Author: Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover; 304 pages
Genre: YA, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller
Avg. Rating: ★★★✩✩
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A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.
Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
There's nothing that I love more than a good mystery. Have it in any scenario and I will covet it - I'm just THAT crazy about a mystery. However, a good mystery has to have one quality to make me like it. I'm not picky, but I do ask that the mystery is just that - a mystery. I want to be able to read through the story pulling my hair out because I have no clue how to solve the mystery. I don't think that's too much to ask for.
Unfortunately, it seemed as though that was too much to ask for with The Dead and Buried. It didn't take me much time at all (less than a third of the way through the book) to figure out what was going on in the story. I was slightly disappointed by how quickly the mystery was unraveled for me and almost wanted to go ahead and put the book down. But I didn't do that. I've read books by Kim Harrington before and I enjoyed them, so I wanted to give this book a chance. I also secretly hoped that if I continued reading, I would find out that I had everything wrong and didn't figure anything out.
By the end of the story, I knew that I was right all along but I was very glad that I finished the book. Aside from the "mystery" (I use that term loosely), this story had some very redeeming qualities. I liked the cast of characters and didn't mind any mention of social circles. I was surprised to find out that I actually liked Alexa more than Jade, the main character. Alexa's role in the novel was actually small, but her personality really made her stand out in her parts of the story. The romance in this was a little aggravating to me. On one hand, you have the beautifully broken boy that is connected to the murder somehow that Jade feels a real connection to - which was nice. On the other though, you have the other boy that is basically drooling over Jade that she pretty much uses for her own reasons - that was not so sweet, and I honestly could have done without that little part.
Obviously, a ghost story isn't something very new to Young Adult but the plot of this one was engaging enough to keep me going. I think that, aside from the small detail of the mystery not being so mysterious, this story is a good read.