Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (June 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061986704
ISBN-13: 978-0061986703
Source: ARC
Cover: I love this cover! The dark makeup making the eyes pop, the candy pink colored lips and white skin are just beautiful. She looks like a little dead doll which is one part creepy and two parts beautiful!
First Sentence: "Jana had the jitters."

Mini-Review: An unique spin on what happens after is what makes this debut shine.

Book Summary:

Sometimes falling in love means you have to kill somebody. 

Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were destined to be together forever. Of that, Jana was sure. 
But Jana just died—in a bowling accident. And now she’s trapped in Dead School. Jana is certain that it won’t be long before Michael kills himself in order to spend eternity with her—but the days are passing and Michael is, inexplicably, still alive. So Jana decides to take matters into her own hands. And nothing—not even Dead School bad boy Mars Dreamcote’s enticingly warm touch or the devastating secret he holds about her death—will stop her from making her dreams come true. 
Romeo and Juliet meets Heathers in this hilariously macabre take on paranormal romance, packed with heart-stopping suspense and sizzling star-crossed love.
Book Review:

Dead Rules utilizes humor and a great imaginative setting to tell the story of Jana on her journey after life. While the world of Dead Rules is fascinating, the characters are selfish and sometimes hard to care for. This debut novel will have its reader cringing and laughing within sentences of each other.

As a lead, I wasn't too wild about Jana. Though she was funny, she was very naive and thus, she made a lot of silly mistakes. I liked her inquistive nature because it caused her to explore and her determination was definitely a good thing but I felt that ultimately, she was a little too selfish for me to really care about her plight. That made reading a little cumbersome and slow at some parts because I didn't feel as invested as I like to. It's funny because I was never crazy about the characters on the "good path" because they all seemed a little too stuffy. It was the slider characters, the ones who were on the edge of being booted that I really liked because they seemed to be the good guys. They all had stories and things to prove.

Jana's quest to have Michael join her was really funny and caused a lot of good tension. I also enjoyed her having to come to terms with her own death slowly. The world she was dropped into was definitely the highlight of the novel. The ghostly schoolbus and school, the always brand new uniform with the terrible grannie panties, and the person keeping the inflictions of their death were all interesting. I loved learning each character's story and figuring out how that broken arm or scratchy voice went with it. The other thing that really intrigued me was the no-guide thing that the kids were working with. They all knew the "rules" but there was nothing they could really read to be sure. It let the whole novel feel like anything can happen.

Overall, the environment of Dead Rules really did make the story with knowing. It was creative and funny and my curiousity for the inventive life after dead world kept me reading. I just wish I could have fallen in love with Jana and the others more to feel more connected to the story.



  1. I liked their dead stories also. The sliders made the book. I think I'll dig Jana in the next book now that she is over Michael.
    Amy @

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! =) I've been wanting to read Dead Rules. Seems like I need to get busy with it...

    BTW, we're (almost) neighbors! I'm in north Florida.

  3. I'm sorry to hear you didn't really connect with the characters. I've been really interested by this one though. Thanks for the review!

    BTW: any chance I could persuade you to trade me for your copy? ^-^


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