Lucy Day is 15 years old and she’s dead. Kind of. After spending all freshman year flirting with Zack he has finally asked her on a date, and what happens? She disappears from the group, dies in a back alley, and he spends all night looking for her. So not cool. When she wakes up the next day with a killer headache and her perfect outfit ruined she notices some changes. She doesn’t eat, she doesn’t sleep, and she doesn’t even go to the bathroom. The biggest different, though, is the blistering cold she feels and the alternate world she enters when she tries to sleep. Is she alive? Dead? A ghost? A zombie? With a little help from her friends, a strange mute, and a Grim Reaper she begins a dangerous adventure to discover who, or what, she is.
I will admit at first glance I didn’t think I would like this book. Zombie romance? No thanks. But this was so much more than a supernatural romance. 5/5 stars. Would read again. An incredibly unique take on undeath.
Some of the characters fell a little flat, namely the parents who played a mostly background role to the plot, but the main characters were well written. There was just enough suspense and misfortune to keep the story rolling without feeling hokey, and the romance wasn’t overdone – it fit in perfectly with 15-year old Lucy’s crazy life. I loved the variety of characters that were brought into play – it wasn’t just a single teen clique, it was a mash-up of personalities and people that kept things interesting. Even the places were described in just the right amount – not too detailed, but not too vague. Just enough to place the plot and get a picture base in your head. And that cliffhanger! Oh, that cliffhanger! Book #2 cannot come quickly enough!
Deadgirl was a fab read, slightly strange and unusual but in a good way.
The synopsis is spot on with its description of the book so straight onto my thoughts….
I thought Deadgirl was a very unique story and it kept my interest all of the way through. Lucy was a very relatable 15yr old going through all of the things a girl that age should be – including her first date which ends in disaster. She had a great voice and outlook that was easy to read and connect with which helped in getting behind her and her problems. Her problem – being that she is sort of dead – was very strange and took a little getting used to but that is what brought the uniqueness to the story, especially with the way she had to do something to stay whole. The danger begins when she starts to be hunted by a mysterious man/entity who seems to want to kill or capture her, that brought a whole new excitement to the story as a good few run and chase scenarios happen and you’re left wondering just what is going on. She also meets a new friend who helps her a lot with her new existence and the strange plane that she seems to be able to travel to on a whim.
Whilst she is trying to navigate her ‘undead’ life in another place, she also has to manage her home & school life which becomes difficult to say the least because for one; her parents have become super protective since she went missing for the night and two; she has friends and a social life to deal with and lastly; a burgeoning romance with Zack. I liked the bit of love connection that Luce got with Zack, it added a sweetness to the story that we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else and it gave her something to cling to, a hope for that love and something to fight for as she struggles with what she has become.
Obviously things aren’t always hunky dory and the constant fear of not only her personal hunter finding her and taking her to who knows where but also living with the consequences of what she must do and the morality of that. Is being alive worth risking the lives of everyone you love? Luce will certainly decide when all events lead to an inevitable battle in the all action conclusion. So, as I said – great read, unique story, exciting, different, mind-bending, strange and unusual…..but all in the best possible way and very enjoyable.
Review: OK, so I have an addiction to Dead Girl Books - I've shouted it from rooftops stated it often and very clearly. I'm a sucker for young girls ending up in whatever version of the Afterlife an author can come up with. I've even seen some of them brought back to life. So a book called Deadgirl was a winner with me from the title on. But when I found out it was a completely different take on the subject, I immediately screamed yay for diversity. Because having a dead character who wakes up the next day, apparently alive but not vampirized/zombified/whatevered like it's custom nowadays, made me throw my fists in the air in excitement extremely happy - though my usual composure may have suffered a little because of that. Then, it turned out the book was even better than I had given it credit for after reading the blurb, an extract and other reviews - though, unsurprisingly, less renowned than most not-so-glorious pieces of writing. Can I rectify this wrong? Well - I'm going to try :).
First off, as I'm writing my review, Deadgirl is - unfortunately - out of print, due to Cool Well Press recently collapsing under the weight of the economic conjuncture. BUT! for those of you who will eventually take interest in reading this novel, here's the good news...well, actually, two pieces of good news: 1) Deadgirl will be resurrected reprinted soon! and 2)Deadgirl will even get a sequel! This is what the author himself stated in response to a message I sent him. So, don't fear committing to this book - it will be in print again soon...and now I'm going to tell you why you should give it a (fat) chance.
Lucy is your typical teen - except she isn't. Johnson - a rather young male author on his first novel - was able to write a convincing 15 years old female, though involved in exceptional circumstances. Her insecurities, her feelings for Zach, the way she relates to her friends and parents, the make-up-and-attire issues...she's totally fleshed out. But of course, Lucy is not typical when it comes to her situation and the way she deals with it. She fights for her life - or what's left of it - and that of her friends, making the best of what feels like a desperate situation. And she's a fighter from the very first chapter, when she tries to stay alive despite all odds, in front of a group of would-be rapists and murderers. The next chapters take us back a couple of days before Lucy's death, giving us a chance to grasp the reason why she was able to come back - or never really died in the first place. When we think we're about to read about her big date with Zack, there's an original, gutsy transition that we are to fully understand only later. And no, I'm not going to spoil that with a preemptive explanation ;).
So now Lucy is, let's say, half-alive. Or alive in a peculiar way. Or dead in a peculiar way. She finds herself visiting a world where some of the everyday-life rules don't apply, or are reversed. This world (which doesn't have a reassuringly all-wrapping name like Heaven or Hell or Purgatory or whatever) is unique, wonderfully - though scarily - depicted, visually mind-blowing. She also meets an unlikely new friend there - Puck - who will be crucial in helping her understand her new situation and deal with its unwritten laws, not to mention try to save the day at the end. [...]
It won't be long before Lucy becomes aware of the terrible price her loved ones - and even absolute strangers - may have to pay for her to remain alive...or not slip away. At the same time, she's still worried about Zach and a new date with him, which seems unrealistic at times, what with her "small problem"...On the other hand, Lucy is a young, stubborn, brave girl, hell-bent on staying alive and making the most of it, like any other teen...and - exactly because of her condition - even more so. I don't really get her parents at times, though. Her father seems to focus more on the cheat she set up the night of her date than on her misadventure, and even sounds angry at her like she were responsible for it all instead than being the victim. Her mother is scared out of her wit, but the next moment her life seems to depend on getting the new Cosmo. (Is it also unrealistic that they don't realise Lucy's not a potential anorexic...because she hasn't just been eating little - in fact, she hasn't had a single bit of food for days!). Maybe they're just trying to cope with what happened (or what they think happened) the best they can, but still. Lucy's father will be cast in a more favourable light later on, though - and so her mother.
Lucy's friends are a varied bunch, and manage not to get stereotypical. Morgan in particular- the blonde, gorgeous, popular one - is a refreshing change from the worn-out mean-queen-bee character who seems mandatory in most YA books. Maybe a group of so different girls wouldn't really be close friends IRL, but I loved to see them stick for one another. Also, Lucy is not the only hero in this book. Zack and Morgan are both involved in the situation first-hand, and turn out to be far less helpless than they were accounted for.
There's a small mystery woven into this book, that is only explained in the very end - an unknown text-messages sender. While not highly significant to the progress of the story (Lucy didn't really need this person's pearls of wisdom...), this has the ultimate purpose of letting us know that Lucy's not alone in her predicament. Also, it leaves a door opened for a possible sequel, though the story in itself is concluded - and mind you, hardly with a classic "happily ever after". There's nothing classic in this novel...or maybe it's a classic in itself...you know what I mean.
Only when reading Deadgirl for the second time was I able to spot some inconsistencies - which is indeed a testament to the emotions this novel is able to stir. Home come Lucy manages to uncover a big secret about surviving in a few days, while Puck (it seems) wasn't able to do the same in years? Why are they the only Phantoms meeting in the Grey Meadows? Who are the creatures who hunt them there? Also, if Lucy is going to make it (I'mnot spoiling that, haha), she will never be able to grow old or die-die. How is she supposed to go on with her life? Like I said, though, you gotta love this story nonetheless. Just thought I'd address the topic out of honesty and nitpickiness :).
This is, surprisingly, a clean book. But not artfully so - like when an author comes up with a slang of her/his own in order to leave the dirty words out. On the other hand, some rather tough topics Deadgirl touches are probably better handled by teens aged 14 and more. Or, well - by mature, not emotive 12 yo, at least :).
I was able to spot some small mistakes in this book, stuff that must have slipped through revision. Then again, I loved Johnson's prose. It's peculiar, and not toned-down to kids. I guess said small mistakes will be corrected in the new print, and the book will be even more enjoyable - though I did love it just the same. And I haven't even been a teen for a long time...
**I received a copy of this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review**
It took me about halfway through the book to understand really what was going on…and it was frustrating. But it was also worth it. It was definitely worth the patience, and though I didn’t know what was going on, I couldn’t put the book down. I was submerged in the depths of Johnson’s prose. It was an awesome experience.
Essentially, the story starts with Lucy Day, a 15 year old, running for her life from five truly evil-looking guys. When Lucy is shot in the stomach, they take off and leave her there. Lucy is transported to a gray ocean landscape, and wonders if she’s in Hell. However, she wakes up on the asphalt and sees that, though there is still blood from a wound, she is alive. Or undead. She’s not really sure. She goes about explaining her incident to the police and her parents, conveniently leaving off the “getting shot” part, and tries to resume her life. She picks up with Zack, the boy from her date, and her crush for as long as she can remember, but weird things start to happen: whenever she goes to sleep, she wakes up on the gray beach, a strange phantom ball of light is following her at night/a strange man is following her during the day, and she keeps getting helpful texts from a stranger. Oh, and she slowly starts to get so cold that she steals warmth from those around her, leaving them in a stupor. What exactly is going on? Who is hunting Lucy? And more importantly, is Lucy dead? A ghost? What IS she?
I cried at the end. Literally cried, and a book hasn’t made me cry in awhile. There’s a scene that breaks your heart…but I don’t do spoilers, so I’ll leave it out. You’ll just have to read it yourself.
Is it Classroom-Appropriate?
This is a tough one, so I’m going to say it’s not “classroom relevant.” There’s only one swear word, a “F*** it” said by Zack, and the other words are just “effing,” which is not a swear word. No sex. A kiss or two. But there’s nothing to use it for in the classroom. Way more of an at-home novel, and it’s a good one.
I would say 13 and up…the one swear word isn’t that shocking for a teenager. I mean, it’s just one. The rest of the book is very relatable to teens. I’d let my niece read it. Well. Maybe next year, when she actually turns 13. Then I’ll let her.
I only read Deadgirl because I received a copy of the sequel from NetGalley, Deadgirl: Ghostlight, without realizing it was a sequel. I messaged the author via Goodreads and he was kind enough to give me a copy of the first book so that I could understand the book I’m reviewing for NetGalley. I’m giving it ★★★★★. I am going right to the sequel to see what happens next…and I’m recommending it to my friends. If you want a truly original story, with a protagonist that actually talks and thinks like a normal human being (and is quite funny, at that), then I would say grab a copy. No stilted dialogue. No boring over-descriptions. No fast-paced confusing action scenes. Just a book that you can’t put down because you want to know: what happened to Lucy Day?
I have been sent some amazing books to review this year. And you can put Deadgirl right up there with the best of them!! This book was just... WOW!!! This is one fantastic, didn't want to put down read!!
Deadgirl starts at a really nice pace as you get to know the characters. And then BAM!!! The action begins!! There is so much that I want to talk about, but whatever I say will spoil it for you all and this is definitely a book that you MUST read!!
Lucy Day is a normal 15yo girl, going to school, hoping to get Zack to ask her on a date and spending time with friends. She finally gets that date with Zack, but before the end of the night she is murdered. But then the next day she wakes up... Now she must piece together what is happening to her while trying to outrun Abraham who is trying to end her existence. I loved all the characters. Lucy is one kick ass protagonist!! If I was in a bind, I would definitely want her on my side!! Morgan, is such a caring best friend and really comes through for Lucy! Puck, is someone that Lucy meets on her journey and at one point in the book we get to learn the back story of Puck, which I loved. And then we have Zack... I loved him! At one stage we get a glimpse into his feelings for Lucy... Perfectly written!!
There is a scene towards the end of the book that takes place in Starbucks, and despite me being so upset with what was happening, I think that if it had have been written any other way I would have been disappointed because the way it turns out fits in just as it should with the story.
I don't think that I have read a book written by a male author told from a females point of view that was so spot on before. The romance was perfect, the interaction with her friends was perfect. The action was perfect. The whole book was perfect!! I can't express how much I loved Deadgirl. One of my favourite reads of the year to date!!
Check out the brand spanking new, world premiere of the "Deadgirl" book trailer!
Deadgirl is the debut young adult novel by B.C. Johnson, about a girl named Lucy Day who's just too stubborn to die.
Deadgirl: Ghostlight continues the twisted adventures of Lucy Day.