BOOK REVIEW | Marley’s Ghost by David Levithan

Gorgeous cover by @hungrymarv

A remix of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with a Valentine’s twist

When Ben’s girlfriend, Marly, dies, he feels his life is over and the prospect of Valentine’s day without her fills him with bitterness. But then Marly arrives – or at least, her ghost does – along with three other spirits.

Now Ben must take a journey through Valentines past, present and future – and what he learns will change him forever.

Publisher: Electric Monkey

Publication Date: 8th January 2015

Pages: 336

Acquisition: Sent for review


It’s isn’t news to anyone when I really love a book by David Levithan. I find his writing to be some of the absolute finest out there. He knows exactly how to write emotion and how to make you, the reader, feel it too.

The American Edition

Marley’s Ghost is a book that I actually already own in the American format but hadn’t quite got around to reading yet. I think it was a case of timing for this one because it is a reimagining of a world famous Christmas story but told at Valentine’s Day! When does one read such a mix?

I picked up this book on early December and read it in chunks over the course of a day. I was completely blown away by this book. It is so clever the way tiny aspects of A Christmas Carol (the story Levithan is remixing) comes through whether it be in the plotline or in the names of the characters. I mean Tiny and Tim are two characters and a completely in love gay couple! So perfect!

The writing is, as usual, accomplished and brilliant, the story is inventive and immensely well thought out. While I don’t love this as much as some other Levithan works, it is an incredibly clever piece of writing and definitely goes up there as one of my favourites. I was, as one sore point, hoping for more illustrations from Brian Selznick. It would look fantastic as a book closer to that of A Monster Calls or, one of Selznick’s other books, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Still, it is a fantastic piece of work and I highly recommend you read it, whether you have read A Christmas Carol or not, it truly is a wonder!


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