Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

The Dead and Buried

Kim Harrington

Publication Date: January 1st 2013

Publisher: Scholastic Point

Pages: 295

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
I picked this book up strictly because I am a sucker for YA stories with hauntings or other horror elements. And although the horror was a bit of this, it was the mystery of the story that really got me hooked.

I liked the writing better for this than I remember liking Clarity's (by the same author). At first I was wavering a bit as I felt a couple of scenes felt contrived, but in the end the prose won me over.

Kayla, our ghost, made for an interest character study and I enjoyed seeing her compared and contrasted to some of the other characters. There are times where the characters felt a bit flat or forced, but when it comes down to it it was Kayla and the mystery that are the driving forces of the book, so it wasn't a bit deal.

My personal favourite bit was Jade's gemstone obsession. I myself am a huge collector (though I'd never heard them referred to as gemstones, I usually know them as crystals or just stones. I assume that comes from the fact her mom made jewelry), so seeing it used as a device to tie the whole story together with all the meanings behind them was a treat.

Overall, I recommend this book to those who love a good murder mystery and don't mind some ghostly fantastical elements. If you pick up this book looking for horror, there are a few chilling moments, but it's mostly focused on the mystery side of a ghost story rather than the terrifying.



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