Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Beautiful Dead Book 1: Jonas by Eden Maguire

February 25th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books


Source: Received for review

Availability: In stores March 2010

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from the book: Darina’s year goes from bad to worse when her boyfriend, Phoenix, is killed in a knife fight, making him the fourth student from their high school to die that year. She’s certain that she’s going crazy when she sees him and the others in an abandoned barn, but when Phoenix kisses her, she’s convinced he’s come back… to life?

Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and Phoenix have been brought back from limbo by the enigmatic and sometimes frightening Hunter, and are allowed to remain in the world of the living for one year in order to set right a wrong linked to their deaths. In exchange for being allowed to see Phoenix, Darina agrees to help the undead teens find justice, starting with Jonas… whose year is nearly up.

Darina must discover who is behind Jonas’s fatal motorcycle accident… without becoming a victim herself… and keep the Beautiful Dead a secret. She would sacrifice anything to help her beloved Phoenix, but setting him free might mean losing him forever.

I have to admit when I read the first 20 pages or so I was very tempted to put it down and move on to another book.  I did keep plowing on and it actually got pretty good once I got about halfway in.  This was a nice take on zombies that I don’t recall seeing in any other books.   Even at the end of the book I’m not sure how I feel about Darina.  I had some issues with her attitude.  Really, do all teenagers now have to be super angsty and rude to their parents?  I swear if I said and did some of the things she did to her parents my parents would not let me get away with it.

I did enjoy the supporting characters though especially Phoenix’s brother, Brandon.  I’m hoping we continue to see more of him in the future books.  I am hooked to find out how Darina is going to help each of her dead classmates and what is going to happen in the end for Phoenix and Darina.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Paranormal, Young Adult

5 Responses

  1. Elie N

    Great review. I liked this original take on zombies too, not what I expected.

  2. Jenn

    Great review, I have this in my want to read pile – or list LOL…Sounds intresting.

  3. Jen - Devourer of Books

    I felt the same way you did for the first 20 pages, but I continued to feel that way throughout the book. I actually wasn’t that thrilled with this take on zombies, it seemed to me like Maguire was reaching too much to connect them with some existing folklore.

  4. Michelle

    I liked this book. I liked the star crossed lovers feel to Pheonix and Darina (I imagine when we get to his book it’ll be on overload as they’ll be racing against time). I also liked the take on zombies being more akin to angels as compared to flesh eating monsters. I can understand why others wouldn’t be fond of that though — it’s definitely a departure from the typical.

    It had it’s predictabilities but overall it was a decent read for me.

  5. dsuzuki

    Elie-yes, I usually like it when an author takes a different view on a popular theme like zombies or vampires.
    Jenn-hope you enjoy it
    Jen-it’s too bad it never picked up for you :(
    Michelle-I think a lot of YA books are predictable but as long as it’s not like the 20th book along the same lines and it’s a formula I like I’m satisfied :)

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