Jenna Samuels keeps a diary. She's been having a very bad
year her father is gone, her mother is depressed and
stays hidden away in her room. Her older brother, Casey who,
is working two jobs to try and take care of the family,
stays stoned even though he means well. Now Jenna is sick.
After she collapses, her brother rushes her to the hospital
and has a car wreck. Jenna wakes up in the ER with Casey by
her side, but he's different. He looks good now. Soon after,
Jenna finds out that she's being poisoned, and her brother
didn't survive the wreck. Casey is now an angel who is back
to help her find out who's poisoning her.
This is a YA, so it is geared for teens. I can see this in
the language and daily activities of the characters. It's
not a bad thing, but if you know a certain teen who might
like a new book to delve into, they might find this one
interesting. Also, any teen who's dealing with an absent
father might like it, as well. Considering the idea of a
brother who becomes a guardian angel, I think most of their
exchanges are pretty realistic. There was also a good amount
of humor in it to offset the more serious theme of death and
dying. Also, a good element to have in YA.
The setting of
small town Texas was pretty neat. I have never been to this
area of the United States, so I can't speak to the accuracy,
but it felt believable. There's no real romance going on in
this one and I think it was a good choice. All too often
romance is one of the biggest themes, if not the central
theme, of YA. Here we have a young girl, a broken family,
and a brother who is trying desperately to take care of
her as he's the last relative around able to do so. It's
endearing. If you like paranormal YA, or know a middle or
high schooler who does, give THE SWEET DEAD LIFE a try.
\"I found out two things today: One, I think I\'m dying.
And two, my brother is a perv.\"
So begins the
diary of 14-year-old Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad
eighth-grade year. Her single mother spends all day in bed.
Dad vanished when she was eight. Her sixteen-year-old
brother, Casey, tries to hold together what\'s left of the
family by working two after-school jobsâ€”difficult, as he\'s
stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is 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.
Beatified. Literally. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long,
Jenna figures out that Casey didn\'t survive the accident at
all. He\'s an \"A-word.\" (She can\'t bring herself
to utter the
truth.) Soon they discover that Jenna isn\'t just dying;
she\'s being poisoned. And Casey has been sent back to help
solve the mystery that not only holds the key to her
survival, but also to their mother\'s mysterious depression
and father\'s disappearance.