The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf, #69 review

A Malaysian folk tale comes to life in this emotionally layered, chilling middle grade debut, perfect for fans of The Book of Boy and The Jumbies.

I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.

Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable.

But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side—and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are both lost to the darkness.

Fans of Holly Black’s Doll Bones and Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore series will love this ghostly middle grade debut that explores jealousy, love, and the extraordinary power of friendship.

Suraya was only a little child when she inherited a grasshopper pelesit created by her unknown witch grandmother. Since then, it has been the two of them against the world. She named the pelesit, “Pink” after her favourite colour which doesn’t suit the ghost’s demonic nature.😂 Although, like the colour Pink which can be sassy at a shade, this pelesit shows sass and character like a diva when it is at a certain shade of Pink 😉

As little smart Suraya grew into a teenager, she attends a prestigious all girls school nearly an hour away from her home. A new friendship enters her life in the Star Wars loving Jing. With her in the picture, Suraya’s bond and friendship with Pink starts to dwindle. In that, the evil side of Pink that waned crept back like a shadow under a streetlight at night. Jealousy can be a powerful evil maestro.

One question remains. What happens to the old friend when a new one is made? Especially when the old friend is a ghost. Read the book to go hand in hand with these Malaysian characters on their adventures. @yesitshanna wrote “The Weight of our Sky “, her debut book. It is known as Unapologetically Malaysian. Following her debut comes another Malaysian to the spine book based on a Malaysian folktale. Thanks to her, I will never look at grasshoppers the same way again. She also name checked Melati (protagonist from TWOOS) in her book which I’m very hyped about!!! 😍

The Girl and The Ghost takes a look at friendship, excitement for adventure, motherly love, mystery and (mildly?) ghostly terror though Malaysian eyes in the countryside setting. I love the suspense and different plot twists in the book along with all the Malaysian foods mentioned 😒 made me hungry. Her writing style is visibly different in this book compared to TWOOS. In this, her writing takes a more descriptive approach and whimsical twists of words. I enjoyed it all 💖.

This ghostly, hauntingly beautiful middle grade is available in MPH stores now. You can also purchase it online –

Thank you so much @MPHDISTRIBUTORS for sending me an ebook. (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥

p.s, the pinafore (Malaysian school uniform) is arranged to look like a ghostly figure 👻

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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