A Girl Called Corpse by Reece Carter

9781761066788Title: A Girl Called Corpse
Author: Reece Carter
Illustrator: Simon Howe
Published: October 5 2022
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Middle Grade Fiction
Rating: ★★★★.5
RRP: $16.99

I received a copy of A Girl Called Corpse from the publishers for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A dazzling debut about a lonely kid ghost who goes searching for answers about her past in a forgotten coastal town that fizzes with secret magic. ‘I loved it!’ said Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of Nevermoor.

‘Find the thing the Witches call a treasure,’ says Old Man, ‘and you’ll get back all those memories you’re missing.’

With a body made of wax, seaweed for hair and polished abalone shells for eyes, Corpse is bound to haunt the Witches’ sea shack forever. She has no memory of the kid she was before she was snatched and ended up on the rock-that-doesn’t-exist. But the delivery of an unexpected message sets Corpse off on a surprising quest, searching for answers to the old and familiar questions that have filled her not-brain since the day she first woke up a ghost. Questions about her name. Questions about her family. With only her eight-legged friend Simon for company, Corpse heads into the unknown. There will be danger – cruel Witches, a silver-eyed sea monster and a cunning Merchant with a hungry grin – but Corpse is not afraid. She’ll stop at nothing to uncover the truth about her past. Only some answers, it turns out, are much closer than she thinks.

A sparkling adventure story about friendship, family and finding out that there is nothing more powerful than a kid acting with their whole heart. A Girl Called Corpse is one of the most exciting children’s fantasy debuts to hit the shelves since Nevermoor.

What a curious, but gorgeous little middle grade novel! I know plenty of readers who’ll find this utterly enchanting.

Corpse is a ghost who doesn’t remember who she was or how she died – just that she did and now she lives on an island, haunting the cottage of three witches. She’s built herself a body of wax and seaweed to stop herself from fading, and when another ghost comes to her with a message, Corpse begins to question her own history. Alongside her best friend, Simon the Huntsman Spider, she sets off to find answers… and maybe stop some evil witches from taking power that doesn’t belong to them along the way.

I first heard about this book way back when I received an ARC for it early in 2022, but I held off reading it until closer to it’s release date when I received a finished copy that included the quirky illustrations throughout the text. It was a lot of fun – and perfect for October – with it’s ghosts and witches and paranormal themes. Reece Carter has done a great job creating a whimsical world that’s dark and reminiscent (at least to me) of The Witches and Roald Dahl’s other works.

It has a lot of humour and heart, and a protagonist who doesn’t really know who they are – or who they were – and needs to develop allies and friends in order to solve that mystery. And also save the day.

I had a great time reading A Girl Called Corpse and I look forward to seeing what Reece Carter releases next.

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