The Lonely Dead by April Henry
Published by: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: January 29, 2019
Format: arc | Source: publisher
Genres: young adult, mystery, paranormal
A killer is on the loose, and only one girl has the power to find him. But in this genre-bending YA thriller, she must first manage to avoid becoming a target herself.
For Adele, the dead aren’t really dead. She can see them and even talk to them. But she’s spent years denying her gift. When she encounters her ex best friend Tori in a shallow grave in the woods and realizes that Tori is actually dead — that gift turns into a curse. Without an alibi, Adele becomes the prime suspect in Tori’s murder. She must work with Tori’s ghost to find the real killer. But what if the killer finds Adele first?
Master mystery-write April Henry adds a chilling paranormal twist to this incredibly suspenseful young adult novel.
I enjoyed this quite a bit, more than I expected to! The mystery was really compelling, as was Adele’s genetic ability to see/speak to the dead. I wish that had been explored more and I’m reeeally not sure how accurate the mental health rep is so I can’t speak to that. But it’s prevalent throughout the story. The book feels a bit short and I found some of the questioning by police to be unbelievable (no lawyers?) but overall I’d recommend this to readers who enjoy mysteries and thrillers for sure.
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Published by: Roaring Brook Press
Pub Date: February 12, 2019
Format: arc | Source: publisher
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Miriam’s family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that’s what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn’t have enough to worry about, Miriam’s life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam’s grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.
In her endearing debut novel, cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks pens a sensitive and funny Romeo and Juliet tale about modern romance, geek royalty, and what it takes to heal the long-festering scars of the past (Spoiler Alert: love).
This wasn’t a bad book but personally I was disappointed. It wasn’t nearly as shippy or feelsy as I hoped and I didn’t think Miriam’s friend group was very strong either. I did like that it was set in Canada and seemed very Canadian (to this American at least). I haven’t read many books set in Canada and I found the slight cultural differences interesting. I don’t need a lot of plot to enjoy a book but I do need to feel connected to the characters and I didn’t, which made the story drag.
It also felt like there was a lot of nerd bashing ironically. Lots of gatekeeping- many characters make it clear that they think the only real nerds and real comic book fans are the ones who have read comics from the beginning and know every little thing. As someone who loves comic book movies and definitely appreciates but doesn’t read a lot of comic books, it felt really exclusionary. “Fake Geeks”, rose tinted glasses for Comic Con before it became all “Hollywood” and the like. There was a lot of good story content about Miriam being unsure what to do with her future, and the myriad of paths people can take after graduation from high school. I think that’s always really valuable and relatable in young adult books.
Have you ever been disappointed by a book that sounded perfect for you? Are either of these on your TBRs? Let me know!