Denis Ever After

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Denis Ever After
Author(s)
Age Range
10+
Release Date
July 24, 2018
ISBN
978-0062491220
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Written by award-winning author Tony Abbott and perfect for fans of The Ethan I Was Before and The Thing About Jellyfish, this bittersweet middle grade novel follows the ghost of Denis Egan as he teams up with his living twin brother to solve the mystery of his death. Denis Egan is dead. He’s okay with that. It’s been five years since he died, and the place where souls go is actually pretty nice. Sure, there are some things about his life and how it ended he can’t quite recall, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Remembering could prevent Denis from moving on to whatever’s next. However, something is standing in his way. His twin brother Matt can’t let go of him, and as long as the living are holding on to his memory, Denis can’t rest in peace. To uncover the truth about what happened that day five years before, Denis returns to his hometown and teams up with Matt. But visiting for too long has painful consequences for Denis, and Matt’s renewed interest in his brother’s passing is driving a wedge between his still-grieving parents. Can the two boys solve the mystery of Denis’s death without breaking apart the family he’s left behind?

Editor review

1 review
A Middle Grade Mystery!
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Denis died when he was 7, and he's getting along just fine in Port Haven--the place where souls hang out while they're still being remembered by the living. Once those on Earth stop thinking about them, the dead souls move on to the next step in their process. Denis's twin brother Matt is doing such a good job of remembering Denis that Denis has even aged while he's been in Port Haven, so now he's 12, and his brother has started "haunting" him--his remembrances of Denis are so strong that they're pulling him back to Matt's world. Why? Because Matt wants to know how Denis died and who murdered him.

DENIS EVER AFTER by Tony Abbott follows Denis, Matt, and Trey (Matt's best friend) as they try to work through the mystery surrounding Denis's death. Unfortunately, the afterlife starts to scrub the details of a person's death from them the minute they arrive, so Denis has vague recollections of what happened to him, but nothing really helpful.

DENIS EVER AFTER is a mystery and a meditation with twists and turns, action and relationships, and plenty of opportunities for the reader to try to guess the truth behind Denis's death and the stories that the living are hiding. The bond that Denis and Matt share is wonderful, and the way the story of Denis's death unfolds is fascinating even while it's confusing. This story pulled me in immediately, and the book's take on the afterlife is great. Matt and Denis make it a worthwhile read, and I'd love to see more books that feature the author's take on death and what comes after.

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Good Points
Matt and Denis's relationship is great
A unique way to look at death
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