I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser
Series: Under the Blood Moon #1
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on July 15, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one…
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young man determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will appeal to the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.
My Initial Reaction…
How to Date Dead Guys turned out to be really different than I expected, in a great way. I expected something light and funny (like the title), but How to Date Dead Guys pulled on my heart strings more than once.
Emma was very easy for me to relate too. She’s someone who really likes to keep to herself – hasn’t been too successful at the friends thing and is awkward with boys. It’s because she just likes to keep to herself and read a good book. I can get that. But as How to Date Dead Guys progressed, Emma really learned to come out of her shell, at least with dead guys. But they became the bridge to living people – each one really connected her to a different living person in a solid relationship. She’s an incredibly giving and caring person, not to mention a gifted witch. It was sort of on the less-than-believable side of things that she would pick up witch craft so quickly (because this is totally about believability), but I took it in stride.
I think the other character I can really tell you about is Emma’s roommate Chrissy. This girl is the epitome of self-involved. Obviously I found her seriously annoying – and yet, at the start of How to Date Dead Guys Chrissy is really the only “friend” Emma has. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that she’s unkind, she just isn’t nice and doesn’t care about others.
Then there’s Mike – not a whole lot to tell here because we don’t get to know him too well before he dies. But he’s gorgeous and Emma has a thing for him. And though it’s totally apparent to us that Mike has a thing for Emma too, she’s clueless to it. But that doesn’t matter because before anything can happen, Mike dies in a terrible accident for which Emma gets blamed by the court of public opinion, even though not at all legally. Feeling guilty and desperate she works a spell – her first ever spell BTW (hence the unbelievable natural talent) – to bring Mike back. What she gets is an assortment of dead guys.
I loved everything about How to Date Dead Guys‘s story. Watching Emma get to know each in a line of several dead guys and seeing how her experiences with them changes her was really enjoyable. And the stories of each guy’s life before his death pretty much broke my heart over and over. Each guy died in different ways and their stories all unfold slowly. I can’t tell you how many times that moment of the big reveal brought tears to my eyes.
These really heartwarming moments are balanced nicely with light humor, clever magic/action points, and some really great character development. There was even a couple mysterious twists that I hadn’t anticipated until they were pretty much right upon me. I also really enjoyed seeing her relationship with her parents – often a point of humor. The funny moments aside, I feel like their relationship changed for the better over the course of How To Date Dead Guys and it was enjoyable.
What I really hadn’t expected was for How To Date Dead Guys to wrap up the way it did. The story came to a surprising conclusion and I’m excited to see that this isn’t a stand alone (as I initially thought), but the start of a series. I can’t wait to see where Emma and her new-found witchy powers takes us next.