by Jen Violi
Publication Date: May 24th 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Source: OUaT Book Tours
Where to Buy:
B&N | Amazon | BAM | Borders | The Book Depository
In the spring of her senior year, Donna Parisi finds new life in an unexpected place: a coffin.
Since her father’s death four years ago, Donna has gone through the motions of living: her friendships are empty, she’s clueless about what to do after high school graduation, and her grief keeps her isolated, cut off even from the one parent she has left. That is until she’s standing in front of the dead body of a classmate at Brighton Brothers’ Funeral Home. At that moment, Donna realizes what might just give her life purpose is comforting others in death. That maybe who she really wants to be is a mortician.
This discovery sets in motion a life Donna never imagined was possible. She befriends a charismatic new student, Liz, notices a boy, Charlie, and realizes that maybe he's been noticing her, too, and finds herself trying things she hadn’t dreamed of trying before. By taking risks, Donna comes into her own, diving into her mortuary studies with a passion and skill she didn’t know she had in her. And she finally understands that moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting someone you love.
Jen Violi’s heartfelt and funny debut novel is a story of transformation—how one girl learns to grieve and say goodbye, turn loss into a gift, and let herself be exceptional...at loving, applying lipstick to corpses, and finding life in the wake of death. -Goodreads
The main character, Donna, is very well written. Although she’s grieving and sad, she still has a humorous side. She’s pretty much an introvert, and I can totally relate to that. I was a little worried in the beginning that she was going to be a whiney character, but she definitely grew throughout the book. She knew what she wanted to do with her future, and she went after it, even when it’s not the future her mother wants for her. I admire that. The secondary characters were ok, but were not as in-depth as Donna. I like Charlie, and wish we could have known more about her friend Liz. Kudos to the mom, we really see her grow throughout the book.
The pacing in the book is a bit slow, but I still managed to read the book pretty quickly. The storyline is unique and believable. I would probably recommend this book to the older YA crowd, because it does have some talk of sex in it. There is also some religious talk in the book. I know some people are bothered by that, but it didn’t bother me at all.
Overall, this is a quick, and very unique read that I really enjoyed!