29 Jan 2019

#ARC Review: THE LONELY DEAD by April Henry


Author: April Henry
Series: N/A
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

A killer is on the loose, and only one girl has the power to find him. But in this genre-bending YA thriller, she must first manage to avoid becoming a target herself.

For Adele, the dead aren’t really dead. She can see them and even talk to them. But she’s spent years denying her gift. When she encounters her ex best friend Tori in a shallow grave in the woods and realizes that Tori is actually dead -- that gift turns into a curse. Without an alibi, Adele becomes the prime suspect in Tori’s murder. She must work with Tori’s ghost to find the real killer. But what if the killer finds Adele first?

Master mystery-write April Henry adds a chilling paranormal twist to this incredibly suspenseful young adult novel.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I am not sure this even warrants one star. I'm so mad and disappointed. I should have probably stopped reading at page 7 (!!!) when the author started talking about how medication "dulls" and negatively impacts people or maybe a little later when she states the main character would never be liked because she was overweight. But the constant bombardment of negative stereotypes and stigma towards those who take medication made me so angry and upset.

Beyond the above mentioned issues I had with it, the storyline was a little ridiculous. This book was very simplistic, very short, and not very entertaining. Adele (upon stopping taking her medication) sees her frenemy Tori in the park while walking home from school except, you guessed it, she's dead. Adele calls the police from a 7/11 payphone and forgets that security cameras are a thing and thinks that will be the end of it. But instead because she is mentally ill and had a fight with Tori the night of her murder, she is prime suspect. The "paranormal" aspects to this were.... Adele can see ghosts in One Spot. The "mystery" aspect to this was.... Tori died and Adele is the Main Suspect but she can't go to jail!!!

Tori herself was a TERRIBLE person. Tori bullied another teen because she was black. Also.... I think this character was the only black character in the story AND had a Name That Made Sure We Knew She Was Black for token aspects. I was not a fan of this at all.

Every other character was your cookie cutter Teen Movie Character. No one made an impression on me and I just couldn't care enough about any of them, or the story line, because of how distasteful the discussion around mental health was. Authors, PLEASE hire a sensitivity reader for this if you are unsure. I even checked the acknowledgements to see if there was a mention of it, but there wasn't. Don't worry though, the author made sure to get the aspects of the murder correct but not the mental health. #priorities

I do not recommend this book. If you want a good look at how mental health and paranormal aspects can intersect, check out THE DARK BENEATH THE ICE by Amelinda Berube.

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