Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

Title: The Sweet Dead Life
Author: Joy Preble
Publisher: Soho Press
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Rating: 1/5

Cover Impressions: 
Cute cover but looks slightly home-made. 

The Gist:
Jenna has been suffering from a mysterious illness and no doctors can pinpoint the cause.  This, coupled with her mother's debilitating mental illness, makes for a very hard life.  Her brother, Casey, tries his best to hold it all together.  When a late-night trip to the emergency room is pre-empted by an accident.  When Jenna wakes up, Casey is by her side but something is different.  Her brother has started acting almost too good and the EMT who added them after her accident seems to have taken an unhealthy interest in her family.  The tests reveal that Jenna's mysterious illness is the result of poisoning and that Casey must help discover how and save her life.

I requested this particular EARC because the premise sounded interesting and I had hope for a strong and amusing main character.  Unfortunately, Jenna is not only boring, she is incredibly dense.  She does not seem to put clues together, despite the fact that they are smacking her in the face.  She also has a penchant for making lists and an obsession with her brother's (and everyone else's) weed use, both of which interrupt the flow of the story.  The other characters are not much better.  They are all flat with little to no personality.  Even Casey, is stripped of anything interesting when he is "angelfied".  Perhaps, he might have been a little more interesting if we had had more time to get to know him before the accident.

On the topic of angelization.  The blurb for this book clearly gives away the fact that Casey has become an angel and yet it takes Jenna AGES to figure this out.  I do not understand why the publisher would put this information in the blurb when appears to have been meant to be one of the big mysteries of the book.  The rest of the plot, unfortunately, is just as predictable.  Very early on, hints reveal the bad guy and it was at this point that I completely lost interest. 

The ending of this book was a little to easy for my liking.  Everything is resolved - even the mother's mental illness.  Which, makes me think that the author was using this plot device as a cheap ploy.  All in all, this book was a disappointment. 
Teaching/Parental Notes:

15 and up
Gender: Both
Sex: Masturbation
Violence: Poisoning
Inappropriate Language: Shit, Ass
Substance Use/Abuse: Marijuana use


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