The main character brings up a lot of racial issues, sex issues, gender issues, nationality/heritage issues, and that's all really well done. But something about the writing style never quite clicked with me. The myster Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are not affected by the free copy. This is a really difficult one to talk about, because it does touch on a lot of things that are important and worth discussing. The main character brings up a lot of racial issues, sex issues, gender issues, nationality/heritage issues, and that's all really well done. But something about the writing style never quite clicked with me. The mystery was pretty lackluster, and the ending was just plain terrible. But I'll get to all that. Let's first tackle the overall style and plot. A lot of it is infodumped by way of the main character explaining things. She does it in an odd way, too, making it feel like she's interrupting the natural flow of dialogue to give more exposition on things. And it never seems to stop. Even when it gets closer to the climax she's still explaining stuff. How about showing us rather than telling us? The plot is also really strange. I do like this different take on ghosts-- bhoots, as they're called here-- and the more vicious nature of them. I like that Violet was in actual danger because of them. But with all the exposition and set-up, the actual plot doesn't really happen until almost halfway into the book. Since this is a murder mystery, starting the plot at the halfway mark doesn't leave much time for setting up clues, suspects and so forth before the reveal. All of that on its own would be difficult to do without adding in the Aeideo and this bigger battle Violet is going through. It reminded me of Charmed and how demons were influencing people to kill each other. That set-up really rubbed me the wrong way here. Like all of this was just a test for Violet to embrace her powers. It puts a completely different perspective on the murderer, the victim, and the search for the killer. Again, it is different having someone forced into investigating a murder, but I can't say I liked it. Then there's the conclusion and the ending, which are both terrible. I didn't like having the demon influence being a factor into the murder, and I definitely did not like the cliffhanger ending that is obviously a segway into a sequel. That is not a way to end a book, guys. It's a way to finish a chapter. All the pop culture references got on my nerves a little bit, too. Some of them are a little strange. What teenager would know who Hercule Poirot is? And since Violet is so extremely pop culture savvy, how is it she doesn't know about Kamila Khan, Miles Morales, John Stewart, America Chavez, Sam Wilson and so forth? But as I said, there are a lot of good things in this, too. There's a big examination of slut-shaming and the gender divide on sexual activity, there's a great and infuriating scene where authorities argue over whether or not a girl has been raped and what to do about the boys who raped her. There are some great bits about small town politics and how who you are and your sphere of influence can affect the justice system's treatment of you. Violet's struggle with her heritage is something I think a lot of people will relate with. So I'm torn. Obviously the ghost angle was a reason why I requested this, but I wish it didn't play as big a role as it did. I also wish the plot happened a little sooner and there was more focus on the mystery. I think there are some great things in here, and if there's more focus on that in future novels, then this will be a great series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Brown Girl Ghosted is an interesting combination of storytelling elements all thrown together under a title that doesn't quite work. (Yes, the author clearly knows what "ghosted" means in slang terms. No, it doesn't work as well as it could.) The second half - when the mystery portion of the story begins - is much, much stronger than the beginning, which reads a bit like someone adult trying very hard to write for teens without entirely trusting that they'll enjoy a good book on its own merits. Brown Girl Ghosted is an interesting combination of storytelling elements all thrown together under a title that doesn't quite work. (Yes, the author clearly knows what "ghosted" means in slang terms. No, it doesn't work as well as it could.) The second half - when the mystery portion of the story begins - is much, much stronger than the beginning, which reads a bit like someone adult trying very hard to write for teens without entirely trusting that they'll enjoy a good book on its own merits. Lots of pop-culture-name-dropping, partying, and "oh, I'm a freak" lamenting don't a good teen novel make, so it's a relief when Das digs into the meat of the story - Violet's supernatural heritage and the mystery of who killed Naomi - becomes the focus. From about the 150-page mark, this becomes hard to put down. I love the overarching message here - that even if you're the "right" color, race, religion, socio-economic group, you can still feel like a freak and life like a performance. I can't wait to read what Das writes next, either, because once she really gets her feet under her, she's going to be an author the world should keep an eye on.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Mara

    A YA thriller that's Mean Girls meet Supernatural, and was exactly the kind of fictional reality break my brain needed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Wow. I'm not with the crowd on this one. This was different than I expected but I really enjoyed it! I found it to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Netflix's Never Have I Ever. It was fast paced and intriguing! I enjoyed Violet's sense of humour and found her struggle and desire to fit in relatable not weak. I adored Violet's best friend and their relationship; I liked that they hung out in different groups but still remained close. Her best friend does not take any BS and knows Violet well. Al Wow. I'm not with the crowd on this one. This was different than I expected but I really enjoyed it! I found it to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Netflix's Never Have I Ever. It was fast paced and intriguing! I enjoyed Violet's sense of humour and found her struggle and desire to fit in relatable not weak. I adored Violet's best friend and their relationship; I liked that they hung out in different groups but still remained close. Her best friend does not take any BS and knows Violet well. Also, it was nice to see a YA character that fills her best friend in on the supernatural happenings in her life as too many try to handle it alone. I would love to see this become a series!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Evans

    A teen thriller with emotional depth and authentic heart. Takes apart the mean girl and misfit girl of color stereotypes, all through an intriguing mystery with supernatural adventure elements. I seriously hope the author is planning a sequel - something I don’t often say. Highly recommended for high school and up!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Neafsey

    Mean girls meets a whodunit with a bonus mini lesson on indian culture. I liked the characters and the quick pace. Get the feeling this is the first of a series. Look forward to the next one. Recomended for 9th grade and up.

  15. 5 out of 5

    McKayla Moors

    Hey! I discuss my thoughts on this book over on booktube. Feel free to check it out! Hey! I discuss my thoughts on this book over on booktube. Feel free to check it out!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanie Johal

    Honestly, I think the low average rating is unfair, but understandable. A "brown girl ghost story" sounds like something that would be completely up my alley, but I'm not sure it totally delivered. There were some really good parts to this, like the discussions of victim blaming, but the overall story seemed to suffer from astounding lore that was constrained to a ~200 page ebook. Namely, the concept of the Aiedeo and the impending war seemed completely disconnected from the day-to-day mystery and Honestly, I think the low average rating is unfair, but understandable. A "brown girl ghost story" sounds like something that would be completely up my alley, but I'm not sure it totally delivered. There were some really good parts to this, like the discussions of victim blaming, but the overall story seemed to suffer from astounding lore that was constrained to a ~200 page ebook. Namely, the concept of the Aiedeo and the impending war seemed completely disconnected from the day-to-day mystery and life for Violet. I thought the war with the destroyers was something that would come into play during THIS book, but it ultimately seemed irrelevant (maybe it was supposed to be sequel setup, though I think this story does fine as a standalone despite the epilogue). Also, making the love interest/other mystical being be a white guy in a very brown story seemed..an interesting choice, but I let it slide. I don't know how the ARC was formatted, but in this final copy, his POV vignettes weren't distracting to me and I thought they added to the story. Overall, I hope Mintie Das has the opportunity to publish another book because I'd be interested in seeing what she comes up with next!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary H

    A little disappointed. I clicked with Brown Girl Ghosted right away. The voice is really strong, and I loved the concept. Mintie Das did a spectacular job balancing a story about seemingly normal high school girls with deep exploration into #metoo and racial relations in a small town with the supernatural twists. But while many parts made me sure this would be a 5 star read, many more seemed rushed and underdeveloped. I think this book could have benefitted from another round or two of developme A little disappointed. I clicked with Brown Girl Ghosted right away. The voice is really strong, and I loved the concept. Mintie Das did a spectacular job balancing a story about seemingly normal high school girls with deep exploration into #metoo and racial relations in a small town with the supernatural twists. But while many parts made me sure this would be a 5 star read, many more seemed rushed and underdeveloped. I think this book could have benefitted from another round or two of developmental edits and an additional 30-50 more pages. I'm loving the fact that shorter YA seems to be making a comeback, but it can't do so at the expense of the stories. I'm hoping for a second book because I think Violet deserves one.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Mean Girls meets the supernatural was exactly what I needed right now! It was laugh out loud funny and called out racism, sexism, and misogyny in a light but meaningful way. There were some pretty heavy issues involved but it never felt dark or sad. The murder mystery was really good and I did not guess the identity of the murderer. Violet was a likable and relatable main character and I loved her sense of humour, her awkwardness, and snark . I listened to the audiobook and the narrator complete Mean Girls meets the supernatural was exactly what I needed right now! It was laugh out loud funny and called out racism, sexism, and misogyny in a light but meaningful way. There were some pretty heavy issues involved but it never felt dark or sad. The murder mystery was really good and I did not guess the identity of the murderer. Violet was a likable and relatable main character and I loved her sense of humour, her awkwardness, and snark . I listened to the audiobook and the narrator completely nailed Violet's voice and did a great job with all the characters. It was a really entertaining listen and especially after that ending I'm hoping we'll see more of Violet in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aoife

    This story wasn't at all what I was expecting from the synopsis. I thought I was getting Teenage Ghost Whisperer, and instead it's a confused story about fighting spirits and stopping the end of the world. I was never 100% sure what was going on or why Violet was doing whatever she was doing, as her motivation seemed to swing wildly from scene to scene and the explanations just weren't making sense. There's a good story somewhere under here, but it's at least one round of edits away, sadly.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    A great companion for "Undead Girl Gang" and "The Babysitter's Coven." And any novel where POC talk about the "no, where are you REALLY from?" game and being described as "exotic" as a negative has my heart.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brooksie

    Netgalley kindly provided me with a copy of Mintie Das’ Brown Girl Ghosted in exchange for an honest review. Despite having high hopes for this one (I mean, that cover looks amazing!), I ended up having to force myself to finish and feeling disappointed that I had made the effort. Violet Choudry is attempting to live the American teenage dream in small-town Illinois: she’s part of the dance team, has a crush who seems to be into her too, and is just friendly enough with the stereotypical mean gi Netgalley kindly provided me with a copy of Mintie Das’ Brown Girl Ghosted in exchange for an honest review. Despite having high hopes for this one (I mean, that cover looks amazing!), I ended up having to force myself to finish and feeling disappointed that I had made the effort. Violet Choudry is attempting to live the American teenage dream in small-town Illinois: she’s part of the dance team, has a crush who seems to be into her too, and is just friendly enough with the stereotypical mean girls that she can avoid too much notice. However, her hidden talents include more than just killer dance moves: she can commune with the dead and achieve other magical feats, whether she wants to or not. When one of the popular girls meets a murderous end, Violet gets the test of a lifetime as she is forced to track down the killer. Two really nice things about the novel are the crisp writing and the irreverent (yet poignant) acknowledgement of the difficulties that Violet faces due to her race. For example, Violet grapples with her secret powers by musing, “Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and Peter Parker are too afraid to reveal their secret identities, and they are white guys. Am I really supposed to believe that a teenage brown girl gets outed as an ethnic Harry Potter and they’ll throw me a parade? No! I’ll be burned at the stake like those Salem witches.” However, these moments of Das invoking the teenage voice with such success are too few and far between. More often, I was left confused about Violet’s motivations, grossed out by the unnecessarily gruesome depictions of violence, and frustrated by the overall lack of verisimilitude (and yes, I realize this is a supernatural story, but even characters not involved in the fantastic elements seemed totally disassociated from reality). Despite the interesting premise, school libraries would be safe in passing this one by.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    I was excited to read this book because of the supernatural elements related to the culture of India. And, since I have very little knowledge of Indian culture, I assume those are correct. However, there were some serious issues that yanked me out of the story a couple of times. First, I teach high school kids; I haven't heard a single one use "badonkadonk" or "so fly" in about 10 years. The second, more serious to me, issue came when the author inserted elements of baseball into the book. There I was excited to read this book because of the supernatural elements related to the culture of India. And, since I have very little knowledge of Indian culture, I assume those are correct. However, there were some serious issues that yanked me out of the story a couple of times. First, I teach high school kids; I haven't heard a single one use "badonkadonk" or "so fly" in about 10 years. The second, more serious to me, issue came when the author inserted elements of baseball into the book. There is no such thing as "home base" in baseball. It's "home plate." And high school baseball does not have a "national championship." I got past those because they were merely irritating and not integral to the story, but I've had students that would have closed the book on the first factual error and not opened it again. I'm glad I got this from the library, and I won't use my limited funds to purchase it for my classroom.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Samu

    3,5 stars. Read for work. I had no preconceived ideas of what this story was about and that is always a good strategy as I enjoyed the not knowing. There is a lot going on here and this is perhaps not a book for the most sensitive reader (graphic depictions of violence in its many forms). Definitely a thought provoking book. I enjoyed it. And I really enjoyed Violet having a best friend who has her back always and also, the "only someone who belongs to a minority will understand that thing where 3,5 stars. Read for work. I had no preconceived ideas of what this story was about and that is always a good strategy as I enjoyed the not knowing. There is a lot going on here and this is perhaps not a book for the most sensitive reader (graphic depictions of violence in its many forms). Definitely a thought provoking book. I enjoyed it. And I really enjoyed Violet having a best friend who has her back always and also, the "only someone who belongs to a minority will understand that thing where the majority always does the same thing wrong and gets all embarrassed and you take back some tiny bit of your power through laughter and a shared burden". If that made no sense to you, don't worry. That bit is amazing in the book, I promise. You'll know it when you see it, if it's meant for you.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Yikes. Okay, before I comment, I do have to say that I DNF this book. I got exactly halfway and I just couldn’t continue on. I genuinely like the author as a person, but this book was just not good. Basically this is a story about Violet. Violet feels like an outcast in her small town because she is one of the only brown girls in her school. Her “friends” really suck. Like, they are all awful to each other, perpetuating the mean girl stereotype. The thing is, I didn’t care about any of the chara Yikes. Okay, before I comment, I do have to say that I DNF this book. I got exactly halfway and I just couldn’t continue on. I genuinely like the author as a person, but this book was just not good. Basically this is a story about Violet. Violet feels like an outcast in her small town because she is one of the only brown girls in her school. Her “friends” really suck. Like, they are all awful to each other, perpetuating the mean girl stereotype. The thing is, I didn’t care about any of the characters and the plot was...nonexistent? The first half was so boring and by the time that I got more of the plot, I was too bored to care. Also, the way the characters spoke was extremely annoying. No teenagers talk like that. I teach 8th grade. They would cringe.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Violet feels like an outsider in her small Midwestern town. She's one of only a few people of color, and she is keeping a major secret--she's part of a supernatural warrior tribe. When the Queen Bee of the school is murdered, Violet must use her abilities to help solve the murder. I really wanted to like this book. It had an interesting premise and I thought it would appeal to murder mystery fans. Unfortunately, the supernatural element seemed really forced and it didn't seem to truly work for th Violet feels like an outsider in her small Midwestern town. She's one of only a few people of color, and she is keeping a major secret--she's part of a supernatural warrior tribe. When the Queen Bee of the school is murdered, Violet must use her abilities to help solve the murder. I really wanted to like this book. It had an interesting premise and I thought it would appeal to murder mystery fans. Unfortunately, the supernatural element seemed really forced and it didn't seem to truly work for the storyline. I'm not sure that many of my high schoolers will be able to overlook the supernatural parts to enjoy the mystery. I read an ARC from NetGalley.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Ashby

    I guess I was expecting this to be a realistic fiction story so imagine my surprise to find a paranormal fantasy! Surprise, and delight. Violet is a fun narrator through her troubles in high school, her participation on the cheer squad, and her dealings with her ghostly ancestors who either want her to join their crusade or kill her - who can say for sure? Some of the themes are pretty mature for middle school, especially all the circumstances of Naomi's death, but it raises some important point I guess I was expecting this to be a realistic fiction story so imagine my surprise to find a paranormal fantasy! Surprise, and delight. Violet is a fun narrator through her troubles in high school, her participation on the cheer squad, and her dealings with her ghostly ancestors who either want her to join their crusade or kill her - who can say for sure? Some of the themes are pretty mature for middle school, especially all the circumstances of Naomi's death, but it raises some important points. Das slides several real life issues into her fun fantasy including some lessons about racist microaggressions and a commentary about how society treats rapists as opposed to their victims.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brietta(stargirl)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was one of the best I have ever read( though I am only in 5th grade) it was fascinating. The video she made really described me. I was friends with a “ mean girl” too and it had a really big affect on me. But how she said we are all just afraid to show who we really are is true for almost everyone out there. Don’t try to deny it because deep down everyone of us is ashamed of who we are. We have to find a way to push that shame away because who you are matters don’t let anyone ever take This book was one of the best I have ever read( though I am only in 5th grade) it was fascinating. The video she made really described me. I was friends with a “ mean girl” too and it had a really big affect on me. But how she said we are all just afraid to show who we really are is true for almost everyone out there. Don’t try to deny it because deep down everyone of us is ashamed of who we are. We have to find a way to push that shame away because who you are matters don’t let anyone ever take away your identity. - Stargirl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)

    DNF at 10%. I'm sorry, I know that's way too early for a lot of people to DNF a book, but the prose is so irritating that I can't go on. The writing is stilted and awkward, and the chapter that explains the supernatural aspect of the story is a huge wall of exposition that should be exciting but just feels like a boring first draft or outline of the book's mythology. I really wanted to like this, because I was excited about a spooky YA book with an Indian protagonist, but I can't force myself to DNF at 10%. I'm sorry, I know that's way too early for a lot of people to DNF a book, but the prose is so irritating that I can't go on. The writing is stilted and awkward, and the chapter that explains the supernatural aspect of the story is a huge wall of exposition that should be exciting but just feels like a boring first draft or outline of the book's mythology. I really wanted to like this, because I was excited about a spooky YA book with an Indian protagonist, but I can't force myself to keep reading. Such a disappointment.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shandra

    I’m a little surprised to see how low the ratings are for this book! I do agree that the blurb was a little misleading… And it did take a while for the story to really get moving, but overall, I liked Violet (even more at the end) and am curious to learn more about the supernatural side of her world in hopefully subsequent books.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike Remo

    The idea is mildly intriguing but the book is in desperate need of editing. My daughter gave this to me after she was unable to finish it...haha..not sure why. I couldn't get through it either. As much as I want to help new authors, I can't help this one.

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