Title: On The Day I Died: Stories From The Grave
Author: Candace Fleming
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Pages: Hardcover; 208
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love a good ghost story, and aren't afraid of a little macabre reading.
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The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860's to the present, and ends with the narrator's death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago's rich history—the Great Depression, the World's Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.
I've always been a big fan of ghost stories. There's something about being spooked, about getting that shiver up your spine as you read, that makes me just devour them. So of course when I saw Candace Fleming's On The Day I Died, I had to read it. What I found between these pages was a perfect blend of urban legends and completely original stories. I'll warn you, once you start reading there is no turning back.
What I really liked is how the book is a compilation of stories within a larger, encompassing story. Our main character Mike finds himself in the middle of a cemetery at night. I won't tell you how he gets there, but I will tell you that he is braver than me! As the plot moves forward, Mike is treated to the tales of the dismal lives that each inhabitant of the graveyard lived, as well as the unfortunate way they met their demise. Some of these stories are better than others, but they are all wonderfully tragic.
In fact that's what I really enjoyed about On The Day I Died overall. Since it is a compilation, it's perfectly okay to skim over, or skip, the stories that might not keep your interest as well. It's also really nice that there is something for everyone who loves ghost stories. A little bit of history here, a few poor choices there, and you have a poor soul who died young and now shares their story. The characters are just vivid enough to get their story across, but it is really the stories themselves that take center stage here. It's a quick read, and a great one at that.
My favorite part was definitely at the end when the author explains where the inspiration for each untimely death came from. It's fascinating to see how real life influenced the legends. If you are looking for a quick, different, and maybe even slightly scary read, then I recommend picking this up!
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.