Ruby is sick and tired of being a ghost. All she wants to do is move on like all the rest of the ghosts she needs to deal with. But being a spirit guide, it’s not that simple. Passing on her life force doesn’t work for her like it does for regular ghosts and until she figures out how that works, she’s just stuck transporting spirits to the afterlife. Life after death is pretty much the same old same old. That is until someone starts stealing souls. And she starts falling for a medium named Michael. Then life gets a little bit more complicated.
It took me a little bit (read: four months or so) to get into this book. Indeed, the beginning with Ruby helping this sad excuse for a teenager named Lucy did not really interest me and I was easily distracted by other books. Yes, a teenaged girl who was overdosed on date rape drugs should interest me, but I would have much preferred the hell hath no fury route and have Lucy go and try to kill that son of a bitch’s ass despite being a ghost instead of feeling sorry for herself because she never got her parents’ attentions.
That would have been fun for me. Not as much for Ruby.
Actually, her life is pretty depressing. You have to feel for her a little.
Death was my companion,, my raison d’etre, the whole purpose of my ethereal place on this earth, but I would never call it friend, nor seek out its company.
Okay, she has a tendency to be a little melodramatic. But what are you supposed to do for a hundred years of being dead except think about things like this? Play Candy Crush? (Please, dear lord, don’t play Candy Crush in the afterlife.)
But even as I did start reading the book again, it really only started to pick up for me when Ruby started falling for Michael a little more. As soon as we saw him, I was hoping a little something would happen between the two of them. I mean, he can see ghosts himself and spirit guides as as alive to him as anyone else, right? But I wasn’t sure how this would go, not when he had a fiancee and was kinda sorta a lot older than Ruby. I mean, Ruby was a hundred, but she had died at eighteen. Michael was in his thirties. Slightly creepy, you know what I’m saying?
But age is a little funny once your dead. And Michael can be pretty sexy when he wants to be. I wasn’t sure about him at first. I really didn’t want Ruby to have an unrequited love, but Michael pretty much wanted all ghosts to bugger off, including Ruby. He wanted to be normal, even though that wasn’t happening. It was around this time when I actually started to really like him, because it was around now I knew he cared and he wasn’t just using Ruby because he was a conflicted soul:
After another brief, awkward minute, he said, “You’re not to blame. It was my fault I took advantage of you… You were scared and you needed me,” he said, “and look at the sort of comfort I gave you.” His voice was filled with disgust.
Oh sweet mercy. He really is sexy.
Actually, Michael and Ruby have such a strong love story, that I almost considered putting my review of this on Lover’s Quarrel. But this isn’t just a romance and I needed more reviews for Ink and Paper than for Lover’s Quarrel.
My favorite character is probably Henry, the cantankerous ghost. I really wish we saw some more of Henry. I mean, I totally understand where he’s coming from. We only see glimpses of him here and there when he was useful, but he was a fully developed character nevertheless.
I also seriously have to admire Wesley. I mean, he looked crazy to everyone, he knew it, and he didn’t give a flying dust bunny. He was just himself and wasn’t afraid to show it. I think we should all take a page out of Wesley’s book. Michael, especially, because if he was that care-free about it all, then a lot of that drama with Ruby would have been vaporized.
But you know, we can’t all be the eccentric, flamboyant medium that Wesley was, I guess.
I’d probably give this book about 3.5 out of 5 stars. It’s like the music video to Macklemore’s and Ryan Lewis’s “Can’t Hold Us.” It’s slow at the start, but it’s really great once it gets going.