When I saw this cover and title, I thought for sure that it must be a middle grade novel; it has a very juvenile look about it. You can imagine my surprise when I learned that it was actually an adult novel-- especially with comparisons to THE WESTING GAME, a very old middle grade novel. Whoever was doing the packaging for this book really didn't think that one through.
TUESDAY MOONEY TALKS TO GHOSTS does try to be THE WESTING GAME for adults. It's about an eccentric man named Vincent Pryce (with a Y) who collects Edgar Allen Poe ephemera and memorabilia. He dies, very publicly, and in his will, he states that he's having a massive treasure hunt and the winner(s) get to have all his stuff. Naturally, people are interested, and one of these is the main character, Tuesday, who is basically an adult version of Wednesday Addams, if Wednesday Addams were a manic pixie dream girl who spent all her time listening to the Smiths and being eccentric, just like everyone else in this novel. In fact, this book should be called Tuesday The Eccentric Eccentrically Talks to Eccentric Ghosts: An Eccentric Novel.
Initially I liked this book a lot, as it has some very sly humor and was cute without being too annoying. As the pages went on, it got less sly and more cute. And then as more pages got on, it became less cute and more twee. I think the problem was the book wanted to be too many things: it wanted to be an homage to THE WESTING GAME, and maybe that aspiration gave it a very young adult vibe that felt out of place in an adult novel; it wanted to be a thriller, but there wasn't a whole lot of suspense going on because it also wanted to be an Eccentric Novel (only the author couldn't seem to balance realistic eccentricity with cardboard cutouts of eccentricity); and it wanted to, I think, do what READY PLAYER ONE did with 80s pop culture with regard to Edgar Allen Poe, only I don't really think Poe has enough of a foothold in modern-day pop culture where these references will really resonate with the experiences of readers the way READY PLAYER ONE did.
The supernatural element was also very strange, and felt very out of place in this novel.
Other readers may enjoy this book but I don't think it was for me. I'm sorry it wasn't, as I did think I might enjoy it in the very beginning, but it really lost steam towards the end.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
2 out of 5 stars
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