Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: The Dead and Buried

Kim Harrington
Paranormal Young Adult
304 pages
Scholastic Point
Available January 1st
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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?

The Dead and Buried is a quick and entertaining read, one that’s just creepy enough to encourage daytime reading for those of us who are easily unnerved and just romantic enough to have a few breathy sighs escaping our lips as we flip the pages. While the murder mystery aspect is fairly easy to solve once we look past the abundance of very obvious and very motivated choices, ultimately the discovery of the culprit is not really the sole point of the story. Yes, we want to know who is responsible for Kayla’s death, but more interesting than a simple identity reveal is both Kayla’s presence in Jade’s new house as well as her absence in her circle of friends, a telling contrast that slowly rips the mask of perfection off a young woman to reveal the true face beneath.

Jade is a delightful depiction of normalcy; intelligent, compassionate, and honest but, within those desirable attributes, are shades of gray that make her feel utterly and appealing real. She’s clearly smart, however she’s susceptible to a touch of ego, often convincing herself that she's doing the right thing and has absolutely no other choice but to follow the path she’s on when, if she just took a few moments to look past herself and put a little trust in someone else, she would clearly see a fork in her road. Though we sometimes want to shake our heads at her, she’s often quick to remedy the minor mistakes she makes, allowing us to easily forgive them knowing how easy it is to get caught up in a moment and then think better of a decision after the fact.

The romance is sweet, present enough to satisfy our desire for a little warmth to battle the bitter cold of Kayla’s spectral presence and the truth of her cruelty without overwhelming the other aspects of the story. There are two boys vying for Jade’s affection, however, Jade’s clear preference for one and her utter lack of romantic interest in the other prevents the Jade, Kane, and Donovan dynamic from wedging itself into a tidy triangle shape. Donovan is the clear choice from almost the beginning, and despite a bit of inadvertent game playing with Kane that’s a touch bothersome as Jade tries to integrate herself into Kayla’s circle of friends in order to do a bit of amateur sleuthing, the time spent with Jade leaves a lingering smile on our faces.

Ms. Harrington never fails to entertain with her stories, and The Dead and Buried is yet another strong addition to her resume. Her characters are likable and easy to relate to, radiating a sense of ordinariness despite the extraordinary situations they often find themselves in, and we can’t help but look forward to whatever she’ll write next knowing a new set of fun characters and an engrossing story will surely be waiting for us.

Rating: 4/5


  1. I'm glad to hear that you liked this one. I enjoy Kim Harrington's writing and I'm looking forward to reading this one.

    1. I really enjoy her writing too, hope you like this book as much as I did!

  2. I've read Kim Harrington's other series, but I didn't enjoy it too much because of the characters, but I've had my eye on this book for some time now because I love the sound of it. It seems like it was a very satisfying read for you, Jenny and I'm glad to hear that. It's a little too bad about the mystery behind the murder though. One thing I love about crime books is to slowly figure out who the culprit is and in the end be completely surprised, so it's disappointing to hear that the culprit is easily recognizable early on in the book! I'll probably go into the book with that in mind. I was worried when you mentioned the there were 2 boys vying for Jade's attention, but thank goodness that she has only feelings for one of them!
    Great review as always, Jenny! :)
    I hope you have a great New Year if I'm not around the blog tomorrow! <3

    1. I had the culprit figured out pretty quickly - she did a good job of making me question my certainty at times, but ultimately I was right. I didn't mind that so much though because I enjoyed ghost aspect:)

  3. Oh great! I wasn't sure if her break from the series would be good or suffer from lack of focus. Sounds like it is as good as her series. I need to put this one on my order. YIKES! January is starting to look like the national debt! Excellent review. I can't imagine what goes on between Jade and Kane that is disturbing but now I'm curious.


    1. I know! I have so many books on my list for Jan/Feb. I'm okay for March, and then April is going to send me into the poorhouse. But I don't care:)

  4. So many books, so little time. Who is in for a 6 month long vacation with pay? ;)

  5. This was my WoW choice just a little while ago and I'm insanely excited about this. I love Harrington's style and I she really has a talent for creating an eerie atmosphere. I'm glad that the love triangle thing isn't taken too far and that it isn't too tiresome. I can live with what you've described.
    As always, absolutely wonderful review, Jenny! <3

    1. I was worried about the triangle for a little while, but it never really develops in truth and I was glad for that:)

  6. Yay! I'm so glad you liked this one! Mysteries are always opposite ends of the spectrum for me. I either love them or hate them. So glad you enjoyed this one!

    I'm even more glad that there isn't a romantic triangle. I'm so utterly exhausted of those; knowing that Jade has already picked one sets me at ease. Thanks, Jenny!

    1. Right? I'm ready for nice one-on-one relationships in YA! I enjoyed the romance in this one though, slight triangle or no:)

  7. I love Haunted House stories! Can't wait to get my hands on this one! :)

    1. Me too, even though I'm a huge wimp and usually freak myself out by reading them:)

  8. This sounds like the perfect book for me. A little mystery, a little creep, and a little romance. Win/win/win. :)

    1. Yes! It had a little touch of everything and I blew threw it insanely fast:)

  9. I wasn't wowed with "Clarity" to be honest and I thought the whole murder thing was easily solvable so I think I'm going to take a pass on this. I get too involved with solving mysteries and if I can solve it before the protagonists then I get very bored and snarky. LOL! Glad you really enjoyed it, Jenny!

  10. I wasn't a fan of Harrington's debut, so I'm not sure if I'll enjoy this, but it sounds amazing, so I think I will give it a shot. Plus, I love that there's a little bit of everything in it to make it fantastic! Amazing review, Jenny! :D

  11. I enjoyed Harrington's other series so I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this one as well. We don't seem to have too many murder mysteries in YA and even though this one is kind of easy to solve, Harrington's novels are easy to get through and have a nice dose of romance. I like that there's no love triangle here :)

  12. I'm really wanting to read this one! I also enjoy her writing style so I'm curious to see how this one plays out. I'm so glad it was good!

  13. This sounds like a book ill really enjoy! Jade sounds like an amazing character, and the romance is one id enjoy reading! Great review dear!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

  14. I haven't read a book by her yet so it'll be fun exploring something new. I'm so glad this year started off with a good rating on your blog:) Oh, and the creepy + romantic sounds like something by Michelle Hodkin, thehee. I'll post my review of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer tomorrow. I really enojyed that so I'm anxious to see if this one will rock my socks of as well;) Glad you enjoyed it!! :)

  15. Oh my gosh, I want to read this one! I still have not read anything by Harrison yet, but I will.

    Great review. :D

  16. Happy New Year, Jenny!

    At first that cover was very eye-catching. But looking closer, I think it glorifies heroin chic. The cover model is quite thin and looks about 28 years old--not how you describe the character.

  17. Hm... why haven't I heard of this one before? Sounds like one I'd really enjoy. Not thrilled at the triangle, but I can deal. :) I don't think I've read a book by her before. Looks like I'll remedy that with this one on my wishlist.

    Happy New Year!

  18. Wonderful review. I have seen this and was wondering how it was.

  19. That's so true. I AM looking forward to everything Kim Harrington writes. Really liked The Dead and Burried, too, because it was an easy yet entertaining read.

  20. I've been drooling over this one for a while, Jenny, so I'm so thrilled you enjoyed it. I can't wait to pick this up. Wonderful review! :)

  21. I am so glad you liked this one, I love the cover and it's been hovering on my wishlist! The creepy romance has me oh so curious!! Awesome review!

  22. This one sounds pretty entertaining...not jumping out at me to be added to my TBR but loved the review!

  23. Okay, well I'm disappointed that you thought the mystery was easy to solve because that was my main interest in this book... though I understand your point that there is much more to this one than just a murder mystery. Kim Harrington sounds like a very talented author indeed! Especially when it comes to her characters. I would very much like to give her books a try sometime - and I recall a lot of people said that the mystery in Clarity was very well done, so maybe I'll start with that one. Thanks for this helpful review, Jenny!

  24. Another fabulous review, Jenny! I've been interested in The Dead and Buried for months. I think you had me with the first sentence. I love that The Dead and Buried is "just creepy enough to encourage daytime reading for those of us who are easily unnerved and just romantic enough to have a few breathy sighs escaping our lips as we flip the pages." Sounds just about right ;) I will definitely be keeping this one in mind!

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