When Sarah wakes up dead at the Mall of America, she learns that not only was she murdered, her killer is still on the loose. I WOKE UP DEAD AT THE MALL is a terrifically fun & voicey YA novel that tackles some of life’s – and the afterlife’s – biggest questions. When you’re sixteen, you have your whole life ahead of you. Unless you’re Sarah. Not to give anything away, but . . . she’s dead. Murdered, in fact. Sarah’s murder is shocking because she couldn’t be any more average. No enemies. No risky behavior. She’s just the girl on the sidelines. It looks like her afterlife, on the other hand, will be pretty exciting. Sarah has woken up dead at the Mall of America—where the universe sends teens who are murdered—and with the help of her death coach, she must learn to move on or she could meet a fate totally worse than death: becoming a mall walker. As she tries to finish her unfinished business alongside her fellow dead teens, Sarah falls hard for a cute boy named Nick. And she discovers an uncanny ability to haunt the living. While she has no idea who killed her, or why, someone she loves is in grave danger. Sarah can’t lose focus or she’ll be doomed to relive her final moments again and again forever. But can she live with herself if she doesn’t make her death matter?
I Woke Up Dead At The MallFeatured
I Woke Up Dead At The Mall
What worked: The whole twist on the murdered-girl-stuck-in-limbo-with unresolved business premise. In this case the afterlife is the Mall of America. The voice is quirky and hilarious. The twists include: defeated spirits roaming zombie-like through the Mall for years; a God that is in fact two children-a boy and a girl; a couple guardians that have some mega 'tude; and a group of teen spirits trying to make sense of it all. In short, this novel reminded me of a SHOWTIME TV series DEAD LIKE ME only in this case the spirits are stuck in the Mall of America.
Sarah's observations of the afterlife are funny. Imagine being stuck in the afterlife in the most ungodly bridal dress. While in the Mall of the Afterlife she discovers she has a 'gift' that the living can hear her. When she finds out that she was in fact murdered and who the culprit was? She tries to warn a loved one but this has some serious consequences.
The idea of being attracted to another dead person is not new. I did like the chemistry between her and Nick, who 'chose' to stay at the Mall and not move on to the spa(kind of like heaven). He has his own issues too. One plus is how when they're together, they help each other out.
The others in the Mall also have unresolved issues including the guardians in charge of them. And those zombie-like spirits give a whole new meaning to the living dead.
One issue I had though had to be how fast the book moved through the climax. I especially was kind of bummed on one scene that left me hanging. The ending was wrapped up too soon leaving more questions than answers.
Otherwise, for fans of ghostly tales this is a fun story with a quirky voice. DEAD LIKE ME meets the Mall of America with quirky twists at every corner.
2. Fun twist