Title: The Dead and Buried
Author: Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
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?
I’ve read quite a few ghost stories over the years and there have been some really good ones (The Unquiet comes to mind) and some really bad ones. This one is sort of in the middle, just mediocre.
I do enjoy a good ghost story every now and then, but this one didn’t really float my boat. There were characters I cared about and liked, such as Donovan and Colby, but overall I didn’t find most of them particularly likeable. I felt like Jade didn’t have much of a personality beyond the gemstone thing and loving Colby so much.
I also don’t think this story was as suspenseful as it could have been. Even at the party with the oujia board, I didn’t feel like I was on the edge of my seat, even though I think I was probably supposed to. To me, the creepiest thing that happened was when Kayla picked out the gemstone Jade wore on her first day of school. I just wasn’t into the other things Kayla did haunting-wise and actually felt like they were a little cliche. The room getting colder and even possession just weren’t original enough to make me bite my nails or fall off my chair.
I was also surprised by the twist about Marie’s family at the end. It came so out of the blue that I didn’t really believe it. I also wasn’t sure that Marie and Jade’s dad would be so willing to believe in ghosts even with the Colby/Kayla voice thing.
All in all, while I’d say I didn’t love this book, I also didn’t hate it. I can see how people would enjoy it; I just wasn’t impressed.