Ghost of a Chance (100 Dresses #2) by Susan Maupin Schmid

Ghost of a Chance

Information

Goodreads: Ghost of a Chance
Series: 100 Dresses #2
Source: Library
Published: July 25, 2017

Official Summary

Inside an enchanted castle, there’s a closet—a closet with one hundred magical dresses that only Darling Dimple can wear.Each one disguises her as somebody else.

It turns out that Darling needs disguises. A thief is on the loose! Someone is causing an uproar among the servants—moving things around, stealing clothes from the laundry, and even pocketing Princess Mariposa’s jewels. Then Darling and her friend Roger think they spot a ghost roaming the halls. Could the culprit be a spirit? Can Darling and Roger get to the bottom of it all? With the help of the one hundred dresses, there just might be a ghost of a chance.

Review

Although Ghost of a Chance doesn’t have quite the same amount of whimsy and charm as the first book in the series, If the Magic Fits: 100 Dresses, I enjoyed continuing to read about the adventures of Darling Dimple, her magical wardrobe of dresses, and the secrets of the castle her ancestors helped build.

This book takes on a more serious tone, as items begin to go missing in the castle, and Darling and her friend Roger believe it may be the work of a ghost.  The rest of the castle isn’t buying it, and things turn sour as servant turns against servant and the princess becomes suspicious of everyone.  It seems as though only Darling’s daring to find the ghost will save the day–except Darling herself is widely out of favor!

I enjoyed watching Darling grow in this installment, taking on more serious responsibilities and digging more into her past.  Many of the secondary characters also receive some strong page time, including the spunky best friend Roger and the mean head servant girl Francesca.  Princess Mariposa drifts in and out of the story a bit oddly, but I think Darling already has a bit of an oddly close relationship with the princess considering she’s a young servant child whose main job is to iron, so perhaps this adds some realism to the book.

I think “cute,” “light,” and “magical” were all good descriptors for the first book, so this darker turn for the series was a bit of a surprise.  I have certainly read much, much darker in middle grade, but I guess I experienced some disappointment from not getting quite what I was expecting in terms of a fun, charming adventure.  I also don’t think Darling used the magical dresses as much as she could have, which, frankly, seems to be a part of the point of a series titled “100 Dresses.”  Basically, this is a strong middle grade fantasy in general, but perhaps a slight letdown as a sequel to If the Magic Fits.  I liked it, and Darling, enough to continue reading the series with some excitement, however.

4 stars Briana

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