Hi there, lovelies!
Today I am bringing you a very exciting review for Claribel Ortega’s middle grade debut, Ghost Squad! Y’all, I can’t believe the day is almost here for this beautiful book to make its way into the world! I am so proud of Claribel and how far they have come! I have followed this book ever since its Publisher’s Weekly announcement and my excitement for it has never dwindled.
I can proudly report that Ghost Squad is indeed AMAZING, so here are all my thoughts on it!
Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.
For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.
Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.
With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.
Claribel Ortega has managed to create an incredibly delightful and whimsical middle grade novel, chock-full of Dominican folklore and a lively cast of characters that you’ll have a hard time forgetting.
Lucely Luna can see the ghosts of her deceased family members, who live as fireflies in the willow tree in her backyard. She lives with them and her dad, and it almost feels like they never really left. When her fireflies’ lights start mysteriously flickering out, Lucely is desperate to find a way to cure them, and with the help of her best friend Syd, she goes on an adventure full of magic and spirits.
I loved Lucely and Syd’s friendship and how they were always there for each other. They were different but clearly soul sisters at heart, willing to do anything for the other. Their banter was amazing and their relationship really demonstrated the kind of friendships I strive to have.
I also loved Luce’s entire family. Their dynamic was absolutely EVERYTHING and really captured that essence of latinidad. The moments that we got with them were so well-written and funny and Ortega really showed that she has a talent for writing scenes with a lot of characters and telling you all about their personalities and identities through their actions. It felt like when you have all these family members that you vaguely remember but don’t know the names of, those who always tell you “qué grande tú estás!” and you ask your parents who just smothered your cheek with besos and they’re like, “oh, that’s your Tía Ana!”. It was amazing.
Another character I adored was Babette, but honestly who wouldn’t adore her? She’s this badass bruja with dreadlocks who lives alone in this humongous cabin in the woods with a bunch of cats with secret magical abilities who will kick anybody who calls her old into oblivion! She is an ICON, the most legendary ghost hunter, and I would like her to adopt me. Also, Chunk is the bestest cat and I love her!
But besides having lively and charming characters, where Ghost Squad thrives the most is with its engaging plot! This book is SO action-packed, and the mystery is so well-done and it’s unraveled in the best way. There is always something going on and the story just absolutely grips you.
Also, the spooky atmosphere is simply brilliant. Not only is this book spooky, but it’s down-right terrifying, folks. Multiple times I felt like crawling under my covers. The thrills were just, everything.
What have we learned today? I highly, highly recommend Ghost Squad for young and old readers alike. If you’re into 80s nostalgia, magic, stories of friendship and family, evil spirits, Dominican folklore, and cats, you NEED to read this book, or you’re cancelled.
Just kidding, lol……. Or am I? 👁👄👁
Rating: 5 stars ⭐
Huge thank you to Jocelyn @ Yogi with a Book for passing me along an ARC of this book to review!
Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega releases this April 7th, 2020, and you can preorder it NOW via Amazon, Book Depository, and Indiebound! For more info on how you can order a signed copy, check out BuyGhostSquad.com!
And that concludes this blog post!
Check out these other Ghost Squad-related blog posts I love:
Cande’s review and character interview! Follow them @ Latinx Magic!
Alicia’s review! Follow her @ A Kernel of Nonsense!