Dead on Town Line

Description

Rating: 2.75* of five

The Publisher Says: Of all the revelations her afterlife brings, perhaps the most startling thing Cassie Devlin discovers is that being dead isn't being done. Murdered by a classmate, Cassie finds herself stuck on the edges of the world she once knew and a realm whose tug she feels but can't quite find her way to. And . . . she is not alone. There's another like her, who arrived earlier and who, like Cassie, has some unfinished business. Beautifully crafted in electrifying free verse, Dead on Town Line offers teens an emotionally provocative, can't-put-it-down reading experience that will linger long after the last page is turned.

My Review:I read this because Stephen-from-Ohio read it, it's poetry, and he liked it. That concatenation of events has not occurred before, so I felt it incumbent upon me to investigate. It's a story, a cohesive story, told in free verse.

That should have been enough for Uncle Cynical here to stop the reading process. But no. I want to remain open to things I don't instantly “take to” because otherwise stuff gets past me that shouldn't...Pride and Prejudice, f/ex, which I re-read because of Stephen-in-Vegas. And loved. Damn his eyes.

This book, well, not so much. I don't adore poetry. I really, really, really don't adore adolescent girls. I find YA books wibble-wobble and clank and judder at me, all unintentional steampunk. But the story, a cross between Single White Female and The Lovely Bones, kept me turning pages. Not that this was some major feat, the book is less than 140pp long including full-page illos.

And what awful illos they are. Drawn in grease pencil on old newspaper, by the look of it. Ugly, smeary blotches that did nothing whatever to enhance my experience of the text.

So clearly I'm not going to be recommending the book, right? Wrong! Give it to every 13-16 year old girl you know. Her kohl will be dripping down her cheeks inside a half-hour! Wads and wads of Kleenex all snotted up! She'll have the time of her life, in other words.

UNLESS she's African-American, in which case ix-nay on is-thay. There is an African-American caricature in here that came so close to making me set the book alight...well, it's from the liberry and I can't. It did, however, knock an entire star off my rating.

So, that caveat in mind...

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