Friday, July 5, 2013

Dead and Buried ~ Kim Harrington (earc) review

Dead and Buried
Scholastic Press
January 1, 2013
295 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

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?
Dead and Buried is just about everything you want a ghost story to be. There isn't gore or blood that bring the scares, rather it's good old fashioned creepy spookiness. Things are moved, there are cold spots . . . and Jade's brother's seeing a ghost in his room.

Kim Harrington's novel has great characters. The family dynamic between Jade and her family -- Jade and her step-mother, Jade and her little brother, Jade and her brother and the family as a whole -- is fantastic; it really adds a whole other layer to the story.

Jade's start to her new school isn't the usual 'new girl' start. While there is an almost insta-friend, she's different in a quirky way and makes for a fun character. Jade also gets attention not for being the new girl, but for something else, something she doesn't quite understand, yet. It sets things up pretty quickly to be different and lets us know something's up.

Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, the classic tale of romantic suspense, is one of my favorite books of all time so I was thrilled to see it mentioned in this novel. Dead and Buried isn't a retelling - like Paige Harbison's New Girl was - rather, different characters each some of the traits of those in Rebecca. Though, it's easy to see the parallels between Kayla and Rebecca -- and Harrington brings this to Jade's attention with Jade's English class reading and discussing the novel -- and less so with Jade and Mrs DeWinter.

The 'ghost and haunting aspects aren't watered down here. They aren't used as background happenings to bring about things in Jade's life, fading away, forgotten about later on. This is very much a ghost story with a real ghost who isn't going to play nice. I love it.

It does bring about things in Jade's life but because Harrington is skilled with her characters and how they experience that which they're going through. I'm really hoping for more ghost/horror stories from her. (Hey, I'm the one who checked out the ghost stories book and wrote a 'book' about witches in elementary school.)

Rating: 10/10

Other books you might also enjoy: Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook, The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee and Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the egalley -- and my sincere apologies for the late review

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