Review :: A Girl Called Corpse by Reece Carter
I’m so excited to finally be sharing my review of Reece Carter’s debut children’s fantasy novel, A Girl Called Corpse, which hits shelves today. I have been looking forward to this one from when it was first announced and busting to talk with fellow kids’ book lovers since I was lucky enough to get my eyes on a super early copy (you can see my preview here).
What is Reece Carter’s A Girl Called Corpse about?
Find the thing the Witches call a treasure,’ says Old Man, ‘and you’ll get back all those memories you’re missing.’
With a body made of wax, seaweed for hair and polished abalone shells for eyes, Corpse is bound to haunt the Witches’ sea shack forever. She has no memory of the kid she was before she was snatched and ended up on the rock-that-doesn’t-exist.
But the delivery of an unexpected message sets Corpse off on a surprising quest, searching for answers to the old and familiar questions that have filled her not-brain since the day she first woke up a ghost. Questions about her name. Questions about her family.
With only her eight-legged friend Simon for company, Corpse heads into the unknown. There will be danger – cruel Witches, a silver-eyed sea monster and a cunning Merchant with a hungry grin – but Corpse is not afraid. She’ll stop at nothing to uncover the truth about her past.
Only some answers, it turns out, are much closer than she thinks.
My review of A Girl Called Corpse by Reece Carter
Ok, so this is one of those books where it is hard for me to know what to say except that I adored it. It’s such a perfect blend of sweet and funny and spooky and just bursting with heart. The story touches on many of the themes I love to see in books for this age group – like friendship and family and figuring out where and how to fit in – but still feels so fresh.
Corpse makes such a perfect protagonist. I loved how she is brave and determined, but also unsure and imperfect. The voice throughout the book is wonderful, with the humour and little asides from Corpse to the reader creating a real intimacy that drew me into the story and had me so invested in Corpse’s adventures. One of my favourite things in the book was the friendship between Corpse and Girl, and seeing Corpse learn how to be a friend. Of course, Simon the spider is also a highlight!
The spookier elements of the book were delightfully creepy. I loved the settings and the villains, and the way that things aren’t always what they seemed at first. I really appreciated the way that Carter has created fabulously (age-appropriately) scary witches that come across as grotesque without relying on the (often problematic) tropes that regularly pop up to signal villains.
Also, I don’t want to say too much more because spoilers, just when the ending was perfect it got even better, and I am already absolutely dying to find out what will happen next!
This is such a perfect October read! If you’re looking for a book packed with adventure and the best kinds of magic, and equal parts spooky and heart-warming, I just can’t recommend A Girl Called Corpse enough! Make sure you let me know in the comments if you’ve read it or if you are planning to.
Disclaimer: I am a judge for the 2022 Aurealis Awards. This review is my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinators, or the Aurealis Awards management team.
**This review was featured on Twinkl in their article ‘Best Horror Books for Kids’.**
A Girl Called Corpse by Reece Carter
Out now from Allen and Unwin
Source: I received a free copy for review from Allen & Unwin (thank you!)
Category: Aussie children’s (8-12yrs) spooky fantasy #LoveOzMG
Format: Paperback, 339 pages
A Girl Called Corpse on Goodreads.
I chatted summer reads for kids with Reece – you can read our Q&A here.
Check out my preview of A Girl Called Corpse here.
Keep up with the latest from Reece on his website and Instagram.
Read a sample of A Girl Called Corpse on Reece’s website here