Book Review of The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

February 22, 2013 Kara 14

Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: January 1st, 2013
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult-Paranormal
Source: NetGalley



Description from GoodreadsJade 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?

Review: I didn’t review Kim Harrington’s debut novel, Clarity, on this blog, but I read it recently and I really liked it. I really became a fan of the author’s voice and I warmed up to the protagonist immediately. I didn’t like Perception quite as much, but I still enjoyed it. So I was really looking forward to The Dead and Buried. Imagine my surprise to find that I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I was hoping I would. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like something was missing from this book. 

For one, I knew who the killer/culprit was pretty much from the very beginning. If you use process of elimination, it’s not really that hard to figure out. What I couldn’t pin down was the motive. So in some ways it surprised me, but when you know who did it from the start, there is a lack of excitement for the reader. 

Days later and I can’t even remember the characters or their names all that well. It’s just a very unmemorable book. To me, Jade was a typical YA paranormal protagonist. There was nothing about her that stood out, nothing that made her a favorite. The same goes for the love interests Donovan and Kane. And her friend Alexa. I feel like the author TRIED to rid the characters or stereotypes and do something different, but at the same time I feel like the execution failed. There just wasn’t enough development there to really pull me into the story or its characters.

I wasn’t scared and I didn’t find anything special in the writing. The blurb makes this book sound like it might be a creepy book, but it honestly did nothing for me. The ghost isn’t scary, she’s just mean. Truthfully, this book reminds me a lot of the R.L. Stine Fear Street books from the 90s, the only difference being the writing was a little more skilled. 

I know it sounds like I hated the book, but I didn’t. I just didn’t find anything original here, and as a reader that is one of the things I am looking for the most. The things that make me love a book are usually beautiful prose, imagery, wonderful characters, and originality. And there just wasn’t a lot of that here. But the story was compelling enough and I kept turning the pages, so that’s why it gets a 3 star rating from me. 

3/5 Dragons

14 Responses to “Book Review of The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington”

  1. Emily

    Awesome review! You just summed up all my feelings for this book perfectly. I felt like there was something missing too, and I couldn’t remember the character’s names either – and I wasn’t a fan of the romance. Although I didn’t figure out who the murderer is – you are much smarter than me ;P

  2. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Sounds like this one fell pretty flat for you. That’s too bad. Sometimes I find that I still get a lot of enjoyment out of a mystery novel even if I know the killer but don’t know the “why” of it all. Seems like you may have been able to get there had the characters been better. Fantastic review!

  3. Sam

    This sounds a little like my experience with Clarity. I enjoyed it well enough, but I doubt I could tell you anything about it. I’ve forgotten far too much. Predictability can something dampen things considerably for me, so I’m not sure if this is the ideal book for me now. Still, I’m glad you liked it enough to give it 3 stars. Lovely review!

  4. Amy

    I had the killer figured out really early too, but the same as you, I didn’t know the motive. I was hoping it would be a little more scary. Great review Kara!

  5. Christina

    Oh man, those three star but mostly meh reads are so hard to review, and inevitably end up getting comments about how you hated it. Too bad you figured out the killer right away and that it just wasn’t memorable. There’s nothing wrong with a read like this from time to time as a palette cleanser, but I really prefer the ones that stick with you.

    Though it occurs to me that’s a dumb thing to say. Why would I prefer books I don’t remember ten minutes after I finish?

  6. Giselle

    Haha omg Kara we’re always so head to head with our reviews! Mine said “Even though the culprit becomes obvious pretty early on (I guessed around p.60), being curious of their motive does leave some of the mystery elements undamaged.”! I love it! Soulmates babyface! Ok so yeah it was super obvious right? Like, page 60 and I knew! It was still a fun read though and it was so short that it was an easy quick read.

    I don’t remember any of the characters’ names either. Funny story too I had to skip reviewing Unremembered because I read it to long ago, forgot to review it right away and now I remember EFF ALL! Nada, zip! It’s crazy. Safe to say it wasn’t a 5 star haha.

    But yeah it was a fun read just nothing special about it at all. Same old. *shrugs*

    • Kara_Malinczak

      OMG! Same here! We are bad-asses! Total soulmates. :D It was totally obvious because this person was the only suspect the wasn’t the obvious culprit which totally means they WERE the culprit. Make sense?

      I am reading Unremembered right now and I can see why that happened. It’s not a good thing.

  7. Bookworm1858

    Sorry this one didn’t really work for you. I thought Jade’s love of gemstones was a pretty unique thing but I know exactly what you mean about characters just not sticking with you.

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