Title: Beautiful Dead (Book 1 - Jonas)
Author: Eden Maguire
Age Group: young adult
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 3- Good
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. He tells her that she must help Jonas - the first of the four to die - right the wrong linked with his death. Only with her help can Jonas finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
To be honest I thought that this book was good but not my most favourite thing to read. I was surprised by the book, the cover and the summary made me want to actually read the book. But then when I actually came to read the book I was a hint disappointed.
The story is about a grief-stricken teenage girl named Darina who has just lost her boyfriend Phoenix to a knife wound in the back while he was in a gang fight. Three other people from her high school had also died within the last year. Soon after Phoenix’s death Darina finds an old barn which the four dead students are including Phoenix are. Soon Darina discovers that they are souls that have been brought back from the in between to solve the mystery of how they died and they only have a certain amount of time -a year- to do it before they are sent back and never to return again. Darina helps souls aka zombies to solve the mysteries of how Jonas died -the first one out of the four to die.
First off for me the first six pages where the main Darina is in the old barn with the door repeatedly slamming and is seeing all these people that she once knew but they are all dead, I think that it would have gone down better as a preface than in the beginning of the first chapter.
The story was good and I did enjoy the plot, it made me cry and it made me smile, but for me it did take a while to get to the point. It did start out a bit slow but then it did turn into a good read as the book went on. I did like Eden Maguire’s unique spin on the zombie/souls. 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.
Nether the less the twists and turns will keep the reader guessing and invested in the outcome of this story. Eden 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.
Give Darina and her quest to put the Beautiful Dead to rest a try you might just enjoy it. I know I did.
But be prepared for the slow beginning.