Title: Beautiful Dead ~ Jonas
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback, 288 Pages
ISBN-10: 0340988614 Sourcebooks (Fire)
ISBN-13: 978-0340988619 Sourcebooks (Fire)
Synopsis (Product Description):
Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances.
Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss. Darina,Phoenix’s grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can’t escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head! And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina.
Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a ‘death mark’ – a small tattoo of angel’s wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth. Darina’s mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
Quick & Dirty: A good first entry to what promises to be an interesting paranormal series.
Opening Sentence: The first thing I heard was a door banging in the wind.
Excerpt: Chapter 1
First Jonas, then Summer, followed by Arizona, and now Phoenix is the fourth student from Ellerton High to die within a year. Darina, Phoenix’s girlfriend is caught in the grip of grief’s talons and having a hard time dealing with his death. Then Phoenix appears with the sound of beating wings and tells her about the Beautiful Dead. They are unable to complete their transition into the afterlife because of the circumstances surrounding their deaths. They will be held in limbo until justice has been exacted. Darina will help each of them find the answers they seek and bring closure to their restless existence.
Ms. Maguire gives readers the story of Jonas – the first student to die. Beautiful Dead starts out a bit slow, but settles into an enjoyable and engaging read. While Darina is a likable character, I felt that she was a bit formulaic, making certain aspects of the story predictable. I like the premise of the Beautiful Dead and Ms. Maguire has a unique spin on “zombies”. I can’t give too many details because it would be a major spoiler. Darina and Phoenix’s relationship is portrayed as all encompassing, but I think the reader misses many elements of what their relationship was like before he died. Establishing a stronger setup to explain the connection between the two would have been wonderful. In addition, some secondary characters were lacking a bit in character development and depth.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book. Twists and turns will keep the reader guessing and invested in the outcome of this story. Ms. Maguire’s descriptions are vivid, and the mystery surrounding the Beautiful Dead is intriguing. This mixture of the paranormal and the romantic delivers a tale of dark secrets, loss, and redemption. So go ahead and walk alongside Darina on her quest to put the Beautiful Dead to rest.
Now my heart was beating fast and loud, the wind from the wings tearing at me. I was breathless, filled with dread, almost defeated. Why are you doing this to me? I asked, crouching in the shelter of a tall rock.
I sensed movement overhead and looked up into one of those skull-faces with black holes where eyes should be, domed head and death-grin, swooping down, coming right at me, one and then another and another until my hands rose in panic and I was screaming just like the time before.
You can visit the Sourcebook Teen Fire site here for for details: Beautiful Dead
FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks provided me with a copy of Beautiful Dead ~ Jonas. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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