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Publisher's Summary

Cora Matthews, the principal's gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly popular Duke Meyer's type. Still, Duke finds himself inexplicably drawn to her dark eyes and mysterious manner. She makes it clear she doesn't return his admiration, but when a burst appendix lands Duke in the hospital, he and Cora will be forced to come together by the most unlikely intermediary: her eight-year-old brother, Jaime.

Duke learns Jaime has brain cancer and little chance of long-term survival. He admires the kid's plucky positivity and wild imagination and offers to write a story about Jaime's make-believe superheroes. So begins an epic tale - that of Ghostboy, Chameleon and the Duke of Graffiti - and a deep friendship between Duke and Jaime.

Despite their outward differences, Cora and Duke bond over their affection for Jaime, but unintended betrayal and Jaime's advancing disease threaten to derail their blossoming romance before it can truly take root.

Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti is a gorgeous debut novel that will resonate with the thoughtful fans of John Green's blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars.

©2015 Olivia Wildenstein (P)2016 Olivia Wildenstein

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

4 Stars

I alternately read a digital copy and listened (via audible) to this story. I have found that if I'm not crazy about the audio version, it negatively effects my reading experience, as well. Such is the case here. The actual reading and inflections by the single male narrator are fine, but I did not care for the voice changes for the additional characters (ie. females and children.) I'm inclined to say that this would probably have been a 5 star read, but I had a hard time connecting when just listening.

There are three main characters in Ghostboy, but it's truly Duke's coming-of-age story. Ghostboy tackles death, grief, teen male/female relationships, and parent/child relationships. Nothing feels too heavy-handed since all of the poignant moments share the spotlight nearly equally. POSSIBLE SPOILER: *Even the idea of death feels less overwhelming when viewed as almost inevitable. Sad? Of course, but not unexpected.* (End possible spoiler) I appreciate the lack of dramatic surprises for entertainment's sake and that more time was invested in character development. Ghostboy was a realistic account of a young man's teen life and the events that help him mature and develop empathy. Since my audio tastes are subjective, I won't deter anyone from also listening to the audio. What I will suggest is listen to an audio sample before you decide, but don't let that in itself stop you from reading this stor. (This is my voluntary and unbiased review of an advanced digital copy and complimentary audio)

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  • Olga J
  • Channahon, IL United States
  • 07-14-17

great engaging story

Honestly I never pick up these kinds of book because I read to escape into fantastical worlds. But I won this book and so I read it and I couldn't put it down. Maybe because it was from a teen boys perspective, maybe because the mood was right, but I'm positivley sure it's because the book was good! So good! I was lost the from the beginning. It made me laugh and snort and cry. And I love the friendship in this book. Ms. Olivia captures is so beautifully. Can't wit to read more from this author.

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  • H D
  • Crestview, FL
  • 04-26-17

Wow, touching and tender story.

What made the experience of listening to Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti the most enjoyable?

It's great that I can listen while doing other things. This is an awesome story.

Which character – as performed by Ryan Bergman – was your favorite?

Duke was my favorite character. The narrator did a great job of playing so many characters.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Some stories have an ending...Some stories never end.

Any additional comments?

Have your tissue box nearby.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story, not well executed

Any additional comments?

This book was a bit of a struggle for me, but I ultimately enjoyed it. I bought this book on Kindle for my phone, and then I ended up purchasing the Audible add on because I couldn’t make myself read the book.

The main character Duke is incredibly obnoxious. He’s just too “cool” and guy-ish. I had a hard time reading from his perspective. He develops a crush on the principal’s daughter, the goth girl, despite his better intentions. And then he finds himself involved with her younger brother, who is dying of brain cancer.

The story was right up my alley. I enjoy books with illnesses and even death, but this book wasn’t executed as well as some others. Duke grows some because of his experience with Jaime, but it reminded me too much of the sub-plot in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants with Tibby and Bailey, but I enjoyed that story so much more.

The romance was sweet, but it didn’t redeem the whole book for me.

Blog: Opinionated Book Lover