Darina's year goes from bad to worse when her boyfriend, Phoenix, is killed in a knife fight, making him the fourth student from their high school to die that year. She's certain that she's going crazy when she sees him and the others in an abandoned barn, but when Phoenix kisses her, she's convinced he's come back to life.Why I Abandoned the Book: I read a quarter of the book before I gave up on it. The principal problem for me was that the reader is immediately thrown into Darina's world with no explanation. Although this can work well as a plot device, here I simply felt lost. Too much happened too quickly for me, and I made no emotional connection to Darina and her situation. As a result, I did not share her shock at seeing her dead friends walking and talking. The writing style was a bit choppy, but had I related to the story, I think I would have gotten past that.
Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and Phoenix have been brought back from limbo by the enigmatic and sometimes frightening Hunter and are allowed to remain in the world of the living for one year in order to set right a wrong linked to their deaths. In exchange for being allowed to see Phoenix, Darina agrees to help the undead teens find justice, starting with Jonas whose year is nearly up.
A Quick Look at Reviews: Other reviewers were not bothered by the same things I was. S. Krishna's Books commented: "the reader is plunged straight into the story with Darina. This makes the novel very exciting and as a result, the reader is hooked from beginning to end." Jenn's Bookshelves said: "Maguire’s writing style is very readable and flows well." The commercial book sites give Beautiful Dead 4 stars, and the social book sites also give the novel about 4 stars. I encourage you to visit the Teen Fire ning site and read the first chapter and see the book trailer.
Published by Sourcebooks / Fire, March 2010
Challenges: New Author, Young Adult, 2010, 100+
Source: Review (see review policy)