Friday 9 June 2017

Review: I Woke Up Dead At the Mall by Judy Sheehan

When Sarah wakes up dead at the Mall of America, she learns that not only was shemurdered, her killer is still on the loose. A contemporary YA novel with a hauntingly supernatural twist that tackles some of life’s – and the afterlife’s – biggest questions.  
When you’re sixteen, you have your whole life ahead of you. Unless you’re Sarah. Not to give anything away, but . . . she’s dead. Murdered, in fact. Sarah’s murder is shocking because she couldn’t be any more average. No enemies. No risky behavior. She’s just the girl on the sidelines.

It looks like her afterlife, on the other hand, will be pretty exciting. Sarah has woken up dead at the Mall of America—where the universe sends teens who are murdered—and with the help of her death coach, she must learn to move on or she could meet a fate totally worse than death: becoming a mall walker.

As she tries to finish her unfinished business alongside her fellow dead teens, Sarah falls hard for a cute boy named Nick. And she discovers an uncanny ability to haunt the living. While she has no idea who killed her, or why, someone she loves is in grave danger. Sarah can’t lose focus or she’ll be doomed to relive her final moments again and again forever. But can she live with herself if she doesn’t make her death matter?

Review: This book was so much more than what I was expecting it to be. I originally picked this up because of my interest in the mall of American (shopping is my sport of choice, what can I say?) but this turned out to be a magical story about the afterlife and what we expect it to be versus what we actually expect it to be. I really enjoyed this aspect of the storyline, despite being someone who doesn't necessarily enjoy magical or fantastical novels. I found it to be well explained, it was all logical and made sense and therefore I could cope with the idea of viewing ones funeral or having a special floor of the mall just for the dead to roam around!

I liked getting to know the characters in this book too. We have five young people who have all been murdered and all come from New York City. In fact, they find that they all lived in the same neighbourhood as each other. Where some of them died a while ago, some of them died at virtually the same time, did they know each other in their former lives? I liked the fact that there was a bit of conflict between the characters, but also the relationships that they formed with one another. Sarah is our main character and so we see things through her. She has had it tough in life, but not as tough as some of the others and there is definitely more to her than meets the eye!

Of course I loved the setting. There is a particular scene where they go down to the aquarium and another where the ride the roller coaster and I really enjoyed reliving my trip to MOA alongside them. The description is great though, particularly the scenes in New York and so if you haven't been to either of these places, you will definitely feel at home there after reading this book!

As I say, this book isn't quite what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed what I got. Perhaps there could be further clarity on the jacket as to what to expect, but if you are ready to suspend your disbelief and you are ready for a little bit of magic, then I am sure you will enjoy this story of teens and their afterlives.

To order your copy now, click here!

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