I Text Dead People is an easy read for middle graders. It doesn’t feel like it’s anywhere near the 240 pages long it is. If anything, it’s probably written a little too simply for most readers in these grades. I liked the spin on communicating with the dead. Given the technology the intended age range has grown up with, it was an appropriate choice.
However, I Text Dead People is also this weird unnecessary mix of Mean Girls and The Sixth Sense. Either would be fine by themselves, but the combination doesn’t particularly work well. I think that this idea that every time a kid starts a new school they’re going to instantly get targeted by the most popular girl/clique is a bit annoying and old. As is the idea that the new girl either has to be a complete pansy or a rebellious emo-chick. Annabel would have been a lot more interesting if she had any personality to speak of.
Under different circumstances, I Text Dead People could have been a truly creepy middle-grader read. I would love to see the idea played with again with a different protagonist and a more action-driven, clearer plot. As it is, while I did enjoy the book on a certain level, I can’t recommend it. I Text Dead People is a ghost of what it could have been.