Title: The End or Something Like That
Author: Ann Dee Ellis
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
This particular cover caught my interest when I noticed it on the “New Arrivals” shelf at my local Barnes and Noble awhile back. I had high hopes, but unfortunately they went unmet.
A brief summary from the author’s website:
Emmy’s best friend Kim had promised to visit from the afterlife after she died. But so far Kim hasn’t shown up even once. Emmy blames herself for not believing hard enough. Finally, as the one-year anniversary of Kim’s death approaches, Emmy is visited by a ghost—but it’s not Kim. It’s Emmy’s awful dead science teacher. Emmy can’t help but think that she’s failed at being a true friend. But as more ghosts appear, she starts to realize that she’s not alone in her pain. Kim would have wanted her to move forward—and to do that, Emmy needs to start letting go.
This book threw me for a loop, mostly because, like the summary mentions, Emmy – the main character – begins seeing ghosts. For no discernible reason. And unlike the summary suggests, the ghosts really, to my mind, serve no purpose. Its the human characters who seem to make the most difference in Emmy’s life. I wasn’t actual entirely sure she was seeing ghosts (I thought she might be having hallucinations) but no, it seems like the book is sorted as “paranormal” on Goodreads.
Other than that, if you’ll notice – the summary is rather short. That’s because very little actually happens. Emmy mourns Kim… she mourns Kim some more… she tries to find Kim’s ghost… she tries again… et cetera, ad infinitum. I got bored after a while, as you might have guessed.
Still, I ended up rating the book 3 out of 5 stars because Emmy’s voice is raw and honest. She struggles with coming to terms with the loss of her best friend, and also with the moments before her best friend’s passing. Perhaps it’s just me, but I think that coping with loss, and dealing with regret, are incredibly relatable – and I felt for Emmy. The story as a whole, while repetitive and confusing in parts, was also emotionally real. I wish Ellis had focused more on that emotional aspect rather than pushing the paranormal.
3 out of 5 stars.