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Manasa Mahati

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The Smashing afterlife of Frances Ripley written by Nicola Skinner and illustrated by Flavia Sorrentino is about a young girl, Frances Ripley, who tragically dies in a tsunami that wipes out her village. The story takes a turn when Frances doesn’t die completely and wakes up in her house as a ghost.

Nicola Skinner was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she spent her childhood mostly watching some very dramatic telenovelas, reading comics, and going to the beach. When she was nine, she swapped all of that to attend boarding school in Great Britain, where she discovered her love for reading books and writing. A former journalist and copywriter, she is now a full-time author of children’s books. The story has a good pace and is told from the girl’s POV. The writing style is easy to follow and the chapters are short, accompanied by illustrations. The book consists of 414 pages. This book is a joy to read! There are laugh out loud moments, sad moments and angry moments, but every moment leaves the reader entertained. This story is suitable for readers of all ages above 12; even though the main character is a ghost, it isn’t scary.

While Frances was alive, she had a short temper and she came to the conclusion that it was because she was born during a storm. Now all alone in her home, Frances is filled with questions about the whereabouts of her family, why she didn’t die completely and what’s going to happen next, all the while trying to control her temper. During this confusion, a bus arrives which picks up children twelve years and under, children who didn’t die completely and aren’t old enough to be alone. Jill, the death guardian, tries to persuade Frances to board the bus by answering some of her questions, but Frances refuses to board the bus. Jill gives Frances a sleeping potion that allows her to sleep and to wake up in the presence of other people, alive or dead. Frances takes the sleeping potion and wakes more than 100 years later when her house is transformed into a museum. The museum depicted the Ripley family in 2019, to show how 21st century families lived. But the thing was that their house was completely transformed and things weren’t in the same place as they should be.

Forget about their place, the whole structure of the rooms were completely changed. Their garage was turned into a garden. More than half of her moms work room was now a library. Frances was also losing her memories. Being surrounded by strangers every day, Frances loses it. Her temper flares and she starts smashing things until a regular visitor warns her to stop attracting attention to herself. But as stubborn as Frances is, she doesn’t listen. Intrigued by the idea that someone can see her even though she is now a ghost, she pursues this strange boy named Scanlon, against his warnings, and soon finds herself in a new dilemma. A storm isn’t always a bad thing and Frances shows us why. Do yourself a favour and