Oh, Julie Plum. Where to start. Let’s begin with the positives.
Yay for strong female protagonists! It’s always nice seeing a strong female leader that doesn’t need a man to save her. Unfortunately for her boyfriend, this left him no purpose in the book; thus, he was just there to basically carry her purse. He didn’t even carry the backpack with the heavy incantation book. Nope, her awesome, strong female friends got to do that.
Now I’m brought to one of the negatives: poor characterization. Either get rid of the boyfriend altogether in the story, or actually give him a personality that makes you understand why Julie Plum is with him in the first place. He could have been at least street smart and offered some skill/benefit to the team. But, no, he had to get lost in a ghost town at least three times. Emphasis on ghost town. I don’t understand how he kept getting lost. It’s called listen for the only voices for hundreds of miles and follow those voices to your girlfriend. I’m ashamed to say that I did find it entertaining every single time he would fall down stairs or trip on tree roots. If he isn’t capable of being any help to Julie, he might as well make us laugh, right?
So, basically, Julie Plum is the supernatural version of Nancy Drew. Numerous plot holes aside, it was quite entertaining. Her two friends Tyler and Betty definitely reminded me of George and Bess, Nancy’s friends, and they brought some fun comic relief once in a while. They would bring helpful insights at times that would help Julie solve a puzzle or figure out a clue, and they of course were the ones toting around the mighty Latin incantations book.
I hate to be nitpicky, but I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the Latin phrases. They were inconsistent, for one, which shouldn’t have been a problem because Julie was reciting the same paragraph throughout the story (so the paragraph shouldn’t have changed…). I’m also not sure how much research was gone into the Latin words and phrases. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the word expelliarmus has no place in an exorcism.
Overall, Julie Plum: Girl Exorcist wasn’t half-bad. Now, I’m not saying it’s half good, either, but it wasn’t the worst writing ever, and it was a quick, entertaining read. Just don’t expect a work of literature if you decide to sit down and read it. I admit I wasn’t expecting the book to surround only one exorcism (attempted multiple times), so be prepared; you will be in that ghost town for the entire book. Don’t be waiting for them to go somewhere better. If you do decide to read it, I suggest that you go in with the lowest expectations possible (maybe read Eleanor’s review again) in order to actually be able to enjoy it. Low expectations are key.