Book Review: American Ghoul, by Walt Morton

American Ghoul starts out a little slow as the author gives us the background, but once he’s finished giving us the background information, which doesn’t take long, the action starts and doesn’t stop throughout the book.

The Background

We all know how difficult it is to be a teenager with raging hormones, boring classes, and tormenting bullies, but imagine watching your parents burnt to death because they are ghouls like you. You narrowly escape with your life because your father told the vigilante crowd you were in the house sleeping as it is burning to the ground. Imagine further, you’re in Georgia and your nearest relative lives in New Jersey and you only have a few dollars, so a bus or plane is out of the question.

Granny’s a Ghoul

Young Howard Pickman hitches to New Jersey to live with his grandmother, who he hasn’t seen in years. His grandmother is a haggard shell of a woman even though she is just into her early sixties. Howard figures out why after they dig up a freshly dead, not embalmed carcass (embalming fluid is poison to a ghoul), and granny regains her health after nearly four years of not eating human flesh.

Howard is convinced by his grandmother to go back to high school, so he can go to college and pursue an education to become a mortician. You see, ghouls are not like zombies who eat the living, they are scavengers that just clean up the would-be wasted carcasses of the already dead by raiding cemeteries in the early morning, while hopefully, no one is watching.

About High School

Well, going back to school was a big mistake, like any other high school, Pinebury HS is filled with bullies and jocks and jocks that are bullies. Of course, there are other nerds and cheerleaders, as well. When he takes his SAT and scores in the top five percentiles nationally, the trouble begins. Or, ends… depending on how you look at it. OK, maybe the beginning of the end. This really pisses off the Senior Class President, as he believes this somehow lessens his accomplishment on the SAT, even though they both did equally fantastic, though our ghoul was a nerdy newcomer. But, the class president joins with the jocks to harass and bully the now “famous” nerd.

Things really heat up when one the of the nerdy crowd commits suicide (??) in the boy’s locker room and the boys form a punk band. Howard calls more attention to himself by getting a Mohawk haircut and starts dating one of the prettiest girls in school.

I really don’t want to give you too many spoilers, but this is a fun and exciting book after the preliminaries. If you enjoy heart-wrenching drama, alternative lifestyles, a little romance, high school shenanigans, murder, and mayhem, this book is for you!

This author knows how to pull you into the story and then show you a good time. Just read it, you won’t regret it.