Friday, February 22, 2013

The Dead and Buried

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
4/5 stars
Point, 2013
295 pages
YA Mystery Paranormal

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I became interested in this after reading a couple of reviews (see below for links) touching on its mystery aspect. While I mostly read YA, when I venture out to adult books, it is usually for either romance or mystery. I just feel like YA doesn't have many good mysteries. I also adore ghost stories although the ones I read tend to be love stories. The malevolent ghost here is an anomaly in my reading habits.

In this story Jade and her family have recently moved to a new house with her younger brother mentioning that he sees a girl, something Jade brushes off as she prepares for school. In addition to the usual struggles a new kid faces, Jade is soon the object of gossip because she lives in the murder house. Yes, the girl her younger brother sees is a ghost, the former most popular girl at school, Kayla, was murdered in her own home and she will torment Jade's family unless Jade finds her murderer.

As I've mentioned before on the blog, I am not good at solving mysteries and this was no exception. I fingered the same person that Jade suspects but it turns out to be someone else. The murderer's reason makes perfect sense but I'm just not good at picking out who has something to gain or who has the opportunity until the characters have already figured it out for themselves. Anyway...

One of my favorite parts of Jade's character was her interest in gemstones, inherited from her mother. Every day she picks out a new piece of jewelry to complement her mood and to shed light on what's going to happen. Another part of Jade's personality is her deep love for her much younger brother. He's technically her half-brother, sharing a father, but she makes no distinction for him; I only bring it up because it does play a role in the subplot. I love sister-sister stories but lately I've read a few really cute sister-brother sisters including this one and I think I am willing to extend my love to all focuses on sibling relationships.

I feel like such a cranky reviewer about this one point. The students study Rebecca and the story has real-life parallels to Jade's feelings of insecurity in the face of Kayla's supreme popularity.  On the one hand, I wish that had been emphasized more. But if it had, I might have found it heavy-handed and like the author didn't trust me to understand them on my own. See why I feel cranky? But I also love the Rebecca parallel because it's a great book and my sister also loved that classic so I might suggest this read for her too.

Overall: A really fun, flowing mystery with the ghost adding a great deal of tension.

Cover: It makes sense that there is a dead girl on the cover, capturing Kayla in her afterlife. Some jade green might have been a nice touch though.

Other Opinions:
Book Labyrinth
Books Live Forever
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

23 comments:

  1. Ahhh, I really love the sound from the brother-sister relationship! I like it when there is a good family aspect :)

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. They were so cute! I don't normally like reading about younger siblings (I have one of my own) but he was just adorable.

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  2. I agree that there aren't enough YA mysteries. This one sounds pretty good though! I enjoyed Harrington's "Clarity," which gives me hope that I'll like this one as well.

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    1. I think if you liked Clarity, you'll like this one too. Harrington definitely has her own style.

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  3. This book WAS so much fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well. It totally read like a good Fear Street book, to me :)

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    1. Despite the darkness, fun is still a word that applies to this book-I'm glad you pointed that out for me.

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  4. I liked this book too! The mystery was fun (even though I did guess it :( ) and I really liked Jade. I'm with you on her gemstones. I looked forward to her talking about them and pairing them with her mood/outfit.

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    1. Good job on figuring out the murderer-I was so close and yet...my losing track record of pinpointing whodunnit continues.

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    2. I love it when I can't figure out the murderer. It's so much fun that way that I really don't mind having a bad track record. It's almost disappointing when I guess right.

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  5. I loved this books... Jade and her little brother's relationship was so sweet. Great review. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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    1. Yay another person loves the sibling relationship-I wonder if most people are finding that to be one of the best parts of this book?

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  6. The sister brother relationships seems to be coming out, and I have like what I read so far. Jade's interest in the gemstones too makes her unique.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. I've never read another YA book where a character liked gemstones so that was a great addition to the story.

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  7. I have been wanting to read this book for a while now but like you I'm wary of YA mysteries.

    The sibling relationship sounds great as does the ghostly aspect.

    A wonderful review! I'm definitely going to have to bump this up on my reading list.

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    1. I hope you like this-I thought it was very solid.

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  8. I had no idea this one had anything to do with Rebecca. Interesting. I might have to give it a go.

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    1. Yeah, the Rebecca plot is present but not overbearing. My feelings on that are complicated as you read :)

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  9. I have heard some mixed things about this book, but I have enjoyed the authors other books so I hope to read it one of these days. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I think if you've liked Harrington's other books, you'll probably like this one. Hope you enjoy it when you try it!

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  10. I did not figure out the culprit, but I also felt like the solution came a bit out of nowhere. And I understand what you mean about Rebecca. This isn't a retelling, and yet there are a lot of Rebecca parallels. Agree that her brother was adorable!

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    1. The culprit was surprising to me but it made a lot of sense once I thought back. It couldn't be too obvious of course.

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  11. Glad you enjoyed this one! I love the sound of the brother-sister relationship, and I always love a good mystery. It's a good sign that you didn't figure out the murderer too soon—I hate when that happens. Lovely review!

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    1. The brother is so cute and Jade is super protective of him-I just loved their whole dynamic!

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