Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Sweet Dead Life: The Blog Tour



"I found out two things today: One, I think I'm dying. And two, my brother is a perv."

So begins the diary of Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad year. Her mother spends all day in bed. Dad  vanished when she was eight. Her older brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs—difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. Really sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.
 
Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her, looking pretty good. Better than ever, in fact. Downright . . . angelic. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that her brother didn’t survive the accident at all, and she isn’t just sick; she’s being poisoned. Casey has been sent back to help Jenna find out who’s got it out for her, a mystery that leads to more questions about their mother’s depression and their father’s disappearance.

THE SWEET DEAD LIFE buy links

GoodReads

Playlist post:


There’s a lot of angst and humor going on all at once in THE SWEET DEAD LIFE. The Booklist review covers that when it says, “ There’s a whole lot going on here: poisonings, blackmail, sibling relationships, romance, and abandonment, in addition to angels, but the unifying thread is Jenna’s clever, bitter, self-aware, and loving voice…” Which I think sort of covers it all quite nicely.
So the playlists for these characters and for the novel as a whole run that emotional range from hopeful to grief-stricken to sassy.
Jenna Samuels, the novel’s narrator has a life that is totally upside down. Her dad has been MIA for five years. Her mom is unemployed and depressed and getting worse. And Jenna is sick and getting sicker, with some undiagnosed illness. And then she collapses and her brother crashes the car taking her to the hospital and she eventually realizes that he didn’t come through fine. He died and now he’s come back as her guardian angel. (This is not the central mystery of the novel, by the way, in case you think it’s a spoiler!) After which they solve a huge mystery that connects everything. Above all, Jenna is a tough Texas girl!

For Jenna, I think the following songs reflect all these aspects:
Scar Tissue—The Red Hot Chili Peppers
How to Save a Life—The Fray
Give Me Novacaine—Green Day
Drive—Incubus
Be Still—The Killers
And Jenna’s hopefulness I think comes across in I Hope You Dance—LeeAnne Wommack

Excellent choices!

Review:

Joy Preble is an author that I am always confident in. Her Dreaming Anastasia series wowed me with it's mythology and legends and now this wonderful book is doing the same. The Sweet Dead Life is a totally different read and I love it! The funny and quirky voice of Jenna Samuels, the main character, is just perfect. She is a kid with problems, just like most of us. Except she has some doozies! Her mom is kind of missing in action, her dad has literally disappeared, her brother is dead and still hanging around and someone is trying to poison her. Life can be really weird sometimes, especially when you are peeing lime green and feeling like you are going to pass out most of the time. 


This book grabbed me right away with the semi dark twisty plot, unusual scenario and I find myself wondering what in the world could make someone pee lime green. Just saying. lol. Joy has done an outstanding job on this book! Jenna is a character I could identify with totally and especially how annoyed she got with her brother. There are some really funny scenes that are full of snark and sheer hilarity.  I am still in the throws of reading it, so if you will excuse me, I have a few pages left to go and I am dying to find out what happens! Awesome read! This is one you are going to want on your summer read list for sure!




5/5 For quirky awesomeness!!!







Joy Preble is the author of the popular and highly acclaimed Dreaming Anastasia series. A former English teacher, Joy grew up in Chicago and is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is now a full time writer and lives with her family in Texas, where she has learned to say "y'all" without any hint of irony. A tireless advocate for literacy and great books, she is at the center of the all-important Texas YA scene.

Joy Preble Social Media and Website





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