|The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Source: Digital Copy
Buy It: Amazon
|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?|
I’ve read Harrington before – her Clarity series – so I had an idea of what to expect when I picked up this novel but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the world’s biggest scaredy cat. I don’t do scary movies – not even for my most favorite actors and actresses – and suspense/horror novels are typically out of the question for me. I remember reading certain scenes in Harry Potter when I was younger (like 13/14) and having to turn on every light in my room and HP isn’t meant to be that scary. That’s how much of a wuss I am. But I knew Harrington was a good writer and that this was meant to be a mystery novel more than a horror novel – although the description had me wary! So I was prepared to have all the lights on and my teddy bear ready to read this one but I was happy to find that the book was more spooky than anything. The ghostly supernatural elements reminded me of those in the Hex Hall series, for those of you who are pansies like me.
To the meat of the review – we start off with Jade who’s a teenager living in a haunted house. At first she doesn’t think much of it aside from the fact that it’s creepy and the bitter Queen B ghost moves her stuff occasionally. After a house party that goes awry, Jade’s ghost (Kayla) takes the situation into her own hands and gives Jade an ultimatum – find my killer or your brother is toast. No problem right? Sure, except the police never found the murderer – or even said that it was murder – and the fact that Jade is new to town and knows absolutely nobody. She’ll figure it out in no time at all. Jade enlists Kayla’s ex-boyfriend, Donovan, (and Jade’s current love interest) to help her figure out who the suspects are and their possible motives. The first is Kayla’s second-in-command, Faye, who could have killed her from jealousy or hatred…after all, Kayla was a horrible person according to pretty much everyone. Next we have Kayla’s competition for valedictorian, Alexa, the “robot girl” and Jade’s first friend at school. Then there’s Kane, whom Kayla was cheating on Donovan with and whom she could’ve stolen a scholarship from.
All of the suspects are good contenders for murder, but Jade has doubts about all of them and then more clues start to trickle in. The biggest clue comes in the end – Kayla’s hidden diary. Although it’s written in a sort of code and obviously doesn’t say “ADAM KILLED ME,” it does give Jade a better road map to try to keep her brother safe as Kayla continues to lose her patience. When all is said and done, Jade actually doesn’t figure out who the killer is until it’s too late. I won’t go into further detail because that would spoil – but just let me say that it definitely doesn’t go how you expect it might. In the end, it’s a fun, spooky read that gets you sucked in from the beginning. Nothing like vengeful ghosts to get your blood pumping!