This is a quick, enticing read that I really enjoyed!
I'll be honest - reading and I haven't gone great lately. I've only read 2 YA novels lately. Other than that, manuscripts and bits of manuscripts and one novella and...a lot of romance novels. YA just hasn't called to me. But I knew I needed to read The Dead and the Buried and I crossed my fingers and dived in, hoping it could hold me. I didn't expect that I'd be so held that I read almost all of it in one sitting. The part I didn't read in that one sitting, I read on the subway before I was able to sit down and read without interruption. It was really gripping and intense so even when I was exhausted and telling myself to just go to bed, it's 5 in the morning, you can read tomorrow! - I couldn't do it. I was up until like almost 6. It's insanely intense. It also goes really quick. I read like 2 chapters on the subway, but then I read the rest between like 4:30 and 6 while super exhausted.
I found myself really worrying about Jade and her brother, Colby. I felt for her pain in some ways and I was able to sympathize with her. I've never been in her situation, but I definitely understood her and cared about her. She just wanted to live a normal life and protect her brother, no matter what it took. I think a lot of people who care about their siblings can get that.
I was also definitely intrigued by the mystery. As always, I spent a long time skipping around, trying to figure out what was really going on, but never able to nail it down. I got it for a little while once or twice, but then I'd move on along with Jade to another suspect. You might be able to figure it out faster than I do (I think part of me has stopped trying though. I like having to consider everything and find out with the main characters), but it's still interesting to consider everyone. There were a lot of people with good motives.
I also really liked the glimpses of Kayla we got through her diary pages that were scattered throughout the book. We were clearly seeing more of Kayla than most people did, but definitely not all of it. And it was fun to figure out exactly who and what she would be writing about. I wouldn't have minded more, deeper looks at Kayla though.
I will say that it's not scary. Creepy at times, but I never got really scared. I also think I would've liked more character development. I felt like there might've been too many characters with so much potential that was never fully reached. Also, it would've made the book longer, so I would've gotten to read it longer and my addiction might've been better sated. (I rarely say no to longer books, but we've noticed this already, right?)
When I first started this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had read so many mixed reviews about it that I kept it on the back burner for so long. Finally I decided to give it a try. And it may sound cliche, but I'm so glad I did.
This book was filled with suspense, drama, spooky moments, and all that you need for a good paranormal story. There were a few small things I wish had been different, but overall I felt that it was a good story. Jade and her "new" family move to a new town and into a new house. Soon afterwards, weird things start going on in the house that causes Jade and the other kids at her school to investigate a mystery that happened way before Jade even got there.
The main thing that bothered me about the book was the writing style. Although it was marketed as a YA novel, it had the feel of a MG novel to me. Knowing that Harrington is a MG writer as well, I wasn't surprised, but I was hoping for a little more distinction in her writing style.
The next disappointment I had was with the main character Jade. She just seemed to be without a backbone. It was obvious she was that way because of plot movement, but there came a time when I began thinking "Enough is enough."
This brings me to what I DID like. The plot and its movement is STELLAR. We don't find out "whodunit" until the last few pages, after going on a wild and ride of guessing who it might be. Just like in most mysteries though, I was able to figure out who it was, but not without having to put the actual book aside and think about it. Harrington did a GREAT job with the mystery aspect and making all the characters amazing suspects.
This turns right to my love for the characters. Without their "real-ness" the book, the mystery none of it would have worked. Jade seemed like a weird closed off teen with a new family, her stepmom seemed like a real woman trying to win over her family, and all Jade's friends/enemies seemed real in their own ways as well. I especially loved Colby (but I think it may have been because he was 5 lol) but what happened to him CREEPED ME OUT. I kept picturing the way his face might have looked and.... Ughhh *shivers* Then there was Donovan, I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but I will say this,
Background: Jade has just moved into a new home, however her parents did not tell her everything about it. Apparently a teenage girl died here, and some of her friends think it was more than an accident. Jade learns that the ghost of the girl still lingers and she wants revenge on her killer.
Review: Dead and Buried was way more than I expected it to be, it was a creepy mystery with paranormal elements and a good amount of attitude. Jade the main character is quarky and fits in with many crowds which I appreciated. She wasn't just he hot new girl but she had issues and fears like a normal person.
The storyline was nicely done. Creepy house, the site of a teenage death, I wouldn't want to live there, and Jade is on a mission to help the teen haunting her home. There were elements of mystery, romance, and a lot of conflict all around and it made for a good read.
The author cuts the chapters with pages to the dead girls diary, I thought that was fun and very revealing.
Why not 5 stars you ask? Well there were a few dislikes. I did not like that I guessed correctly about half way through the book who had done it. I also did not like the sense of possessiveness some of the male characters had over Jade...it was weird and icky feeling.
Overall this was a great book, I had a few moments reading before bed that I realized I shouldn't read it before bed...a little too spooky. I had ups and downs with it, but it was a good book regardless of how fast I figured it out, hopefully it will surprise you!
**I received an ARC of this book from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.**
I'm not a big fan of horror stories,or even movies,for the record.So THANK GOD this wasn't that scary since I'm a total wuss and on top of that I started reading this at midnight.But I still kept the lights on while going to sleep,just in case.
Reading The Dead And Buried was quite an experience for me as I haven't read a thriller like this in quite a while.It was so different from the other stories I've read this year,but in a good way of course.I liked how the author portrayed Donovan as a bit of the gamer type instead of a jock.She made me like him on the spot! And did I mention how sweet he was?I know it's supposed to be a thriller but I couldn't help swooning about the guy!But it's a perfect combination of everything,I tell you.And the fact that it is a stand-alone doesn't hurt either.You do not have to wait an entire year miserably with a cliff-hanger ending to know what happens next.In a way I find that oddly refreshing.Also,the book is definitely the re-reading type so you can carry it around with you and read it whenever you want since it's also perfect for a quick-read and wonderfully written.
I would highly recommend this to impatient readers as the story picks up quickly,people who are into mild horror.thriller or mystery,and to those who do not have enough time on their hands to sit down with a large volume to read.Even if you're not any one of the people mentioned before,I'd suggest you should give this a try as it's not everyday you can find a YA ghost story like this,with just the right amount of scariness so that you do not have to worry about staying up all night.
And a side note, I liked the old cover better,but since I liked the book so much,I decided to forgive the publisher for it. :)
This book is quick and very entertaining;a defentite page turner
Originally Posted on "Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek"
I don’t usually read horror, mystery or ghost stories, but after reading Kim Harrington’s “The Dead and Buried,” I have decided it might be time to change that. The story follows Jade. A girl from a not so great neighborhood who finally gets the life she believes that she has always wanted. She moves into a nice house, in a great neighborhood with an even better school system. Jade is not your typical high school girl. She doesn’t care about appearances, could give a damn about popularity and chooses her friends based on personality and not status. This makes Jade stand out, but it’s not the reason everyone at school is staring at her. Jade is more than a new girl. She is infamous, because she lives in the house where Queen B Kayla Sloane died.
I may be wrong, but I personally think it is humanly impossible to read a mystery and not try to figure out the villain. The guessing game is my favorite part of this book. Everyone is a suspect. From the boy Jade likes, to her new best friend and her creepy next door neighbor. No one was safe from Kayla’s mean spirited actions and because of that, they are all suspects. Harrington did an absolutely fantastic job with red herrings, misdirection’s and misjudging of characters. Every five minutes I’d scream “THAT’S THE KILLER,” in my head and then change my mind five pages later. This book is also great with making you facepalm at your own thoughts. I quickly judged people and when the truth came out I would feel guilty. Guilty, because I misjudged a fictional character in a book!
“The Dead and Buried,” is definitely a page turner. Once it pulls you in, it will not let you go until you know the truth. I like that about a book. If it’s a mystery it better be mysterious. If it’s a horror it better at least freak me out. Kayla, the girl who died in Jade’s house, was a total mean girl and the idea that a mean girl may or may not be haunting Jade, is pretty freaky in my opinion. Regular ghosts yup freaky, but the ghost of a mean girl is terrifying!
This book is probably not the greatest thing ever written and Harrington is probably not going to become the next Edgar Allen Poe, but I believe that this book is smart. The author gives us an interesting cast of supporting characters. On the surface they seem like the normal cliché people you read in every young adult book, but they are not. They have family secrets and ambitions that you wouldn’t guess from just looking at them. Our misconceptions and prior knowledge of the popular girl, the nerd and the jock helps Harrington to muddle the investigation in our minds. We take what we think we know and we decide that makes them guilty or innocent and most of your guesses will be wrong.
This blog should probably be called “if there is no romance, I will not read it.” Honestly, I love romance and it is a good idea that not all the reviews and posts on this blog are written me! For me to talk about this book and not discuss the relationships would be completely out of character. There are two guys in this book that catch Jade’s attention or better yet Jade catches their attention. There is the artsy guy with the chip on his shoulder named Donavan and the nice, but is probably a player jock named Kane. Both these guys have very different personalities and yet we like them both. They both have a stake in the truth about Kayla and are both major players in the twists and turns of the story. Harrington doesn’t have Jade thinking about boys for every second of the day and I really liked that. As much as I love romance, sometimes heroines think about boys in life or death situations and I want to slap them. Jade knows how to multitask and boys while nice are not her priority. It is also not the priority of the book, but still I had very strong opinions about Jade’s love life.
This book is a quick and very entertaining read. The mystery and the investigation is interesting, but not overly taxing on the mind. You will not ask “what?!” in utter confused frustration. This is a young adult novel and it’s for entertainment and it succeeds at it’s goals. Lastly, Jade is an absolutely excellent heroine. She is smart, without being pretentious. She is friendly, but doesn’t need the approval of her peers. She is pretty and while she is not completely ignorant of it, she doesn’t sit around staring at mirrors or using her looks against others. I really liked her and I think if you give this book a chance, you will to.