Sunday, March 3, 2013

Don't Mess With the Ouija! The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

The Dead and Buried
Author Kim Harrington
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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?
Review: Picture Mean Girls, but with a Regina-like leader ruling from beyond the veil, and you'll get the idea of what Dead and Buried is all about. Staying true to her writing style, Kim Harrington plots an easy, fast-paced read in a high school setting. Like most teen books, Dead and Buried delivers love triangles, betrayal, backstabbing and school drama. This is a sleuth-style book that directly influences the main character, Jade's, actions and decision-making. Although a little extreme, she is forced by threat to solve a whodunnit or risk the possibility of a family member being hurt. To her credit, Jade believes the sinister spirit and is given a sampling of proof, but what bothered me was her lack of strength and immediate acceptance of this obviously manipulative individuals word. However, given the target audience, this is probably not a big deal. I would have enjoyed more depth in the overall spiritual side of things including the Ouija board dangers and what can and did happen, but for plot-pacing reasons, it was handled well.  

I've also read and reviewed Clarity by Kim Harrington, and I admittedly liked that book better because it did contain more depth, emotional investment and character attachment. However, if you love whodunnit ghost stories, this is a good read. Did I feel as connected with the characters?  I'd have to say, no -- but it was entertaining and not too scary or overly disturbing. If that is what you're looking for, then you'll likely enjoy this one. If you demand more intense ghostly occurrences with true to life happenings--well, this will be too light of a read. It definitely leans more towards the tween-teen sector rather than the other end of the young adult scale. 
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*ARC provided by Scholastic Point courtesy of NetGalley

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