Scarlett Dedd by Cathy Brett (September 2010, Headline, ISBN: 0755347870)
First Line: I am dead and there's nothing I can do about it.
Review: As you can imagine having a name like Dedd is nothing to joke about, because everybody does. Throw in her zombie looks and secondhand clothing and furniture and Scarlett's life is quite difficult. So she takes a slightly desperate measure to get out off an extended school trip, to avoid showing her grey undies - she cooks up some mushrooms to give herself food poisoning. Unfortunately poor research means she kills herself and her whole family.
Scarlett has to adjust to being a ghost and living without her film-making friends, JP, Rip, Taz and potential boyfriend Psycho. But what if she didn't have to live without them? What if they were dead too...
Scarlett Dedd tells the story of Scarlett's new "life" and her attempts on the lives of her friends, from both Scarlett's point of view and her friends. Plus they all have to deal with a couple of thugs who want something from Scarlett's home.
Scarlett Dedd is beautifully and lovingly illustrated throughout by the multi-talented author. The text comes in all manner of ways too: at one point I was spinning the book round and round to read a spiral section (set at an ice-rink!). There are also blog and forum entries from Scarlett.
I loved reading Scarlett Dedd, both for its unusual presentation and the humourous story told within. I loved how the friends would narrate for a while and then you'd get Scarlett's point of view afterwards. Despite the story being all about death and dying, it's a lot of fun. I'm not going to say how it ends, obviously, except to say it does end on a happy note for Scarlett.
I'll definitely be looking out for Cathy Brett's next book and in the meantime you can watch some of the videos made by Scarlett and her friends at scardeparted.blogspot.com.