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Review of 'The Dead and Buried'


The Dead and Buried

By Kim Harrington, 2013

Scholastic

Ghost story, Mystery, Paranormal

Rating: 👻👻👻 (3 out of 4 boos)


What is the book about?

“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: Her perfect house is haunted.”


What’s the main character like?

Jade has many qualities that will appeal to different readers. She’s a protective older sister. She’s beautiful but not snobby about it. She’s social but indifferent toward popularity. She’s got a gem collection but doesn’t care if that makes her nerdy. All in all, readers will like being carried through this spooky tale by Jade’s first-person narration.


How scary is it?

The scariest parts take place in the beginning as Jade first comes to terms with the fact that she’s living in a haunted house. I got creeped out enough within the first fifty pages that I realized I shouldn’t have been reading The Dead and Buried at night. But as Jade gains more drive to start tackling her ghost problem head on, the mystery elements, rather than the spooky elements, take center stage.


Who might like this book?

A simple ghost story mixed with a high-school drama, The Dead and Buried will appeal to different kinds of readers. The haunted house elements will, of course, appeal to readers of paranormal horror. But readers who like stories about the complicated social scene of high school might also take interest. Harrington touches on themes of haves and have-nots, popular and not popular, like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Mean Girls.


What did I like best?

I mentioned in my blog about Michael Ford’s The Poisoned House that I’m a sucker for the common trappings of a ghost story. Throw a Ouija board in your book, and I’m a happy reader. The Dead and Buried has a great scene where a Ouija board pops up at a party. Creepy, fun, and a necessity in a haunted house book, if you ask me. Oh, and I also love how Harrington weaves in chapters of a dead girl’s diary. Nice, spooky touch.


What wasn’t my favorite?

If you’re looking for a cutting-edge ghost story, The Dead and Buried may not be for you. It’s a classic haunted house story. The ghost elements are quite standard. What makes this story special is its narrator, Jade, and its method of keeping you guessing the answers to the mystery. I’m a fan of classic and standard. So no complaints here.


What was my personal experience reading this book?

I sped through this one. If you need something light and fun, pick up The Dead and Buried!

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