The best YA dead girl ghost books?
May 4, 2020 2:29 AM   Subscribe

Oddly specific question. I'm looking for books like Absent by Katie Williams or The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender. Book should feature a ghost of a dead teen as the main character. I'm specifically looking for well-written YA. Preferably the main character is a girl, but not necessarily. Thanks!
posted by frumiousb to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones is a near miss for your criteria, but so near a miss that you might find it suits anyway. This Book Smugglers review tells you enough to be able to decide without spoiling it too badly.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:44 AM on May 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

When I was a kid, my favorite Christopher Pike book was Remember Me.
posted by Jorus at 4:19 AM on May 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is a very solid example of type.

Spoilers: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart fits perfectly but in a rather more subtle way.
posted by teremala at 4:26 AM on May 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Elsewhere is not about a ghost exactly, but it's a kind of dreamy, well written YA novel about a teenage girl who dies and goes to an afterlife.
posted by geegollygosh at 4:39 AM on May 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Wait Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn. The girl ghost might be a little younger than a teenager, maybe 10 or 11, but the protagonist is a teen girl. So creepy.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:01 AM on May 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Printz Award winner Laura Ruby is still on my TBR list, but sounds like it might fit. Reviews say it's a dual/parallel narrative of two teenage girls - one living, one a ghost - in WWII-era Chicago.
posted by ClingClang at 5:33 AM on May 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Tamsin by Peter Beagle and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
posted by theweasel at 6:01 AM on May 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
posted by yeahlikethat at 6:25 AM on May 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Seconding Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle, though the ghost-girl is not the protagonist. Arriving in the magnificent countryside of Dorset, England, to live with her mother and new stepfather, the young and very American Jenny Gluckstein has little interest in her historic surroundings, including that of the 700 acre Stourhead Farm her stepfather is restoring. Then she meets Tamsin, a kindred spirit that has haunted the lonely estate for 300 years, trapped by a hidden trauma she can't remember, and by a powerful evil even the spirits of night cannot name. ( link)

Not the main character, and not a novel (it's a graphic novel) but Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost has a memorable teen ghost at its center. Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part . . .Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who's been dead for a century. (Publisher's website)

Bookriot did a rundown of this genre that seems useful for your purposes.
posted by toast the knowing at 7:01 AM on May 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Christopher Pike suggestion above. I think there seas a sequel as well.
posted by wowenthusiast at 7:04 AM on May 4, 2020

The Evernight series by Claudia Gray does not start out that way, but becomes what you are looking for in book three (of four). It's quite a good series.
posted by kyrademon at 7:12 AM on May 4, 2020

Best answer: Undead Girl Gang is a fun YA read that is sort of orthogonal to this - rather than ghosts, 3 of the 4 main characters are reanimated corpses of teen girls (the fourth being the one who brings them back, to solve their murder).
posted by amelioration at 1:47 PM on May 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I came in to recommend Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All. Hits all your marks: ghost of a teen girl is the narrator, a few other ghost teen characters, excellent/award winning YA.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:35 PM on May 4, 2020

We Have Always Lived In The Castle (depending on how you interpret the ending). Not YA, but certainly well-written, and the main character is a preteen girl.
posted by queen anne's remorse at 5:41 PM on May 4, 2020

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