15 March 2010

Review: Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

Publisher's Summary: Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire.

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.

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.
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.

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.

Beautiful Dead at Powell's
Beautiful Dead at Amazon
These links lead to affiliate programs

Published by Sourcebooks / Fire, March 2010
ISBN-13: 9781402239441

Challenges: New Author, Young Adult, 2010, 100+
YTD: 23
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: DNF


Sandy Nawrot 3/15/10, 6:48 AM  

Didn't Jenn (Devourer) say she found she didn't care about the characters? Someone said that. Doesn't bode well for this book. I will admit the premise is interesting though, just a poor execution.

Julie P. 3/15/10, 7:15 AM  

I didn't have those issues. I did have a few others, but I really think teens are going to like the love story/supernatural parts of this story. I thought this was a quick, entertaining read.

Nise' 3/15/10, 7:42 AM  

Sometimes that works for me and other times it does not. As Julie said, teen like to jump right in and that will work for them.

bermudaonion 3/15/10, 7:56 AM  

Too bad it didn't work for you. Better luck next time.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 3/15/10, 9:02 AM  

I found this to be a unique read but nothing I would really pursue future books on.

Great review!

S. Krishna 3/15/10, 9:49 AM  

It's funny, people seem to either like this book or hate it!

Kristin Callender 3/15/10, 11:45 AM  

My review goes up on Friday & I was curious what other readers thought. There were aspects that had me worried, as a mother. But I had to remind myself that this wasn't written for me, it is for teens. It was much easier to read after that.

I do think the pace and extremity of emotion is what teens will love about this book.

Thanks for the link. I love reading all these opinions. It's interesting how differently we can see the same thing.

Vasilly 3/15/10, 11:54 AM  

I plan on reading this book sometime this week. Your review makes me want to read it slightly more to see how I'll feel about it.

Jen - devourer of books 3/15/10, 11:59 AM  

As Sandy said, I didn't care one whit about the characters, and it may have been for the reason you state, the just being thrown into the story. I didn't buy Darina's undying love (other than the fact she's a teenager). Really, the whole thing didn't work for me.

April 3/15/10, 2:36 PM  

I'm sorry that you didn't like this one. I rather enjoyed it. I had a few issues, but overall enjoyed it and think that the teen target range will really like it. I hope to read the others in the series as well. It really is receiving some mixed reviews. I thought it was a fast read and entertaining.

Pam 3/15/10, 5:13 PM  

Let me just say I finished. Barely. Also the character names where was the editor? All I could think of was Phoenix Arizona.

Jenners 3/15/10, 8:08 PM  

I usually need to be oriented before plunging into a story too.

Melody 3/15/10, 8:11 PM  

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book. When I first saw this book, I wanted to read it but just haven't got around to picking it up, now after reading your review I'm glad I didn't. ;P

Alice Teh 3/16/10, 1:58 AM  

I'm sorry the book didn't work for you, Beth. It's always a subjective thingy when it comes to liking or disliking a book. I'm glad you shared your thoughts on this one.

Beth Kephart 3/16/10, 7:56 AM  

What an amazingly good way to do a review—so honest, so careful to present not just what you think, but what others think as well.

Tribute Books 3/23/10, 12:57 PM  

good review! might take a look at it.

Michelle 4/3/10, 7:11 PM  

I'm one of those who read it that liked it but didn't love it. I think what drew me in as a reader was the fact that the zombies weren't a literal interpretation but rather closer to angels.

I'm sorry it wasn't a good book for you. Hopefully what you chose to follow was a better fit.

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