Thursday, July 21, 2011

Un-Required Reading: "Queen of the Dead" Review and Contest

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"Queen of the Dead"
by Stacey Kade

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 31, 2011 
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from

After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.
Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.
Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.
Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.

My Review:

This book wasn't what I expected it to be, in a good way! The cover looks like a cheesy teen romance, but this story deals with some tough issues and it's actually really scary! There were parts that I personally didn't really like, but overall, it's a well-written teen story with a lot for readers to think about.

First off, Alona is an awesome character. I love that she used to be a "mean girl"  in high school, but in the afterlife, she's grown so much. She hasn't stopped being that mean girl altogether, but she really has a lot more perspective on others and their feelings. It's great to see her mix of hard and soft character traits.

I loved the complicated romance between Alona and Will. It's not easy when your girlfriend is a ghost. I feel like underneath the romantic tension, Alona and Will are truly great friends. I was never a fan of Mina, she never came across as likable to me at all, so I could totally jump on board with Alona's jealousy!

Alona's feelings towards her family were really sad to see play out. I tried not to think too hard about it, otherwise, it was really tough to deal with. The author played these feelings in a true way that was pretty heartbreaking. 

I don't want to give any spoilers, but what happens towards the end is very odd and more than a little creepy to me. It adds an interesting dimension to the story, but I honestly didn't really enjoy what happened, too creepy for me. 

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line: More than meets the eye, this is a deeper than usual YA paranormal.


Hyperion has generously provided a deck of Un-Required Reading playing cards for a lucky reader of my blog!

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