Monday, January 20, 2014

About the Book

"If Shane Davis had it to do over again, he wouldn't have gone out that night. He wouldn't have burned down the church. And he sure wouldn't have taken the annoying dead girl home with him.

Now that Shane has her, he has no idea what to do with her. He can't release her into the 'wild' because people will recognize her (being a hundred and fifty year old town 'legend' will do that). He can't send her away because she can't take care of herself yet. And she can't stay because if people find her, they'll know he burned the church. Being eighteen now, Shane definitely doesn't want that fact coming out.

Unbeknownst to Shane, someone has figured out the girl's secret and will do anything to get it for himself...even kill the girl who isn't so immortal after all."

Amber's Review

This book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 - that cover and blurb won me over, and I figured it would be a fun story. It is! The premise is very intriguing and clever. There's some Civil War history lightly woven in, and while I sometimes got frustrated with the flashback scenes because I wanted to get back to the contemporary plot line, they added to the sense of mystery and made the contemporary scenes all the more compelling.

Even though a lot of the book takes place in one setting due to Lizzie's inability to move around for a while, I found myself completely engrossed in the story. I liked that the absurdity of the situations made it interesting to observe how Lizzie and Shane would deal with each other and all the problems they had to face. Here's a "mostly" dead girl from Civil War days lying on a modern young band-member's bed, trying to figure out her past and face the 21st century while preparing herself to walk again... Yeah, you know you're curious. ;) The romance (yes, it's there!) was sweet and intriguing, despite the awkwardness of it all. And I really can't resist a hero who calls the heroine "darlin'" or "sweetheart."

I confess that there were elements that didn't completely charm me. Sexual innuendos run rampant throughout the story... So while the content isn't explicit at all, the behaviors alluded to are obvious just the same. Lizzie's initial perception of her surroundings and situation, as well as of modern clothing, would make a reference or two from her understandable - it's more Shane and his sister going off about how things might appear that felt a little too much for me. There are also references to smoking, arson, and the like, just as a heads up. 

Beyond that, though, there were some grammatical errors that made the manuscript feel not-completely-polished, and some of Lizzie's thoughts and flashbacks didn't always feel entirely authentic to her time period. And where the story ends up... Well, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Some parts were thought-provoking and made me genuinely curious as to what choices the characters might make and why. And then some parts seemed too convenient or contrived. In a way the story's wrapped up neatly, and in another, there are some twists that leave a lot of questions unanswered. Also, the cause of Lizzie's "immortality" feels incongruous with her past and the message of the story.

But given all of that, this was still a story I didn't want to put down - utterly engaging, which is definitely a treat! The target audience has to be a unique one, appealing to those who love different YA stories that are edgy but relatively "clean" with a faith message mixed in. While there were some issues that bugged me, I ultimately enjoyed The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe and its quirky hero and heroine.

*I purchased a copy of this book and was not required to write a review. This is my honest opinion.*

About the Author

"Kelly Martin is a bestselling author of four young adult/Christian novels: Crossing the Deep, Saint Sloan, The Deception of Devin Miller, and Big is Beautiful. Saving Sloan, the Saint Sloan sequel, will come out in early 2014. The first of the Hindsight series, Out of the Blue, comes out in February 2014."


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