“Very clever and interesting.”
~ Under the Covers

A few weird things happened when I decided to pick up this book.  First, it’s a middle grade book.  I don’t generally read those because I find the writing and storyline a bit simple and I tend to lose interest.  And second, I never read out of order and I decided to do that with this one.  I can only blame both of those things on the fact I wanted a wintery story and this had all the elements I wanted, plus a storyline that sounded too original to pass up.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this because I did enjoy the story.  The writing fit perfectly in the genre and in the end, yes I felt like it was a little like the story was too simple for my liking.  But I also found some things about the story to be edgier.  The way the author narrates this story is atmospheric.  There is something about this magical world that draws you in and leaves you wanting to explore it.  I was both happy for this but also disappointed because I felt we didn’t get to delve as deep as I wanted.

The heroine, Laylee, can see dead people.  And she is also the person that prepares dead bodies for the afterlife.  The topic of death and afterlife, souls and grief, is the main element of the story and I was surprised to see some of these darker topics intertwined in this story which is targeted for younger readers.  However, I think Ms. Mafi did an excellent job at taking those things and making them age appropriate for the most part.  Very clever and interesting.

This was my first time reading this author and while I definitely think I should stick to reading her young adult, this was a fun quick read and a sample of the authors’ imagination which leaves me excited to read more from her.



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Click on the covers to buy the books

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[about-author author=”Tahereh Mafi”]


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