Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book Review: She Smells the Dead

It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television.


The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and annoying Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears.

Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
This girl is totally Yuki! From the hair, to the haunted look in her eyes, I was hooked by this cover.

First Thoughts:
Wow, she really does smell the dead! Go figure!


My Review:
To say that this book is rather unlike anything I've ever read before seems a bit of an understatement. I mean where else in YA fiction have you ever found a main character that smells dead people? See them, yup. Sense them, definitely. Smell them? Yuki is absolutely one of a kind in that respect. It was this little fact that first drew me to the book, and then had me hooked by the middle of the first chapter.

Yuki, also known as Vanessa Stennings, isn't your typical teenage, gothic girl. Her angst filled teenage years are further complicated by her ability to smell dead people. Now before you run away at the thought of rotting corpses, let me assure you that Yuki's ability is much more interesting than that.  Her curse is to smell people in a symbolic sense. The scents give her a clue and then she uses these clues to figure out who deceased is, as well as what unfinished business they have left on this Earth. Pretty amazing right?

What I loved about this story was the originality, both in concept and in characters. Yuki, Emma and Calvin each had their own unique personalities (Bee oppression anyone?) and yet they mesh together perfectly! It was a whole lot of fun following them on their crazy excursions. I was also quite appreciative of the narrative style that E.J. Stevens writes in. We see the world from Yuki's point of view, even becoming a part of her inside jokes. Although I'll admit that Yuki's copious usage of "son of a dung beetle" had me a bit on edge at times, she was likable to the core! I truly fell in love with these characters.

My one gripe about this story, and it's a small one at that, is just that it is over so quickly! By the time that I was invested and excited about the outcome, it was done. The one thing that keeps me holding on is that I know there will be a second book out soon! I was hoping that She Smells the Dead would have made it to the climax I was expecting, however if the second book deals with that epic night then I am all for waiting. Truth be told I'll be a little impatient, but I'll wait!

Final thoughts? Original, fantastic and fun!

Book Details
Title: She Smells The Dead
Author: E.J. Stevens
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Pages: Paperback; 163
Source: Received from author.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Final Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
[+/-] Click to see rating.


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