Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

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Title: The Dead I Know
Author: Scot Gardner
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication date: March 3, 2015 (first published May 1, 2011) 
Pages: 208
Rating: 5/5 stars
Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.   

Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep and haunted by dreams he can’t explain and memories he can’t recover. Death doesn’t scare him—his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn’t discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up.In this dark and witty psychological drama about survival, Aaron finds that making peace with the dead may be easier than coming to terms with the living.


I read this book in one sitting. That, I believe, is enough to let you know that this book is incredibly impressive and surely one of the most insightful books I've read. 

The Dead I Know, published previously in 2011, follows Aaron, a serious boy with a troubled past, as he enters his new job at JKB Funerals. Of course he finds it difficult at first (I mean, who wouldn't?) especially when John, the funeral director, has some strict policies and requirements. During his time there, he "meets" their clients (AKA dead people) and creates a special (and odd) connection with them.

If you're afraid of paranormal reads, you have nothing to worry about. The title does seem a bit scary, but trust me, it's never scary, unless your imagination goes beyond what's normal. It is merely a deep and thoughtful book that draws you in, catching you off guard with your own realizations. There aren't ghosts in this book, but the presence of these bodies and how they affect those around them greatly changes how Aaron thinks.

The story itself was brilliant. I especially love the growth between Aaron and John. At first, they act coldly with each other, but as the story progresses, their relationship transforms smoothly and flawlessly. They represent such a rare and rich father-and-son bond that can only be found amidst the toughest times.

The novel was written beautifully, with a lot of dialogue and less description. The minimal description worked well for the book, though, because the author keeps it concise; however, the reader can still get the main gist or desired emotion. It's as short as 208 pages with 36 chapters, and even though it's short, the sentiment that it leaves behind can create waves.

I love this book truly. It is the kind of book that stays with you even if you stayed with it for only a few hours. If you enjoy reading books that are insightful and thought-provoking, you should get your hands on this book at once. You will be left with realizations that you once thought were impossible.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's such a short read! It does sounds interesting. It's rare to read books centered around funeral homes so I am absolutely curious as to how it will turn out. :)
    Azee @ UnderCover Critique