Publication Date/Version: March 2010/Paperback
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher (Thanks!)
Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss. Darina, Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head...And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a 'death mark' -- a small tattoo of angel's wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth. Darina's mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?
Elterton High is odd, and strange things are happening. Four students have died within the last year, Phoenix being the most recent. Phoenix was Darina's boyfriend, and now she's going crazy. She's having headaches and is always hearing wings beating. Then she stumbles upon an old barn where she sees Phoenix and the other dead students gathered together - their spirits that is. They call themselves the Beautiful Dead. What is going on and how can Darina help them?
I'll keep this review short and sweet, as I didn't finish this book. That seems to be happening to me a lot lately... I'll try not to review it, but rather point out why I didn't finish it.
As soon as you start Beautiful Dead, you're instantly thrown into a fast-moving plot. I don't mind this, but I felt, however, that too many details were left out. I didn't get a feel for any of the characters or any of the events, really. It was just, so and so died, I went to a barn, and I saw their spirits calling themselves the Beautiful Dead. I like a bit more of an introduction.
Second, the writing style turned me off. It was choppy and, at times, confusing. Like I said before, I couldn't get a good grasp on the setting or the characters. I felt like a third party observer - left out.
This book wasn't for me, but people who like paranormals could give this a try. If you don't mind not knowing too much background or details, you may like this more than I did.