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I So Don't Do Spooky Paperback – 1 Oct 2010
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About the Author
BARRIE SUMMY is the author of the I So Don't Do mystery series starring thirteen-year-old detective Sherry Holmes Baldwin and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY H. She lives in Southern California with her husband, their four children, two dogs, a veiled chameleon, and a fish. There was once a dwarf hamster, but let's not go there. Visit her online at barriesummy.com and follow her on Facebook.From the Hardcover edition.
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Sherry Baldwin's mother floats in on a wave of coffee to let Sherry know that she needs to meet her at Dairy Queen, ghost headquarters. There, Sherry learns that her stepmother, aka The Ruler, has a stalker. With her dad out of town, and her mother competing in the Ghostlympics, it's up to Sherry to solve the mystery.
But, she so doesn't do spooky.
Sherry enlists Junie's help as they embark upon a journey of the paranormal. A ghost hunter's equipment picks up signs of her mother while a teen psychic confirms Sherry's fears about her stepmother. When The Ruler's tires are slashed, Sherry follows the scents of sweat socks and honey, and wonders what she'll do when she finds the stalker.
To make matters worse, her uber-fantastic boyfriend, Josh, has a glittery tutor who seems eager to take Sherry's place. Her best friend, Junie, is too distracted to answer her texts, someone is trying to kill her fish, and her school's rival robotics team has discovered she's a spy.
Barrie Summy's I SO DON'T DO SPOOKY is a wonderful romp between teen and paranormal worlds. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Summy's first novel, I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES, and was eager to read I SO DON'T DO SPOOKY. I was not disappointed. It was just plain fun.
And if an unusual scent seems to settle around you as you read, don't be concerned. It's probably just a ghost that can't resist reading over your shoulder.
Reviewed by: Cana Rensberger
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Rating: 2.5 stars
This was a difficult rating to decide on, but I just gave it 2.5 stars because while it certainly did have things that I enjoyed, it mostly had aspects that were either flat, poorly written, or I just didn't like.
Characters: This category is a big one, since there were many characters that played a variety of somewhat important roles. The main character, Sherry, was actually really mean. She was mean to her family, her best friend, her boyfriend, and basically everyone she met throughout the story. In the end, she did some pretty selfless things, but she was still rude and mean to friends and other people when talking to them- or about them. And all of her meanness goes unpunished, after making unreasonable demands on her friends and demeaning their hobbies for the entire book, they still think she's the best!
Aside from this, almost all of the side characters were flat, and stayed the same for the entire book. They seemed to change to Sherry the narrator, but this is just because she wasn't paying attention to them before, and simply learned new things about her friends that were there all along, had she been paying attention. Character and Character development rating: 1.5/5 stars
Plot: The plot was fun, and I can see why it would appeal to kids in middle school. It has fun, friends, a mystery, a devoted boyfriend, and even ghosts. I knew several people on middle school who would have loved to lead the life of the characters in the book. But the thing is, a lot of events just don't make any sense. The ghostly aspect is especially dripping in plot holes, but the whole thing (no pun intended) has continuity issues as well.
Also, the plot twists were quite obvious, and I guessed them all before they happened. A younger person, I think, could have as well, and I think that this book kind of talks down to kids in that it assumes that they cannot guess the plot twists.
Also, the book tries to imitate teen texting, which is hilariously inaccurate at best, and cringe-worthy at worst. Plot and plot development rating: 2.5/5 stars.
((i.e. "omg wat r u doin? want 2 hang out w/out the 'rents?" Literally no one texts like that.))
Other: Other than the things I mentioned earlier, the book was slow. Buuuuut there were enjoyable things as well!
The emotions of a daughter and her mother were captured very well, which is good since it was one of the main themes of the book.
Also, there is a sense of fun in this book that I think is lost in a lot of young adult books. There's fear and sadness and everything too, but this book is very optimistic and lighthearted at its heart. I really liked this aspect of it. Other things rating: 4/5 stars.
These three ratings average out to 2 and 2/3 stars, but its really more like 2.5 stars because the first two categories are more important to me.
Overall, I would really only recommend this book to people in middle school, because it can be fun, even if I don't think it's the best written book in the world.
13 yr old Sherry Holmes Baldwin mother is ghost. Sherry's mom was a cop killed in the line duty. Now she's a member of the Academy of Spirits, an organization that teaches ghost to protect the living. Sherry helps her mother solve cases. She can't see her mother but can speak to her. Sherry grandfather who has been reincarnated as a wren is also a member the team.
For their second case, they must find out who is stalking Sherry's stepmother Polly aka the Ruler and her math teacher.
There are several suspects to keep the reader guessing. Sherry even has to go undercover. When there's evidence that the stalker was too close to the house, Sherry must keep an eye on the Ruler at all times. Sherry's mom is also competing in the ghostlympics. If she wins her event the prize is 5 minutes of real time. Sherry could she her mom again.
The author has created a wonderful protagonist in Sherry Holmes Baldwin. She's like everyone else she just happens to communicate with her ghost mom. Other then that Sherry deals with the same things as other girls. Her life doesn't stop because of a case. Sherry still has homework to do, tests to study for, an anniversary to celebrate, a girl who wants her boyfriend and a best friend to hang out with and outfits to accessorize.
I love Sherry's voice. Sherry and her best friend Junie go to the Ruler's old school for clues.
"Skateboard parks are always a hotbed of gossip. Seriously. If you're like in France or somewhere foreign and you need the scoop on a middle, go immediately to the nearest skate park. We walk over and peer through the chain link fence. Two guys are in there, totally decked out in padding and helmets. One has a white helmet with black skulls and crimson eyes. Very fake-o tough. The other guy's helmet is solid blue. Very Wal-mart. They're really into their boards. These are fanatical skateboarders who probably have lousy grades and a reputation for ditching class a bunch and wearing only name brand skate clothes. We have them at my school too. I've heard they don't make reliable boyfriends."
I So Don't Do Spooky is so much fun. When I read a series, I love when an author gives more, when the next book is better than the last. Summy does just that with I So Don't Do Spooky. Fans of I So Don't Do Myteries will love it.