Spooky Little Girl

Spooky Little Girl

by Laurie Notaro

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Overview

Death is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
 
Coming home from a Hawaiian vacation with her best girlfriends, Lucy Fisher is stunned to find everything she owns tossed out on her front lawn, the locks changed, and her fiancé’s phone disconnected—plus she’s just lost her job. With her world spinning wildly out of her control, Lucy decides to make a new start and moves upstate to live with her sister and nephew.

But then things take an even more dramatic turn: A fatal encounter with public transportation lands Lucy not in the hereafter but in the nearly hereafter. She’s back in school, learning the parameters of spooking and how to become a successful spirit in order to complete a ghostly assignment. If Lucy succeeds, she’s guaranteed a spot in the next level of the afterlife—but until then, she’s stuck as a ghost in the last place she would ever want to be.

Trying to avoid being trapped on earth for all eternity, Lucy crosses the line between life and death and back again when she returns home. Navigating the perilous channels of the paranormal, she’s determined to find out why her life crumbled and why, despite her ghastly death, no one seems to have noticed she’s gone. But urgency on the spectral plane—in the departed person of her feisty grandmother, who is risking both their eternal lives—requires attention, and Lucy realizes that you get only one chance to be spectacular in death.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345510976
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/13/2010
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,048,600
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Laurie Notaro was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She packed her bags for Eugene, Oregon, once she realized that since she was past thirty, her mother could no longer report her as a teenage runaway. She is the author of The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club, Autobiography of a Fat Bride, I Love Everybody, We Thought You’d Be Prettier, and An Idiot Girl’s Christmas. She is currently at work on a plan B (to take effect when her book contract runs out,) which consists of options with minimum dander of office politics, including selling hot dogs at Costco, selling hot dogs from a street cart, selling hot dogs at high school football games, or being the Stop sign holder for road construction crews. She avoids raccoons both day and night and fully expects to be run out of her new hometown once this book is published. At press time, she is still married, her cat is still alive, and she has an adorably disobedient dog named Maeby, who wears sweaters and loves chicken strips. (Clearly, Notaro has no children.)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


You Win


The very moment when the cab pulled up to the curb, Lucy Fisher knew that she was seeing something exceptional.

Directly in front of her fifties-ranch-style red-brick house, a woman dressed in flowing white was wrestling with nothing short of a cloud in Lucy's yard. For a ridiculous moment, Lucy's mind determined that it was a dilapidated angel desperately trying to climb back aboard her ride, almost like a surfer that had toppled off a board.

But a second later, Lucy realized it was simply a homeless lady, complete with stolen grocery cart, trying to shove a shimmering white mass into a huge dirty plastic bag, like processed meat into a sausage casing. Lucy sat there, nearly smiling at the curiosity that she was witnessing as the cloud flapped against the woman's head, briefly slapping her face as if she was about to be bound with the wrappings of a shiny Gabor sister mummy.

It took less than a fraction of the next second for Lucy to suddenly--and clearly--realize that the white mass was no cloud at all.

"HEY!" she shouted, furiously popping the door open and flying out of the backseat as if a superpower had been activated. "HEY! What are you doing! Put that back! That's my dress! That is MY wedding dress!"

"That'll be twenty-two seventy, lady!" the driver called after Lucy as she bounded across the street toward her house and the homeless woman.

But Lucy failed to hear him. When she came within an arm's length of the woman, she grabbed two handfuls of satin and lace and tugged the dress out of the woman's grasp as hard as she could.

"Give me that!" Lucy snarled, tugging, pulling. "What are you doing with my dress? Give me my dress!"

"This is my dress now!" the woman, who was twice Lucy's size, hissed back, and she jerked the dress back with all of her might. "You can't change your mind! You can't leave all of this out for the taking and then just change your mind when someone else decides they want it!"

"Twenty-three fifty," the cabdriver called again, this time louder.

"Give me my damn dress," Lucy shouted as she tugged harder. "I just had my last fitting for it. Give it to me!"

"It's mine!" the woman yelled back. "I found it just laying here. Finders keepers!"

"It is accruing twenty-nine percent interest on my Visa, and that makes it mine!" Lucy gathered all of her strength, gritted her teeth, locked eyes with her opponent, and then pulled as hard as she could, producing a shriek from the woman that was loud, high-pitched, and shrill, like she was coming apart.

How did she do that? Lucy thought. How did she do that without opening her mouth?

And then Lucy understood. The satin and lace, once taut between the women, was now slack, although neither had let go. Lucy looked down at the tear, which had screamed as it was being ripped, now frayed, open, and destroyed. The two women looked at the mess in their hands, neither one saying a word.

"Okay, then," the homeless woman finally said as she dropped her end onto the ground. "You win."

"Twenty-five even, and the meter is still running," the cabdriver called impatiently.

Lucy looked up from the white mess in her hands, through the collection of light brown curls that had fallen into her face, and finally saw what the cabdriver saw. What the homeless woman saw. What every car passing on the street in front of her house had seen.

Her life. Spread out all over the lawn, littered in the gutter, spilling out of the bed of her truck that was parked in the driveway. Her brand-new thirty-six-inch television sitting in her front yard like a postmodern flamingo; her laptop bag, with the corner of her computer peeking out of it, flung onto the ground like a stepping stone. Her grandmother's antique rocking chair tipped up against the mailbox as if someone had recently been dumped out of it. Her clothes, her photo albums, her everything, was spread out over the front lawn, on exhibition, for anyone to come and poke at, pick through, gawk at.

A comforter. A lamp. A saucepan.

"If it works, I'll take that TV," the cabdriver said, chuckling. "Or even if it don't work, I'll still take it. Meter's still running, lady."

Lucy turned around and marched back toward the cab. "Pop the trunk," she demanded of the driver. She reached into the backseat, grabbed her purse, and then yanked her suitcase from the trunk.

"Here," Lucy said as she tossed a twenty and a five at the driver, and looked at him with sharpened eyes. "Go rent to own your own flat screen."

And then, because she wasn't sure what else she should do, she rolled her suitcase to the sidewalk in front of her house, with her tattered wedding dress shoved underneath her arm, stood there for a moment, and wondered what the hell was going on.

An hour and forty-five minutes earlier, Lucy's plane had touched down on the runway in Phoenix after returning from what was supposed to have been a fantastic weeklong vacation in Hawaii. She had left Martin, her fiance, and her job as a dental hygienist to travel to the tropical paradise with her best friend and co-worker, Jilly, and their friend, the office receptionist, Marianne. Instead, the trip defied their expectations as soon as they arrived. Their luxurious boutique accommodations were nothing more than a roadside motel with a museum-quality collection of insects; the discount-brand sunscreen Lucy had purchased was cheap for a reason; and it was suspected that either the pig or some shellfish the girls gobbled at the luau could have rightly benefited from a little more time in the cooker. Lucy spent the majority of her seven days in Hawaii fighting off ants and mosquitoes in a shabby motel; watching her skin burn, bubble, and peel like a paper label off a jar; and trying to master a lopsided, dirty toilet with missing floor bolts.

None of that, however, could hold a candle to the trip's high point, which began when she was simply having some drinks in the motel bar with Marianne, who was on a mad prowl for a vacation fling. The receptionist was less than versed at the art of flirting and might have been more successful in making a match had she invested in a hairbrush and attended to the area of her upper lip, which didn't look so much like a lip as it did a pelt. While that sort of fur growth is great on a kitten, Lucy thought, it just didn't reap the same snuggle rewards on a woman who often had Cheetos dust clinging to hers. Lucy never had too many problems attracting men; she only had trouble attracting men who weren't already married, weren't unemployed at the moment, or weren't just going into or just coming out of rehab. Her warm, strong eyes were clearly her best feature and made her look openly approachable, followed by a definitive straight nose and genetically predisposed perfectly aligned teeth. She looked friendly and fun, and was just unpolished enough to look like she knew how to relax and have a good time.

And that's just what Lucy was trying to do, that last night at the hotel bar. She just wanted to relax and have fun, but as the night mercilessly dragged on, she began feeling tired and weary.

After too many rounds of drinks, Marianne finally zeroed in on a target and tried desperately to capture the attention of a man sitting on the opposite side of the motel bar, despite the fact that he was wearing a T-shirt that stated DEFINE GIRLFRIEND.

Lucy breathed a sigh of relief when the guy finally sent Marianne a drink and then asked if they wanted to join a poker game upstairs. Lucy reluctantly agreed after much persistence and arm-tugging from Marianne, under the condition that Lucy was going to stay for five minutes only. She had had her fair share of slushy umbrella drinks and wanted nothing more than to go to bed like Jilly had hours earlier, but she also knew she couldn't let Marianne go alone. The moment they stepped foot into his room, it was Marianne who shot back down the hall toward the elevator without any warning, shrieking that she'd left her key card at the bar and that she'd be right back.

Suddenly, a beer was in Lucy's hand, and she sipped it. Not only was it warm and bitter, but it tasted downright odd. Skanky guy, skunky beer. She sat in a side chair, waiting for Marianne's return, and when the guy leaned back on the bed and smiled at her, Lucy's stomach flipped. She stood up to say she was going to wait for her friend in the hall, and the nausea of the undercooked shellfish hit her again. Luckily she was able to make it several steps and shut the bathroom door behind her before getting sick. After splashing cold water on her face, Lucy finally stumbled out of the bathroom ten minutes later to find that Marianne had still not returned, the television was off, and the guy was smiling at her.

"You know, if you brush your teeth," he said as he sat up, "we could still have a good time."

Lucy wanted to vomit all over again. Her pulse pounded in her temples. She looked at him, picked up her purse that was sitting at the foot of the bed, and then opened the door to find Marianne coming down the hallway with her key card in her hand.

"Hey," Lucy said to the guy before she shut the door, "Define 'asshole.'"

By the time the plane touched ground in Phoenix, Lucy didn't want anything more than to simply go home. She couldn't wait to fall onto her own creaky couch, pet her dog, Tulip, and crack open whatever cold drink she could find in the fridge. She was excited to see Martin, and hoped that they could spend that night watching old movies on TV, their favorite way to spend any night.

Waiting for the trio of girls to emerge from behind the security gate was Warren, Jilly's broad, tall, bearded, and jolly husband, who had agreed to give Marianne a lift home, too. Lucy looked around for Martin but didn't see him anywhere.

"I'm sure he's just running behind," Lucy said, and smiled, although she couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed that he wasn't there to meet her. He'd probably had a late truck come in at Safeway, where he was the manager of the produce department and had to unload it. That's Martin. Got busy, lost track of time, forgot to call. Probably doesn't know he's late, she thought. I wonder if he even remembers that I was coming come today. If I didn't know better, I'd swear that man was having an affair with a head of cabbage.

Warren came forward with a huge grin and gave Jilly a kiss on her freckled cheek and a quick squeeze before he picked up her bag.

Lucy flipped open her phone and speed dialed Martin's number.

"Just what I thought," she said, and laughed a little when it went straight to voice mail. "I'm sure that there are five hundred heads of lettuce demanding his attention."

Jilly nodded and smiled. "Nah. I bet he's down at baggage claim, waiting with a big bouquet of flowers," she reassured Lucy. "You just wait and see. Martin, forget anything? You're insane, or your blood alcohol level still hasn't recouped yet."

But when they descended the escalator to baggage claim, there was no bouquet of flowers waiting for her, no Martin. She tried his cell again. Straight to voice mail.

"What should we do?" Jilly asked Lucy after she saw her hang up again. "Warren brought the truck . . . so there's only room for three of us. . . . I could have him drop us off and then come back."

"I can be back here in forty minutes," Warren confirmed.

"No, that's silly, that's silly," Lucy said, shaking her head. "I'll try him again, and if I don't get ahold of him, I'll take a cab. How much could it possibly be, ten, fifteen bucks?"

"Are you sure?" Jilly asked, tucking a strand of her straight strawberry blond hair behind her ear. "Warren doesn't mind."

"I'll take a cab." Lucy laughed. "I'm a big girl. I should have called him this morning to remind him. He just forgot. I'll see you at work tomorrow. I swear I'm fine."

"All right," Jilly agreed, hesitantly. "Are you sure?"

"Absolutely. I'll see you guys tomorrow," Lucy said firmly.

"See you tomorrow, Lucy," Marianne called as she waved. The three of them started for the parking lot.

The cab had circled the Safeway parking lot two times when the driver asked Lucy if she wanted to go around again. Martin's beat-up red Ford Ranger truck was nowhere in sight. Lucy had figured that the cab could just drop her off at the store, Martin could run her home, and they'd save a couple of bucks, but it wasn't working out exactly as she had hoped.

"No," she said, shaking her head. "Maybe I should run inside and see if he's on lunch or something."

"Your dime," the driver said. "Meter's running."

Lucy could see her fare was already almost twenty dollars, and she didn't have much more than that in her purse. If she ran around Safeway for several minutes, she wouldn't have enough to pay her fare if Martin wasn't around, let alone a tip.

"Just take me home," she said, sighing.

After Lucy had rather unsuccessfully won the tug of war over her wedding dress and the cab had driven away, she found herself standing in front of her house, shaking her head, trying to make sense of things. She fished her house keys out of her purse and started up the driveway, dragging her suitcase behind her, the ruined dress under her arm. As she passed the bed of her truck, she saw heaps of her clothes, shoes, purses, everything from her closet. On the lawn was her television, computer, books, photo albums, a blanket her grandmother had crocheted. Everything she owned, everything that was hers. Lucy's head spun like she had downed a six-pack and gone on a Tilt-a-Whirl ride. Her mind searched for any reason that could clarify the scenario. Had they been robbed and everything out here was not worthy of stealing? Or worse, had some part of the house caught fire and this was what had been saved? Did Martin have some sort of yard sale, after which he had neglected to bring anything back inside the house? Were they being evicted, was the house being foreclosed on, had he stopped making payments and not told her? What was going on, what had happened? Where the hell was Martin?

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Spooky Little Girl 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's nice to read a story that I don't feel like I've already read twice over. The ideas were fresh and entertaining and the characters believable and relateable. Overall a very enjoyable book.
Readinfool More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I laughed out loud at times it was so good. Her style of writing is so off beat and yet so very believable! I am definately going to read more of her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and highly recommend it.
BettyFernau More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at lunch yesterday, and couldn't put it down. I finished reading it today, and I LOVED it!!!
Iloveagoodbook More than 1 year ago
I happened to come across Laurie Notaro's books on BN, and was intrigued because they had a comedy side to them and I like books that make me laugh. When I saw this one, I was even more intrigued because it had a ghost theme and I like ghosts too. So I started reading this book a few months ago, and I was hooked from the first page. This is one of those rare books where you feel like you're actually in it, and you can connect with the characters. I felt sad when Lucy felt sad, and I felt anger towards Nola, who thought she had every right to be doing the things she did. One thing did interest me though, and I should look it up, is that in the story Ruby the ghost school teacher says that going to the light is a bad thing for ghosts because it sucks them into space (or something to that effect). I wonder if thats true? A lot of mediums and other ghost enthusiasts try to help ghosts find the light, but maybe they really shouldnt be going to that sort of light. Perhaps, they really do have an assignment on earth like the characters in the story. Good thing to make you wonder! This book was great, and its now on my favorites list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable read. Not many authors make me laugh and cry. I wish she wrote more fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pick this book up. You'll feel betteronce you realize it could be worse.....you could wake up dead and clueless. Potentially orbitting saturn or jupiter for eternity and nobody realizing you're dead. As usual Laurie Notaro does not dissapoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book
AMANDA PETERS More than 1 year ago
I thought this was really cute. It was interesting and kept me hooked. I love all Laurie's books and this one was no exception.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spooky Girl was a fast, humorous and fun read! The ending was a bit too tidy but not to the point of distraction. Would highly recommend to my girlfriends.
Carrillo More than 1 year ago
With Spooky Little Girl, Laurie Notaro proves that she is an adept storyteller, whether that story be a memoir or fiction. She seamlessly weaves together Lucy Fischer's life and death using humor and wit while still conveying the complex emotions grief and anger that follow a loss. Her version of an afterlife is both hilarious and endearing, and even includes a merging of story lines between this and her previous work of fiction, There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell. Throughout the novel she had me laughing, gasping, and ultimately crying both at and for Lucy. In this work, Notaro also manages to provide poignant commentary on the disconnect that comes with sudden death in the age of connectivity. There's much to be said for writing a letter on actual paper and using stamps every once in a while and leaving a paper trail. You can call this novel chick lit or a beach book, but you can't call it anything other than excellently written and highly entertaining. I can't recommend it enough or wait for the next installment from Ms. Notaro.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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saramllr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Lucy dies unexpectedly, she finds herself a ghost-in-training and is assigned a task back on earth. She ends up in her old house, haunting her ex-fiancee and his new girlfriend. I love Notaro's non-fiction, so I was curious as to what this novel would be like. I thought it was bittersweet and very funny.So...if I'm dead, why am I wearing underwear?
ForSix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Laurie Notaro. I do. Even before I knew who Jen Lancaster was, I was getting splitting stitches in my side from laughing at her misadventures since The Idiot Girls¿ Action-Adventure Club. Also, I am totally addicted to the TV show Ghost Adventures; so if Laurie Notaro and Ghost Adventures had a love child, it would be Spooky Little Girl.This is by far the funniest book I have read so far this year. I chose this novel because I needed one with a size in the title for the What¿s in a Name? Challenge. The truth is I really wasn¿t looking forward to reading it. Although I love her true-life comedy books, I tried to read Ms. Notaro¿s first attempt at fiction and sadly couldn¿t make it past page 10. I¿m glad I gave this one a try because it was quite a pleasant surprise.After returning from a bad vacation in Hawaii ¿ I didn¿t think that was possible ¿ Lucy returns to have her stuff thrown all across the lawn of the home she shares with her fiancé Martin. Then she is fired from her job. With a broken heart, unemployed Lucy moves in with her sister Alice (great name). And if things aren¿t terrible enough for her, on her way to the unemployment office she accidentally steps in front of a bus and meets an unexpected and early demise. What happens next is one of the best ghost stories (okay, this only ghost story) I have ever read. Lucy endures weeks of ¿spook¿ training before heading back to earth to complete an assignment before she heads to the ¿State,¿ her final destination. Lucy hopes to return to Alice¿s house, to help her sister, but things never happen as planned, even in death. Lucy heads right back to Martin¿s house to complete her mission. What ensues is a very humorous adventure to solve the mysterious mission. I loved the characters in this novel. Naunie, Lucy¿s grandmother was fantastic. She reminded me a bit of Grandma Mazur from Janet Evanovich¿s Stephanie Plum series. She had plenty of moxie. I love how Ms. Notaro explains the many Lady in White ghosts. You know whom I am talking about, no matter where you are there is always a legend of a Lady in White ghost. (Annie from Annie¿s Road in Totowa, NJ is our local Lady in White.) I also enjoyed being party of Lucy¿s relationship with Tulip, her rescued dog. And the ghost hunt/séance scene still makes me crack up just thinking of it. Overall, this is a great book that will appeal to lovers of the paranormal or to anyone who believes in a second chance to get it right. And even if you don¿t believe in second chances, there is always laughter. And who doesn¿t like to laugh?
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After the worst week of her life Lucy Fisher wakes up dead. She's in ghost school, in a class on haunting for those who died suddenly. Lucy, it seems, has been run over by a bus, and is marked to be sent back to the world of the living to complete an unknown task before being allowed into heaven. While this is a cute and charming story it is also entirely predictable. I knew exactly where Lucy's ghost would be sent. Notaro is a funny writer, but I think her talents are better used on non-fiction. This was quite an easy read, but too predictable to really be satisfying.
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spooky Little Girl: A Novel by Laurie NotaroFiction is a newer venture for Laurie Notaro. This is supposedly her second shot at fiction although I am not sure what her first title was.She's known for her non fiction titles; I'll include a list after my review.Ghost stories aren't my thing. I suppose that is why I hadn't gotten around to reading this selection. I knew about this book and was reminded of it recently on someone's blog although I now can't find that blog post. Laurie and I differ on a lot of things; in the room of politics she'd be standing on the far left and I'd be chatting up "W" on the right, for instance; also she is an agnostic and I stand firm on the foundation of Christ. Her childishness can still make me giggle though. I've become a big fan of fiction in the past few years. The marks of a good story are being able to convince one to set aside reality for a while though and Notaro proved able to get me to do just that, for about three or four days last week.Lucy Fisher is due to marry in eight weeks. She isn't really head-over-heels-in-love with Martin but is happy and settled in his reliability and steadfast predictability. Before the wedding she has decided to spend an inheritance on what was intended to be the trip of a lifetime with a couple of girlfriends. The trip was a disappointment but that was just the beginning...of the end.Upon returning home she finds all of her belongings in her front yard and her dog locked inside; her key won't work. Having been dumped by Martin, without explanation, she is also fired from her job, with explanation. She moves up-state to live with her sister and nephew, hoping for a new start. Little does she know that an accident lies in her path and the path will divert to the after-life. After her accident she awakens to find herself in a hospital-like room and believes herself to be dreaming a helluva dream. She decides to sit back and enjoy the dream "After all, there were worse dreams to be stuck in. She could have been making out with Carrot Top or being chased through a mall by a bear with a goat head, all while trying to figure out a way to stop in at the food court to get a Beef'nCheddar at Arby's without getting mauled. Truly, this was a great dream. The detail was amazing; the premise was fascinating. She was already looking forward to recounting the whole bizarre episode to Alice in the morning over their first cup of coffee." Enrolled in her first class Sudden Death (or Surprise Demise as her teacher likes to call it) she learns "Don't dress as the ghost you are, dress for the ghost you want to be." Lucky for her...she really did die in her cowboy boots and "today's only the first day of the rest of (her) death".The gist of things is that Lucy has to earn her way to the State (The State of Elated Bliss). She must return to the land of the living and determine what her mission there is without being told. Along the way she experiences two funerals held in honor of her, one barely attended and the other well attended. Between the two she is stuck trying to figure out why her death was initially barely noticed. She grows in maturity and even manages to have a load of fun. She is also reunited with her dead granny, Naunie, who manages to accomplish her own on-the-way-to-State-deed while helping Lucy's sister and nephew.I take slight issue with the fact that at times Lucy and her grandmother pass right through material things but also have a particular talent of being able to sometimes move physical things. By the end of the book it seems that Notaro is taking liberties with her own ghost rules and must not have been able to find a better way to manipulate the story. I tried to ignore that and just enjoy the ride!I like to include favorite lines from books in my reviews. This particular sentence isn't the greatest of prose but it struck me as delightfully funny as I was reading: "Scarier apparitions have swirled out of
avanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first Notaro. Being drawn to funny and supernatural, I thought it would be a perfect introduction, even though I understood that it would be different from her "essays." Overall, Meh.The book is good enough, interesting enough, and original enough to keep you reading, and pretty quickly. It did not, however, in any way impress me. But it was enough to pass the time.The book starts with Lucy, the protagonist, who has a terrible day and then, to top it all off, dies. She ends up in Ghost School where she will need to learn the tricks of the trade, and then apply them to determine how she moves on. The idea is intriguing and has a fun spin to it, but, in the end, it fell a little flat. It was hard to care a whole lot about ... well, any of the characters. They were amusing enough but, again, didn't leave any lasting impressions.Nevertheless, I would recommend to Notaro fans and people looking for a light, quick read.
moppety on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Spooky Little Girl" appealed to me originally because I really enjoy books with a paranormal twist. The premise of the Newly Dead having to go to ghost school is a cute one, and Ms. Notaro certainly delivered the humour that I expected. It was an easy, quick read, and I enjoyed it.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The premise for this story is what first caught my interest -- the recently dead having to go to ghost school, learning to be a proper spook. What I found myself really enjoying, though, was the author's writing style. From the first page, this book was instantly entertaining. Laurie Notaro has a way with words that makes me think I'd enjoy anything she wrote, regardless of topic. Her mind-catching imagery creates a vivid picture that is, at turns, hilarious and heartbreaking.
GoldLeaf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Whole Lot of Morbid Fun and SweetnessLucy's life fell apart...her job, her wedding and then *bam* came the bus that sent her to ghost school. There is a lot of warm and funny for a book about death and ghosts. Lucy not so studiously learns the basics of haunting, so she can be sent back on "assignment" to set things right in the last place she'd want to be. Fortunately her feisty grandma "Naunie" comes along to keep her company and stir up the trouble pot. There is so much charm and good humor in this book. It's a story about normal, good-hearted kindness and love that doesn't stop for death. And there's a sweet, old dog named Tulip.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve noticed a thing about Laurie Notaro¿s books. Her collections of essays tend to be better than her fiction is. Spooky Little Girl is a novel about a woman named Lucy, who goes on vacation and returns to find out that her fiancée has mysteriously dumped her and thrown her stuff out on the lawn, and that she¿s lost her job. Lucy drives up to Flagstaff to visit her sister, and gets hit by a bus. She later finds herself as a ghost, in ¿ghost school,¿ and later haunting the last place she ever wanted to be in. Why has her fiancée dumped her? And why did nobody attend her funeral?The idea isn¿t so original¿it borrows a bit from the movie Ghost (in fact the ghosts even watch the movie while in school). Notaro even borrows from herself¿I¿m pretty sure that Ruby Spicer is a name she¿d recycled from her previous novel. And yet, this book was creative, in a quirky kind of way. The idea of ghosts going to school in order to learn how to properly haunt especially interested me (especially to think that Bloody Mary and Anne Boleyn are ghosts who maybe didn¿t reach their full potential!). The novel is very funny in places, but Notaro¿s fiction just isn¿t as well written as her nonfiction is. I can¿t wait to read her next collection of essays.
ShariDragon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, Lucy was a bit self centered sometimes, but still likable. The idea of ghosts having to go to school to learn what to and how to do it was very entertaining and interesting. Over all an interesting premise and book. A fast, fun, easy read.
IntrinsiclyMe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Getting tired of the same old, ho-hum ghost stories? Want a good, wacky mystery? A healthy dose of humor?This was a really fun book. I would love it if this is what the after-life turns out to be.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lucy Fisher is in a bad patch. When she returns home from a Hawaiian vacation with her best friends, she finds that her fiance has thrown all her belongings into the yard, changed the locks, and is holding her dog hostage. He refuses to talk to her. She loses her job. She goes to visit her sister because she doesn't know what else to do and ends up being killed when she walks in front of a bus. She finds herself not in the hereafter but in the nearly hereafter where she attends ghost school and learns that she must complete a mission to gain access to the hereafter. She finds herself haunting her fiance's house and his new girlfriend (who happens to have been instrumental in her loss of her job). The only upside is that she can be with her beloved dog. None of her friends know that she is dead. To them she is just missing. The story talks about righting wrongs and having second chances in a snarky and humorous manner. It was a touching and thought provoking book.
mishmelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Steamed: Spooky Little GirlAuthor: Laurie NotaroPublisher: Villard Books (Random House)Publication Date: May 2010ISBN: 9780345210976 Genre: General Fiction/Paranormal/GhostsRating: 3 stars - It was ok but could¿ve been betterLucy Fisher arrives home from a horrible Hawaiian vacation only eight weeks away from her upcoming wedding only to find everything she owns thrown out on the lawn without any explanation from her fiancé. If that isn¿t bad enough she gets fired from her job and has to move in with her sister. Just as Lucy decides to take this opportunity to make a new start on her life¿wham! She gets run over by a city bus.And if her life wasn¿t bad enough lately, now she has to go back to school¿ghost school that is. As a ¿Surprise Demiser¿ she learns the ropes of being a ghost and is sent back to earth where she must successfully accomplish her assignment before being allowed to pass on to ¿The State¿ of being that all ghosts strive to reach. Of course, she isn¿t told what her assignment will be, that is something she will have to figure out herself. What¿s a ghost to do?Okay, so I have enjoyed some of Laurie Notaro¿s non-fiction snort-out-loud funny essays (and I¿m not even a big non-fiction reader). I anticipated that her fiction would carry the same level hardee-har-har. However, this story felt flat to me. The first half of the book up to the point where Lucy graduated from ghost school wasn¿t very interesting at all. When she gets her assignment the story picked up a bit but not as much as I had hoped. The writing seemed very simplistic and with Laurie¿s sense of humor I think this book could have been much funnier. Instead of getting lost in the story so that I don¿t even think about how it is narrated, I was constantly aware of the simple voice the story was told in. I will admit though that I did like the way she ended the book.I hope the author¿s other fiction work is better and I may give it a try, but based on this book I would say her forte, at this time, is definitely non-fiction.