This review is spoiler free.
“I think,” he began. “Whenever you fear something, you don’t take a risk.”
Published: 2018, by Black Rose Writing.
Format: eBook/ARC from Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal
Contains: Death, Suicide, Suicide, Suicide Attempt, Terminal Illness, Anger, Strong Language, Accidental Death, Blood/Gore
I received a copy of this book from Black Rose Writing through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘Dead School’ tells the story of Tina Crocker, who dies in a freak accident during her performance for the school talent show. She wakes to discover she’s to join the Spirit Guide Division to train to be a Spirit Guide.
I was first drawn to ‘Dead School’ by the interesting concept. I love reading anything which involves a fun spin on the afterlife so this book appealed to me. However, it didn’t wow me the way I initially believed it would.
Tina is an intentionally awful protagonist, who just ends up being a little too awful for my liking. She makes selfish decisions, is extremely argumentative and makes vast judgments against everyone. Plus, for someone who believed she’s to be in a different division, she doesn’t prove herself to deserve that place at all… in fact, she mentions it maybe three or four times after her death. For someone who fails her course numerous times, she didn’t seem to care that much about her placement within the afterlife. She makes multiple mistakes and tries to fix them with humour, which continuously falls flat. Although, the author tried their best, I feel as if this character just didn’t turn out the way they intended.
Alexei was an interesting character, in a Heather’s JD kind of way. However, his placement in the story just didn’t feel right. For starters, the fact that there is a Suicide Division within the school felt a little off, but to then make them outcasts due to it was discomforting. Personally, I found that a little disrespectful, but I decided to look past it. However, Alexei’s purpose in the plot felt forced, yet the dialogue between him and Tina was fun and one of the main pluses of the story.
The novel itself was fairly difficult to read. Although, the language used was simple, the narrative was often unnecessarily long and told the story as opposed to shown information. The jumps were also quite confusing at times, forcing me to skim read on occasion to get a full understanding.
Overall, this book was okay. The dialogue was fun and the premise was engaging, however, at times it did fall flat.