Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – Chris Riddell

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I was drawn to this book by its hardback cover, the gorgeous illustrations, pages lined with shiny purple and the little string bookmark attached. It is beautiful crafted and pieced together, and I knew I just had to have it for my bookcase.

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse follows the story of Ada Goth and her life at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. One night she meets the ghost of a mouse called Ishmael and together they try and solve the mysterious goings on at the Hall. There is a relationship aspect to this novel as Ada’s father tries to avoid her as she reminds him too much of her mother, its heart breaking as she tries to please him and longs for the time she has with him.

This book embodies a gothic style with strange and wonderful creatures around every corner. I loves the connection to classic novels and writers in the characters and how they come together in the Ghastly – Gorm Hall. I loved Ishmael and his background, I was surprised to find a little book slotted into the back cover of the Goth Girl. It was charming to have Ishmael’s own little book at the back about his voyages across the sea and an adorable read at the end of the book. He was a fascinating little character that was likeable and intriguing.

Ada is a great character too as she is brave and not easily frightened, she befriends the ghost of Ghastly-Gorm Hall rather than run from them. She has an unusual relationship with her father and spends most of her time with her governess. We are introduced to her latest governess Lucy Borgia who is mysterious and full of surprises. As soon as she entered the plot I wanted to know more about her, I wish she featured more in the plot as well as Ishmael.

This book has no shortage of characters and each chapter has some new adventure or mission for Ada and her friends. This book is filled with illustrations to help visualise the plot, there is so much attention to detail. All of the characters have been drawn into the book which I felt was a lovely touch, every time a character was in the plot I could visualise them as their earlier picture. One of my favourite parts of the novel are set in the garden. I lost so much time just looking at the illustrations from this part as there was so much to look at. It’s interesting that the illustrations were completed by the author, a double threat from a very talented writer.

I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads and now that I know there are more books by Chris Riddell in this series I will have to collect them for my bookcase, they’re beautifully made and charming to read. I know this is a children’s book and it’s something that I would have loved as a child, I will definitely keep an eye out for Chris Riddell’s other work for those lazy Sunday’s where a charming, easy to read book is a necessity.

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