Author: Jennifer Longo
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Random House Books For Young Readers (August 26, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!
Home is where the bodies are buried.
Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.
Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:
Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.
At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).
Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?
This book is so very hard for me to review.
It was a hard book to read even, for many reasons mostly because, this isn't a happy go lucky kind of read. It is about a girl that is literally surrounded by death, every single day. But that isn't what makes the story special, or even the girl for that matter. Instead, this is a story about a girl trying to deal with death, not just live with it.
There is depth to the pages, to the inner monologue and to the conversations around Leigh and sometimes, even more importantly, to what isn't being said or shown but rather what is being felt instead.
I don't think this book will appeal to everyone, but I do think those that get it, that get the messages, are going to love it and cherish it and be thankful that they read it.
The humor is dark and snarky. No witty banter in this one but rather the musing of a girl so very lost and trying to find her way that it is instead sad at times and heart wrenching.
This is Longo's debut novel and I must say, she will be one to watch in the future. One that will bring us something outside of the norm for the genre. Those reads that make us really stop and think and most of all, feel.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*
I can understand why it's a difficult read. It's the first time I hear about this one and I confess I'm curious. Great review!ReplyDelete
Glad you are curious about it!Delete
I love the sound of this one. It sounds like a tough book to read, but I'm going to go in with an open mind. Dark humor is hard to resist!ReplyDelete
Great review! :)
It really is Nick. :)Delete
This sounds a bit heavy for me at the moment Ali, I'm in a light and happy read kind of mood, but I'm making a note to maybe pick it up in a few months when it's cold and dark out and I want something gritty and emotional. Love the books that really make me feel:)ReplyDelete
You do have to be in the right mood for these type of reads for sure Jenny.Delete
From your review I gather that Jennifer Longo is a very talented author, but I think this book's subject matter is a little too dark for my tastes. I'm more of a HEA kind of girl.ReplyDelete
I do like those as well Carmel. ;)Delete
This has me curious, and I like that is is one you fell. I have to be in the mood, but this does sound like a worthy read Ali.ReplyDelete
Oh wow, this seems to be a very powerful read. I'm not sure I want to put myself through it, but I'm pretty sure I need to. I love books that stand out in some way, and especially books that affect me so deeply.ReplyDelete
This one definitely stands out. ;)Delete
Oh my what a delightful sounding novelReplyDelete
Thanks Kindlemom for pointing me in it's direction
Have a super weekend!!
Thanks and you too Debbie!Delete
I'm suppose to review this one too. I haven't received it yet, so we'll see but I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
I hope you like it Candace. :)Delete
I took a Death and Dying in Literature class back in college, and it was one of my favorite classes from college (hmmm, what does that say about me?? lol). I think this book would be something I'd enjoy-just wrote the title down :)ReplyDelete
I actually think it would be fascinating to do that Jayne so what does that say about me? :PDelete
Different is good, the "usual" can get monotonous sometimes. Cool find!ReplyDelete
That is so very true. ;)Delete
I think this may be a book too depressing for me. I don't like when there is too much death and its subject in a story unfortunately. I remember checking this on Goodreads I think. Thanks for the honesty, but I must pass. :PReplyDelete
Understandable, this one won't be for everyone. ;)Delete
I was so curious about this one. I was hoping for a lighter tone. I am still going to read it down the road, but I am just not up for depressing right now.ReplyDelete
It really isn't too depressing just not a light and fluffy read either.Delete
I haven't heard of this one and I'm glad that there is depth in it, but honestly it sounds too dark even for me. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Great review :)ReplyDelete
I like the fact that this author's debut already had you impresses with their unique voice and tone. Different is good sometimes! :)ReplyDelete
That is so true Kim! :)Delete
YAY! I'm so happy this made you feel Kindlemom. This is one of the few debut reads I'm very excited about because of the unique concept and the author is such a sweetheart. And it's great to hear that it offers something new to the YA Contemp genre. Fab review!ReplyDelete
Thanks Dea and I hope you love it!Delete
Sounds like she did an amazing job right off the bat. That definitely sounds like one you'd need to be in the right mood/frame of mind for. Glad you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
You definitely do. ;)Delete
I have been gone for a week and feel like it's been a year in the blogging world. It sounds like kind of a hard read, but really a great read. You're review was amazing!ReplyDelete
I have missed seeing you around Becca!Delete
The cover is really interesting for me! I love it when debut authors don't dissapoint and this one sounds an amazing book, with an intruiging yet likable character :) I will definitely check this book out!ReplyDelete
I hope you do and you end up really liking it. :)Delete
I have this one and need to read it. I liked the summary and thought it would be something a little different. Glad you liked it!ReplyDelete
Tressa @ Wishful Endings
I hope you end up liking it too Tressa. :)Delete
This one sounds really unique. Not something you come across every day. I am really intrigued, not sure if I should be adding to the endless TBR though.ReplyDelete
I hear ya, that pile does tend to get out of hand does't it?Delete
This is very interesting. It sounds very dark, but I don't know. I like dark stories here and there, but this just sounds so depressing. Great review though!ReplyDelete
It was a little sad and dark but not too horrible at all with the depressing stuff.Delete
I ‘M WAITING SINCE February OF THIS YEAR FOR IT TO BE PUBLISHED. SO MUCH EXCITE.ReplyDelete
I like dark stories and I’m okay with that. .my good reads account os proof of my ‘unusual taste
I want to fall in love with a gay Goth guy! Haha. Ok , that guy that fits with me is the right one. WHERE are you bro?? ;/
Glad you are exciting to try it. :)Delete
This is the first I've heard about this book and this author. It sounds intriguing and definitely like something worth checking out. I enjoyed your review.ReplyDelete
Thanks Ellen! :)Delete