I really needed something cute when I picked up Ghosted in L.A., and I'm happy to say that it delivered. Jewish college freshman Daphne has just followed her high school boyfriend to L.A. for school... only for him to break up with her right after they get there. Her roommate is a grouch and she's having a hard time making friends. One night, in a moment reminiscent of Beauty & the Beast, she falls onto the gate of an abandoned haunted mansion and it opens for her.
Enter a cast of six ghosts, lovingly depicted in a semi-transparent shade of blueish aqua. The Head ghost is a divorcée from early Hollywood who purchased the mansion in order to establish a boarding house for young actresses. We've also got a gay man from the 1980's, a teen girl from the 1950's, a super grouchy man from maybe the 70's (sorry, I don't remember) and a young woman from the 1990's. Then there's a college kid who died only five years ago. Methinks there may be some romance there in the future. Little bits of their backgrounds and special abilities are dropped as the series progresses, but none of them are revealed completely to the reader or to Daphne by the end of this first volume, with one exception I will not reveal because it's a spoiler.
The cast is diverse and while it's not a romance yet, it's very queer. Daphne herself is bisexual or pansexual, but you'll have to read the book to find out more about the other characters.
The art is bright and beautiful, with carefully rendered backgrounds and expressive characters. It felt familiar to me, which made sense once I realized Keenan illustrated the Clueless book written by Sarah Kuhn. It's a modern feel, with defined lines and soft shadows. Flashbacks are washed with subdued hues and the settings are evocative of the time period, making it clear where and when the scene is occurring.
The pacing felt a bit off, but I'm looking forward to more of the series. Recommended for anyone who likes disaster gays, ghosts from different eras, and secrets.
Suzanne received a digital copy of this book from the publisher for review.
Content Warnings: sexual harassment on a date, internalized homophobia (in the past, one of the ghosts), attempted murder