Not alive. Not dead. Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.
Something strange is happening at Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street-fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer, and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumors of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss.
Darina, Phoenix’s grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can’t escape her intense heartache or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echos inside her head…
And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. He tells her that she must help Jonas-the first of the four to die-right the wrong linked to his death. Only with her help can Jonas finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
This book wasn’t bad once you got past the totally disjointed beginning. That said, the beginning actually made me email Amanda something like this… “I’m 40 pages in and I’m making this face o.O O.O O.o”. Then my next email went something like this… “I’m on page 60 now and it’s not all raggedy and crazy cakes.” It was amazing but within those 20 pages, something clicked and the story started to make sense. Now if only it hadn’t taken 60 pages to get to that point I could have given this book a higher rating.
I think things started coming together once we began to get some explanations. As a reader, I don’t expect that everything will be spelled out all at once but when I can barely follow along with what’s happening because the main character chick is having visions or dreams or WHATEVER, it makes it hard to care about her. Honestly, Darina wasn’t totally unlikeable, she was just… confusing at first.
I like the idea of the Beautiful Dead. I like the idea behind why Darina is allowed to interact with them. But… I don’t think things are going to end well overall and that makes me sad. Still, Hunter is creepy in an overlord-y sort of way, the Dead are lovely in their own ways and Darina is giving people closure on the deaths that haunt them.
Seriously, guys, I’m so torn on how I feel about this book. I liked it but I would have liked it a WHOLE LOT MORE without the disjointed beginning. I’m waffling between a 5 and 6 star rating. WAFFLING! And whenever I waffle I start craving waffles. So now I want waffles and I still can’t figure out how I feel.
Bottom line: Decent story, rough beginning. The idea is cool, the characters are likeable (for the most part), and it was a fast read. Now I’m going to go hunt down some waffles.