Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, we’re looking at a great new YA book (and giving away a copy!) called THE SWEET DEAD LIFE by Joy Preble. Before we get to that, however, I want to tell you a little bit more about the book and the author. First, here’s the synopsis:
“I found out two things today: One, I think I’m dying. And two, my brother is a perv.”
So begins the diary of Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad year. Her mother spends all day in bed. Dad vanished when she was eight. Her older brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs—difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. Really sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.
Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her, looking pretty good. Better than ever, in fact. Downright . . . angelic. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that her brother didn’t survive the accident at all, and she isn’t just sick; she’s being poisoned. Casey has been sent back to help Jenna find out who’s got it out for her, a mystery that leads to more questions about their mother’s depression and their father’s disappearance.
Want to order your copy of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE now? you can do so at the following:
Now, here’s a little more about the author:
Joy Preble is the author of the popular and highly acclaimed Dreaming Anastasia series. A former English teacher, Joy grew up in Chicago and is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is now a full time writer and lives with her family in Texas, where she has learned to say “y’all” without any hint of irony. A tireless advocate for literacy and great books, she is at the center of the all-important Texas YA scene. Click here to follow Joy on Twitter!
My review: I loved this book! In spite of all the things Jenna’s family has been through, she’s somehow able to maintain her sassy attitude and sense of humor. I laughed out loud a few times when she referred to her teachers by her favorite word: “asshat.” In her situation, it would be easy for a person to be upset or depressed about having an illness nobody can diagnose—especially when your pee turns lime green and your tongue has spots—but Jenna continually jokes about it by calling it her “not-eboli,” or her “not-herpes,” etc. She and her older brother, Casey, have the typical teenage banter, and she’s fiercely loyal to her family and friends. I would’ve loved to be friends with her when I was fourteen.
This was the first one of Joy Preble’s books that I’ve read, but after reading this one, I’ll definitely be checking out her other books. Her writing style is fun and great for the YA genre, and I felt she really captured the attitude and spirit of Jenna’s character. The only thing I wasn’t completely satisfied with is the ending of the story. I kept hoping that all the story threads would’ve been tied up with a pretty little bow and that her family would get back together permanently at the end, but that didn’t totally happen. The story stays open for a sequel where those things could happen though (pretty please?). Even if there isn’t a sequel, the ending is open enough that readers can use their imaginations to decide what happens. If you’re a fan of Joy Preble’s work, or just a fan of sassy YA characters in general, this book is definitely one for you!
And now, something fun. I’m giving you the chance to WIN a copy of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE. Just click on the rafflecopter link below. Note: Please leave your e-mail address in your blog post comment so that I can contact you if you win. Good luck!