Monday, November 10, 2014

Book review - Dead Girl by B.C. Johnson #ya #paranormal

I jumped at the chance to read DeadGirl by B.C. Johnson – I loved the cover and title. Today I'm participating in the blog tour with my review.

About DeadGirl:
DeadGirl, by B.C. Johnson
Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy/paranormal-romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: November 6, 2014
Cover Artist: Andy Garcia

Dead is such a strong word …

Lucy Day, 15 years old, is murdered on her very first date. Not one to take that kind of thing lying down, she awakens a day later with a seemingly human body and more than a little confusion. Lucy tries to return to her normal life, but the afterlife keeps getting in the way.

Zack, her crush-maybe-boyfriend, isn’t exactly excited that she ditched him on their first date. Oh, and Abraham, Lucy’s personal Grim Reaper, begins hunting her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham.

But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life — can she really sacrifice her loved ones to stay out of the grave?

My Review: 
The story is told from the point of view of Lucy, a funny, snarky 15-year-old swooning over her first love. Several things were quite refreshing in this story. The main group of kids are generally wholesome, their parents are involved, and the confusion of just being a teenager was realistically shown. Sadly, Lucy is killed after her first date – and wakes up not entirely alive or dead.

The story-line was unique, also refreshing in the midst of vampires, angels, and faeries. Not to mention chosen ones and girls getting tested to determine what they’ll be/who they’ll marry. So kudos to the author for that as well.

The flow was confusing at times - sometimes that worked because Lucy was confused, other times my attention faded away, waiting for things to start making sense. The fun internal dialog also went a little too far at times. I would have advised cutting at least 20% of the book and don’t think the reader would have missed a thing. But it was still a fun story which made me WANT to get back to the plot rather than put down the book.

Aside from a lack of editing, this book also displayed exactly why/how not to do a prologue. The prologue starts excitingly where things change for the main character. At the end of the prologue, Lucy is dead, exactly as expected by the jacket copy. Then chapter one takes us back to a rambling past, prior to the incident, leaving the reader wondering what they’ve missed, especially since the prologue doesn’t use Lucy’s name. I understand why the author did this – otherwise nothing interesting would have happened except excessive internal dialogue for three chapters. My suggestion would have been to trim the real beginning and move quickly to the exciting moment in a linear fashion. No confusion, no frustration.

In spite of this, the story was unique, fun, and a refreshing look at more typical teenagers. I’d recommend it, but tell the reader not to be frustrated when they get bored, keep going, you won’t miss anything important. Oh, I LOVED the way the author transitioned back to the timeline after the murder – so for that, I’ll forgive the silly prologue arrangement!

About the Author:Born in Southern California, B.C. Johnson has been writing since he realized it was one of the few socially acceptable ways to tell people a bunch of stuff you just made up off the top of your head. He attended Savanna High School in Anaheim, and an undisclosed amount of college before deciding that weird odd jobs were a far greater career path.

This lead him to such exciting professions as: aluminum recovery machinist, lighting designer, construction demo, sound mixer, receptionist, theater stage hand, wedding security, high school custodian, museum events manager, webmaster, IT guy, copywriter, and one memorable night as the bouncer at a nightclub. He is trying very hard to add “vampire hunter” and “spaceship captain” to that list.

He currently lives in Garden Grove with his supernal wife Gina, his half-corgi, half-muppet dog Luna, and his new half-greyhound, half-living-tornado-of-destruction Kaylee. He also spends time with his two brothers, his parents, and his close friends, whose primary pursuit are usually healthy debates about movie minutiea. When he’s not working or writing, he’s been to known to pursue all conceivable geeky avenues of interest including but not limited to video games, the sort of TV shows/movies Benedict Cumberbatch might star in, graphic novels, podcasts, funny gifs, the whole thing.

He’s also been known to apply his special brand of hyperbole and mania to pop-culture humor essays for various websites that can be found on his homepage, B.C. also has a high school noir short story called “The Lancer” available on Kindle.

Deadgirl is his first novel.

Find B.C. Johnson Online:

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