Monday, December 24, 2012

ARC Book Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Title: The Dead and Buried
Author: Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: Jan 1, 2013

Cover Impressions:
This is the second cover for The Dead and Buried.  The first showed a shadowy figure descending a staircase.  It fit well with the storyline and added an extra creep factor.  This cover, however, is less impressive.  The cover model looks like she is sleeping, not dead, and it doesn't stand out from the other YA books on the shelf.

The Gist:
Jade has finally gotten her wish.  She has moved to a new house, in a bigger town and with a better school.  Shortly after moving in, however, Jade starts to feel odd cold sensations throughout the house and her little brother, Colby, describes a glimmering girl that visits him in his room.  Jade discovers that the teen queen of her high school, Kayla, had lived in her house and that she had died there under mysterious circumstances.  When Kayla threatens Jade's brother, Jade must worm her way into the inner circle in order to try and find a killer.

This is my second foray into the world Kim Harrington.  I read Clarity, which I enjoyed, but not enough for me to rush out and buy the sequel.  I feel much the same about The Dead and Buried.  I was really excited for it when I saw the original cover.  I love ghost stories (see my reviews the Dead Girls Don't Die series) and TDAB fits that bill.  However, there were some aspects where it was lacking.

The premise is one we have all seen before, teenager moves into new house, weird stuff starts happening, he/she discovers the house is haunted and endeavors to find the killer and set the soul to rest.  There wasn't really any new ground broken in this book.  I was hoping Kayla would possess Jade and try to win back her old life - but no.  I never really felt like Jade was in any danger.  Yes, Kayla possessed her brother, and yes, those moments were a little tense, but I don't think we saw enough of a relationship with him in the beginning to make these moments really hit home for me.  Even throughout the novel, it seemed like Colby was always out of the picture, and when he did appear, he had very little personality. 

The rest of the interactions between Jade and her family seemed a little too unreal.  She never fights with her father and her arguments with her stepmother are pretty tame.  I did enjoy Jade's friendship with Alexa.  She was quirky and it made me happy whenever Jade chose her over the popular kids - putting substance ahead of flash.  I was disappointed when Alexa basically disappeared in the second half of the book.  As soon as Jade begins to develop a relationship with the boys (Donovan and Kane) her interactions with Alexa seem to fall off.  I found both the boys to be rather boring and didn't really see the appeal of either of them.

Had The Dead and Buried ended with some huge twist that I never saw coming, I probably would have enjoyed it a great deal more.  It was a pretty quick read and it was well paced.  Unfortunately, the minute a particular character was introduced, I had a strong feeling that they were the killer and my suspicions were confirmed with one of the least exciting reveal moments that I have ever read. 

Overall, The Dead and Buried was underwhelming.  It is fine as a quick read, but didn't have a whole lot of substance.  

Teaching/Parental Notes:

12 and up
Gender: Female
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Murder by pushing down stairs
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Use/Abuse: None


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