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January 28, 2013

Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

The Dead and Buried
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?

First, I want to talk about how I did not expect this book to be as creepy as it actually was. There was a particular part of the book where I wanted to hide under my covers until it was light out again. I don't suggest reading this one in the middle of the night unless you really enjoy getting spooked.

The story jump starts when Jade finally finds out that she's living in a murder house and confronts her parents about it. From there she starts noticing all the weird things going on around the house and paying attention to her little brother and the fact that he's saying that he sees a girl in his room. I guessed the culprit within the first half of the book but I still needed to know why they did it. The story was addicting enough to keep me reading even though I knew who the killer was.

The writing was captivating and I really enjoyed how the book was set up. At the beginning of some of the chapters there were excerpts from the diary of our resident dead girl, Kayla Sloane. This adds another level to the story. When Kayla writes in her diary she uses numbers instead of names to represent the people she's talking about, so you don't know who she's referring to at first. It makes the mystery that much more alluring because all you can do is guess.

The main character, Jade, has just moved into a new town and started a new school and is nervous to be the new girl. That taken into account she's still a very unique and peculiar character. Jade collects stones because her mother used to collect them and there seems to be one for everything; memory and clear thinking, banishing evil, controlling the weather, keeping you sober, protecting against psychic attack or even drowning. Throughout the novel you see the role they play in the story line and in Jade's life. The stones aren't just pretty, they're useful. Even thought she's at a new school, Jade doesn't mind speaking her mind and she doesn't let what other people think or say about her faze her at all. If someone has something to say she takes it in but still does her own thing and what she believes is best for her family. 

Family always comes first and to Jade this means protecting her half brother, Colby. He is just the most adorable five year old. You can really tell that Jade and him have this connection. For Colby's young age, he worries so much about his sister. Their relationship seems mainly based on honesty. As for her parents, I feel like most of the parents I've read about in YA lately have been incompetent. This was no exception. The father was absent for most of the novel and the stepmother. UGH. She paid no attention to all the warnings Jade was trying to give her.

"What's that smell? Oh yeah, testosterone"

There were two dreamy guys, Donovan and Kane, but that does not exclude them from being suspects. They each have their motivations for killing Kayla Slone so you need to choose wisely who you want to trust, or even if you want to trust any of them at all. Her new friend, Alexa is a bit weirder than weird. She focuses on school a bit too much and lacks any sense of emotion towards others, which might make her the perfect sociopathic suspect.

If you're looking for a good mystery/horror, pick up The Dead and Buried. It kept me up way past my bedtime and even though it had me hiding from every shadow, the writing is sprinkled with moments of humor that briefly lighten the mood. If you want to be spooked, go ahead, read it in the middle of the night, but if you're a scaredy cat, then I suggest you read it in the middle of the day, with the lights on. This is a mystery you won't want to miss.

Rating: 4/5


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I really enjoyed it too, but I wanted more creepy. I won't deny there were some pretty creepy parts though. I loved finding out why the person did it. I knew who early on, but not the motive behind it. Great review!!

  2. Hmm interesting... my feelings towards this book are very conflicted now. You found it very creepy and Amy didn't find it creepy enough. Haha. I'm glad there was some humor mixed in. It seems like a pretty well-balanced story.