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Friday, October 26, 2012

YA Week- On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming

Author: Candace Fleming
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Date of Publication: July 2012

 Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860's to the present, and ends with the narrator's death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic possession, all against the backdrop of Chicago's rich history—the Great Depression, the World's Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.

Were you a fan of Goosebumps or the Twilight Zone?  Then On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave is the book for you.   I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book.  I was kind of expecting something really morbid.  I mean the stories are about the day these teens died.  But, it was surprisingly not morbid.  The book begins with Michael, who is driving too fast on a lonely country road.  He encounters Carol Anne who asks for a ride home.  After dropping her off, he notices her shoes are still in the car.  When he tries to return them to her, it is revealed that Carol Anne has been dead for 55 years.  On the advice of Carol Anne's mother, he finds the cemetery where she is buried.  There he meets a group of ghosts who are eager to tell their stories. What is their purpose and will he make it home alive?  You'll have to read to find out!

I thought each story was interesting.  The author has taken some urban legends and ghost stories and put a new twist on them. For example, Lilly's story is a take on W.W. Jacob's The Monkey's Paw.  There is also a tribute the Charlotte Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper.  Most of the stories are creepy and one is a bit hokey.  But all of them are enjoyable.  They all carry with them a lesson. Definitely read the author's notes at the end.  I enjoyed reading how she came up with the idea behind each story.

I ended up listening to the audiobook.  It was narrated by multiple people.  I actually like that aspect of the audiobook.  It helped distinguish each separate story.  The books it pretty short, so can be read in an afternoon.  There really wasn't anything objectionable in the book, so I would say it's probably OK for the over 14 crowd.  With Halloween just around the corner, why not pick this one up and give yourself a good scare?