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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown

Title: Picture the Dead
Author(s): Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
ISBN: 97814022371326
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page #: 258
Book borrowed from my library.

"After losing her parents and her brother, falling in love with Will was Jennie Lovell's last opportunity for happiness. But then she lost him too...

As Jennie tries to mend the pieces of her broken life, she feels an eerie presence from something otherworldly... something that won't let her leave the past beind.

Acclaimed author Adele Griffin and bestselling illustrator Lisa Brown have created a spellbinding mystery where the living cannot always be trusted, and death is not always the end."
First Lines:

"It's dark outside, an elsewhere hour between midnight and dawn. I lie awake, frozen, waiting for a sound not yet audible. My eyes are open before I hear the wheels of the carriage at the bottom of the drive."
Page 1

I picked up this book purely because of the author. I hadn't read any reviews - though I've seen some floating around. That means I really didn't have any context for what this book might be. Having said that, I really, really loved this book.

I wasn't anticipating a historical novel (honestly just thought it was a ghost story), but I was delighted to realize that it was. I don't think I have read any historical novels set in Civil War times. That alone made this story stand out for me. It was a perspective that I've never known much about (as a proud Southerner and all - we only studied the effects down there). It was a nice change of pace for me.

It was very interesting that this book started almost in the middle of a story. You don't get any of life before the war - it's all when one of the cousins returns and the things that happen afterward. That's not a problem, the story is so well written that you feel like you know all about the past. There are plenty of cues to what life was like and how relationships formed. Just as a side note... I had to get over the cousins marrying thing at first. I get it's a thing of the times. still. ahem.

One thing I really enjoyed about this story was how well the mystery developed. I honestly thought I had the ending figured out, but there was so much more to it than I expected. It kept me guessing and I really appreciated that. It's more history than mystery, but i definitely works as both.

I can't review this book without talking a little bit about the illustrations. Having the pictures between each of the chapters made this book flow really well. Each of the images gave a little bit of the story that was to come in the next bit. I loved how they were done and how well it enhanced the book.

I absolutely recommend this one - even possibly to middle grade students. i think anyone up through high school and beyond can enjoy this one. Check out the author's website. The illustrator has a Red Room Profile. I'll definitely keep reading their books. Absolutely.
Other Blog Reviews:

Linus's Blanket
Good Books & Wine
Kid's Lit
Novel Novice
Katie's Book Blog
Tempting Persephone
Lots of other reviews out there, so give them a little look-see. :) Enjoyed this one!


Kate Evangelista said...

YA Book Giveaway at: http://kateevangelistarandr.blogspot.com/

Emidy said...

Neat! This book is new to me, and I love a good ghost story now and then. Maybe I'll read it!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Thanks for linking to my review. I thought the pictures and the text worked really well together, and I started to suspect the end at the last possible second. Were you able to guess anything?

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