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Not every friend is meant to stay

Cover of The Girl and the Ghost
A review of The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf

Suraya has always found it hard to make friends and being a new student doesn't help. She does have one good friend, although it comes in the form of a grasshopper. It’s a pelesit, a spirit familiar that serves Survaya, inherited from her estranged grandmother. The book begins with the reader being empathetic of lonely Suraya and welcoming of her pelesit. You’ll be rooting for them thinking, “I’m glad he’s there to protect her from those bullies!” But soon things take a wicked turn, reminiscent of a popular horror movie when awful things start happening to Suraya herself. At one point, I had to stop and say to myself, “Yikes! This is getting scary!” Well, that just made me have to read into the wee hours of the night, which may have been another mistake because my imagination ran wild of more ghastly spirits and haunting places. There are unexpected twists to the story and Hanna Alkaf wraps the story quite well with Suraya and her beloved pelesit coming to terms with each other.

Don’t be fooled by the generic title, you’ll be taken on a whirlwind of an adventure and you’ll get goosebumps along the way. Recommended for middle grade readers and those who enjoy folklore. 

Dec 28, 2020