Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (Mar 1 2010)
Beautiful Dead is the story of Darina, a teenage girl dealing with the trauma of the death of her boyfriend, Phoenix (click here to read more of the synopsis.) On a drive in a neighbouring town, she stops and hears a banging noise. As she follows the noise to a seemingly abandoned farm, she discovers far more than she'd bargained for. She finds Phoenix.
In an unusual story about zombies that veers slightly from the grunting, flesh-eating stereotype (though the foundation of these common thoughts is addressed), Phoenix has returned, along with several other of Darina's recently deceased friends, to uncover the cause of their deaths.
For me, it felt a little redious at first and I wasn't sure I would make it through. As the story progressed though, this did change. I think my issue with the beginning was the numb, disjointed feelings that Darina was giving off, but anyone that has lost someone close will probably understand this. There is definitely an unrealistic sense when you can't pick up the phone or see that person; like you're living in a constant cloud. So, I'm gonna go with this as the reason for my impression of the first few chapters.
What Eden Maguire also hits head-on is her portrayal of a petulant teenager. The conflicts between Darina and her mother or, worse, of those with her step-father, are dead on for that age, when kids think their problems are the worst ever. As we grow up, we get to see a different side of things, but as memory serves, the teenage years are lived very much inside your own little world.
While I can't say I absolutely loved this book, I did warm up to it by then end. I am looking forward to seeing where these characters are headed in future books.