Before I jump into today’s awesome post…I’ve guest posted! Er, well, my bookshelf guest posted. The awesome Iris invited me to her blog. Definitely visit! Enjoy drooling over my gorgeous bookshelf! (It is the best ever.)
Bring out the birthday cake (any excuse for cake, right?). Almost Dead by Kaz Delaney hits shelves today! It’s a whodunnit in high-heels. Epic? I think YES.
Thanks Allen & Unwin for the ARC!
Macey’s life has been turned upside down. Her mother has left, her father is absent and her two best friends (her brother Seth and his girlfriend Willow) are MIA. On top of that Macey is being visited by ghosts who need her help to ‘move on’. But as wild as all that sounds, it’s all under Macey’s control until a rakish, good-looking spirit called Nick turns up … in her bedroom!
Nick’s a spirit with spirit who insists he’s not dead, he’s astral travelling and has a message for Macey: someone is out to get her. Macey’s biting wit has got her in trouble before, so she’s not surprised but when the threatening notes start turning up, she’s seriously shaken. Does someone want her dead?
It’s all rather disturbing but she’s finding it hard to focus on who could mean her harm with the annoyingly handsome surf god Finn turning up at the most inopportune times and a father with a rather large surprise of his own.
Is it a case of bad timing? Or are these things somehow connected? And if they are, what on earth should she wear when she’s solving the mystery?
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I’m a sucker for books about glitzy girls who fight injustices and ghosts in high-heels. What’s not to love about that combo?!
I got this as a surprise ARC, so I had no idea what I was in for. A little research (as I do) turned up that this is a companion novel to Dead, Actually. Since Almost Dead is about a secondary character from the first, it’s more of a companion then a sequel. I still haven’t read Dead, Actually. Did I get confused? Nope. Maybe, if I’d read the first book, I would have got more inside jokes?
Characters? They’re my favourite part! The book’s narrated by Macey Pentecost. She is a tough, glamour princess. Her dad’s a stinking rich business man and Macey has (literally) everything she could want. Except a loving family. Minor detail right? I loved Macey’s character! She’s a snob. She’s snarky to anyone who would dare pity her. She thinks the worst of you. She’s iron outside — but inside, she’s really crumbling because her mother ran off and her dad turns up with a new wife and a…another daughter. Add cool water to the burn, daddy. Plus there’s also the minor business of Macey being stalked by someone who wants her dead. Oh, and she sees ghosts.
It’s HARD to write a snob character and make the reader fall in love with her. Full marks to the author!
I also loved how Macey was a girly girl. I find, sometimes, that “girly girls” are squashed in YA books. Is it shameful to be girly? It shouldn’t be. Macey manages to kick-butt, rule the world, not crack under huge pressure, wear stilettos, and still be amazingly loyal and kind (deep…really deep down inside) under the layers of designer clothing. And she doesn’t have to change who she really is. I love that.
Finn was awesome, too. He’s the surfer dude (it’s set on the Gold Coast. Of COURSE there are surfers). He’s not cliche or tacky. In fact, he’s presented as a beach bum, but he’s really a gentleman. That was refreshing! I loved his slow relationship with Macey (it’s hard to dive into a relationship when the girl bites your head off every three syllables). They had a common problem: Nick (Finn’s cousin, and Macey’s ghost). But they were awesome. They fought. But they were awesome.
Nick? He’s the ghost. He’s pretty sweet and funny. I wasn’t keen on how he dropped out a lot about halfway into the book. It felt like Finn got stronger and Nick got weaker, whereas (originally) it was vice versa. But wait! There is no love-triangle! It’s massively refreshing, I know.
Oh, and there’s ghosts and stalkers too. You know what? There was a stalker in this book and it WASN’T a love-interest. Yesssss. I hate how paranormals add in horrible love-interests who stalk their girls until they fall into insta-love. Almost Dead is about a down-right (nameless) creepy stalker who is after Macey. Freaky messages. Death threat texts. Secret marks. Car crashes. It’s all there and it’s scary! This isn’t a thriller. It’s a paranormal/contemporary. But it had a strong freak factor.
The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the climax. It took me by surprise. I couldn’t guess the stalker, which is good. I like to be surprised. But the final act? The wow factor? I felt more, “Oh-kaaay,” then “Oh my gosh!” I wasn’t sold. But maybe I’m too cynical? It definitely doesn’t affect my view that the rest of the book was drop-dead hilarious and awesome.
Humour, stilettos, surfers and stalkers? What more could you want?
(Plus, I’ve been to the Gold Coast! I’ve been where this book is written! Mwhaha! I feel the awesome!)