Monday 7 December 2009


Not alive. Not dead. Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.

There's been no sign of the Beautiful Dead for weeks. Darina achingly misses Phoenix all over again. But surely he will return with the rest of the Beautiful Dead as so much still remains unresolved. It's been ten months since Arizona drowned in Hartmann Lake. Suicide, it would seem. But something doesn't add up. Drowning herself in a hidden-away lake does not sound like strong, confident, Arizona: Ellerton High School's high-maintenance drama queen. Darina needs to help Arizona the way she helped Jonas. But time is running out ...

This is the second book in the Beautiful Dead series, which features a teenager called Darina. After losing her boyfriend, she's so grief-stricken and lost that she starts to see people who are supposed to be dead. That's when she discovers that the 'deaths' of four fellow students at her high school over the last year might not necessarily mean that they're dead.

Just like the first book, Darina finds herself in the middle of the Beautiful Dead. This time she's on the path to help Arizona. The girl who drowned in Hartmann Lake almost a year ago. This leads her into a new mystery shrouded with secrets, and a whole lot of trouble, as Darina tries to piece it all together.

Although I think the concept of this series is intriguing and adds a new light on the zombie genre, I feel that the execution is weaker than I would've liked. While Darina is a cool character determined to help these teens caught in limbo, I didn't connect with her. I don't know what it is but I just feel as if her actions aren't balanced out with who she really is, and that creates a gap between the reader and the character.

Beautiful Dead: Arizona is an enjoyable mystery about a young girl who's so determined to keep her boyfriend in her life that she'll devote all of her time and energy to solving the mysteries of death.

Beautiful Dead: Arizona, December 2009, ISBN 9780340988626, Hodder Children’s

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