Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1318
Newes from the Dead
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I think this is a perfect example of why Goodreads is so awesome, because I never would have found this book otherwise. The summary for Mary Hooper’s Newes from the Dead had me hooked, and I went out and bought it right away. A 17th century vivisection gone wrong (or right, actually), and based on a true story? This sounds like my dream book!

What I Liked: One of Hooper’s best ideas in writing this book was a dual narrative. One perspective, Anne Green’s, helps us with the backstory, and the other, medical student Robert's, gives us insight on what’s going on in the vivisection room. Normally I’m a single point of view type girl, but I don’t think this particular book could have been written in another way without being so effective.

Now, Robert is mostly just a point of view character, put into the plot for the purpose of showing the reader how the vivisection is progressing. But oh my gosh, he was so cute! He had a stammer, brought on after a childhood trauma, and he was super adorable in the way he interacted with everyone, and his internal thoughts were so interesting and well written. I loved him so, so much.

Any way you look at it, it’s hard to have a fully developed romance going on when one-half of the couple is (supposedly) dead. Yet Hooper managed to pull it off to great success, and the last scene was so sweet in it’s corny romanticness. I wanted to hug the book. Maybe I did…

I also really liked Hooper's writing. I think she managed to capture the essence of the 17th century while at the same time making it relevant for modern readers. Of course, I have no problem with old-timey language, but I think Hooper's stylistic decision paid off in the end, and was handled well.

What I Didn’t Like: The only problem I had with this book (and it’s so small I almost feel bad for pointing it out) was that I knew exactly how the book was going to turn out by page 25. So I definitely wasn’t shocked by the book in any way, but all things aside, it’s somewhat minor. Hooper presented her clichés in a way that made them seem un-cliché.

Might have something to do with the dead girl reanimating, because that's no too typical in YA.

Verdict: In spite of it’s predictableness, Newes from the Dead was a phenomenal book, and it's a really great example of why historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love how Hooper made me fall in love with a dead character, and I loved how that character ended up, alive and with a super nice guy. And I love Robert, our secondary character who I wasn't supposed to even pay attention to.

Even better, it’s all true!
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