The Sad Ghost Club 3 – Find Your Kindred Spirits by Lize Meddings

The Blurb On The Back:

Starting the Club was just the beginning of the story.

The ghosts have found one another …

And they’re not alone anymore.

Now they have to decide … what comes next?

Join The Sad Ghost Club and help your fellow ghosties.

THE SAD GHOST CLUB 3 – FIND YOUR KINDRED SPIRITS was released in the United Kingdom on 16th March 2023.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order THE SAD GHOST CLUB 3 – FIND YOUR KINDRED SPIRITS by Lize Meddings from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Socks, SG and Rue have formed the Sad Ghost Club and now they want to promote it to see if anyone else would like to join.  Rue has done some posters and put them up around town and the trio are thrilled when others who feel like they do turn up at their meetings.  

When newcomer Benji says that he’s performing at an open mic night at the local pretzel place, the Club is keen to support him by ensuring that people turn up to it as moral support.  Everyone wants to help and Rue volunteers to make flyers and logos for Benji, but the more they produce, the more SG asks them to do and although they says that they’re not taking on too much, Socks is worried that this is not true and that Rue may suffer under the pressure …

The third in Lize Meddings’s graphic novel series for readers aged 12+ is a well-meaning but thin affair about the dangers of taking too much, assuming that other people are coping okay and the necessity of having regard to your own mental well-being.  The illustrations are cute but there are panels where nothing happens and I found it difficult to distinguish between the characters, which is probably the point but made it hard for me to relate.

I’m going to start by saying that I think this is one of those series where you need to start at the beginning.  I had not read either of the preceding books and so was unfamiliar with the characters, their history or the anxiety and other mental health issues they were facing and while you can guess a lot of it from what is in this book, I think I probably lost a lot of the nuance.

The plot here is very straightforward – the Sad Ghost Club wants to support one of its members, Benji, and while Rue volunteers to do a lot to help him, SG sees that as Rue being able to take on more on the assumption that if they couldn’t do it then they would say so but Rue does not want to disappoint anyone and soon reaches a breaking point.  It plays out neatly, I enjoyed how Socks tries to warn SG that Rue may be struggling and yet does not push it and I also enjoyed the relationship between Rue and her grandmother (who is a disembodied voice on the page).

There are some neat touches in the illustrations, e.g. the way some of the characters hold their arm to show that they’re anxious, the small details in the simple facial expressions.  I also liked the fact that the Ghosts are shown as ghosts (i.e. the traditional sheet type) because it does empathise the kinship and connection between them all.  However it also made it difficult for me (as a newcomer) to distinguish between the various characters and although I guess that is kinda the point, at the same time it meant that I sometimes got lost as to what was happening and who was who.  There were also quite a few panels where you see characters walking in silence or standing in silence with each other and while this does go to reinforce the idea of giving people time to speak rather than pressing them, it equally didn’t make for that interesting a reading experience for me.

All in all, it’s not a bad book and I’m in favour of anything that looks at mental health but this isn’t a series where I would rush to read the preceding books or what follows.  

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