Author: Randy Russell
Published: 29 March 2012 by Quercus
Length: 232 pages
Warnings: 12 +
Summary : When Jana Webster dies in a tragic accident, she finds herself transferred to 'Dead School' in the afterlife, where students fall into distinct cliques. Risers (good kids who died innocently), Sliders (bad kids, who have one foot tied to earth) and Virgins (there are fewer than Jana would expect). Jana's boyfriend and love of her life - Michael - is still in the land of the living. Michael is Romeo to Jana's Juliet and as the story goes... even death can't keep them apart. Tired of waiting for him to kill himself over his grief of losing her, Jana decides she needs to do it for him. To kill Michael she'll need the help of a dangerous and sexy Slider - Mars Dreamcoate. But Mars has a goal of his own: he wants to save a life to atone for having taken one in a drunk-driving accident. And to complicate matters, he was trying to save Jana when she died and saw what was really going on when her 'accident' happened. Jana decides to do whatever it takes to get Michael back, and nothing - not even Mars' warm touch or the devastating secret he holds about her death - will stop her
Review: Jana and Michael are so far in love that saying Webster and Haynes is as natual as Romeo and Juliet. So when Jana dies and ends up at Dead School, where teens that died end up before moving on, she misses her boyfriend. Badly. So badly that she’s willing to kill for it.
I really liked the idea of a Dead school. Ok, it’s overdone (at least in what I tend to read), but I still like reading different author’s takes on the subject. The original Riser and Slider idea (where good kids get closer to Heaven and bad ones closer to Earth) is a great idea too. So far, so good.
And then I started reading it. And it was so hard to get through. This was almost a DNF. If it had been a kindle or library copy, I’d have definitely put it down. But I didn’t, and I struggled through...and so....yeah.
My first problem with this was the writing. It was extremely simple, and at points, patronising. Attempts to build suspense really didn’t work out, and it got annoying.
Second problem, and probably my biggest, was Jana. She is so annoying. She compares herself repeatedly to her mother and fusses over little things for no reason. And then she decides that she’ll kill her boyfriend, because she can’t stand the idea of being away from him. Yes, what a delightful way of expressing love for somebody. I know I’d prefer roses.
Third problem, Mars, the half-love interest. He’s annoying too, but not to the point of Jana. I also feel a little bad for him over the fact the he and his efforts to do things for Jana are not appreciated.
Fourth problem, not much really happens until you get to the end. Well, things do happen. but they’re really boring and it doesn’t build up and some things seem pointless.
The only thing that I enjoyed was the character deaths. Even still, they weren’t amazingly written, and they were unrealistic without any irony. Irony, for me, is the only way that excuses random methods of leaving life-see the Final Destination films.
I get there’s a lot of romance to it, and a nice paranormal idea. But it just didn’t work for me.
Overall: Strength 1 tea to a book with a nice concept, but is generally boring throughout.
Links: | Goodreads | Author website |