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.
The Ghostboy, Chameleon, and the Duke of Graffiti is a contemporary book that takes place at the elite Francis Acadamy for children from rich families. where Duke Meyers and his two best friends since childhood are wanting to join the Alphas, Francis Academy's exclusive, century-old club, which only recruited juniors and seniors. This year, they'd wanted Gabe because his father was running for governor of Connecticut; and they'd wanted Owen because his parents owned the largest, most expensive property in Greenwich, and because his older brother was already a member. They were the guys every girl wanted to date and every guy wanted to hang out with. But when he's caught by the principal spray painting a picture in his car as his punishment he has to do community service for a month with the schools janitor. But fortunately for him the Alphas give him a second chance.
Francis Academy is a school that caters to children from rich, high-society families. Hence Cora, who comes from a poor family, and is also the principals daughter is considered by others to be the odd one at school. She painted her face white and black, and sported piercings all over her eyebrows. Duke takes an interest in Cora because she is the only girl at Francis academy who does not fawn over him. However, his hot-headed nature and bullying ways are originally a major turn-off for Cora, who is two years older, already has a boyfriend and believes everyone at school are superficial and only care about money. Over time, Cora feelings towards Duke evolve, as she begins to appreciate the degree of change that occurred in Duke once he fell in love with her and his friendship with her eight year old brother Jamie. Jamie who unfortunately has terminal brain cancer and duke bond over their love for Cora and a fascination with superhero tales, when they end up sharing a room in the hospital. Thus duke decides to write a book full of adventures together with Jamie, they create the Ghost, Chameleon and the duke of graffiti.
Jamie was Ghostboy, Duke was his sidekick, the Duke of Graffiti, and Cora was Chameleon, the damsel in need of saving. When Duke finds out that Jamie only has a few weeks to live and that Jamie has a bucket list he becomes determined to make all his wishes come true before time runs out.
What I liked/disliked:
The beginning was kinda slow for me , with the author introducing the characters for me it doesn't really get interesting until Jamie comes along. I didn't like duke in the beginning of the book since he came across as a bully, rude , and girl crazy, but then we find out that he's never had a girlfriend before and that he's a secret nerd that enjoys reading and writing. As the story moves along we see the different sides of him and how he grows into becoming a better person. Popular Duke goes from playing basketball, playing video games, and getting drunk at parties to helping a young Jamie make his dreams come true.The same for Cora, in the beginning she is described as being cold and cynical and only seeing the bad in people., but while spending time with duke she finds hope.
Dukes Grandma was hilarious, she could make me laugh even after just reading a serious scene. She was more like Duke's friend.
When I first saw the interaction between Cora and duke I was like Whoa they really hate each other, I taught there was no chance they could ever be friends. I liked that the romance or relationship between duke and Cora wasn't love at first sight. Duke only seems obsess with finding out why she wears all that makeup while Cora tries to ignore him or confronts him about Jamie. Even though the characters are young they deal with grown up situations, like racism, social status, young love, and diversity, as well as the hardships of high school life. It is told from a guys perspective which in my opinion is always more interesting. As the book went on I was really hoping for a miracle, even though you know what's coming you want the best for Jamie. He was a eight year old with a big imagination had bigger hopes and dreams than most people I know. Even though throughout the book he seems to know his days were numbered, he never stops smiling , joking, and worrying about his sister Cora.
Overall, this book is certainly another book that will stay with me, it made me laugh, and feel sad, it also made me appreciate more the people in life. Even though its targeted at younger readers I feel like anyone should read this. I honestly would have never guessed that this would be the authors debuted novel, since she did an amazing job creating this emotional rollercoaster of a book and characters with real emotions that I could in some ways connected with. I love reading books that leave me feeling like I learned something.
“The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will.”— Chuck Palahniuk
“Just because you know the ending doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it,”
Its not about the ending is about the story
“We age not by years, but by stories”.
“ A wise man once said nothing, was in block letters”.
“Fear does not stop death, it stops life”.
“Maybe it’s not about the happy ending; maybe it’s about the story. “It’s always about the story,” I said. “Jaime taught me that the first time we met. He told me that just because I knew the ending didn’t mean I shouldn’t read the book.”
★P.S. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for a honest review.