Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: Undeadly

Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #1)
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Page Count:  272
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by the Publisher Via Netgalley
  Audience:  Young Adult - Paranormal

 Undeadly was a story I was really looking forward to but I'm sorry to say that I was rather disappointed in it overall.  Writing a review where I didn't connect with the book is very hard for me.  When a blogger offers up a review for a book they've read, for the most part, it is a review based on their personal opinion.  Even books generally loved by the majority will still have their nay-sayers.  So in that light, I will preface what I have to say by stating that because this story did not appeal to me, does not mean it will not appeal to another.  

Bartolucci's world is a world where necromancers and reapers are not folklore and where zombies are real (and sometimes kept just like a pet -- yes, you heard that right...led around on a leash and everything.)  I couldn't decide if this story was meant to be taken seriously or not, and I think that was the first strike for me.  While I do appreciate some humour, and even some 'bizarreness', inserted into even the most serious of stories, I felt those elements took away from what might have been a promising plot, and unfortunately affected the flow of the story for me.

I also have to admit that I found myself having a hard time remembering the differences between hekas, necros (necromancers), reapers, etc.,....and the differences between ghouls, sheuts and zombies, and found myself not really invested enough to go back and look them up to better understand their significance so that might be another reason for my detachment from this story.

The characterization was generally not developed enough for me either...I couldn't get a 'feel' for the majority of the characters.  Although...two proved to me more of the exception as I will say that I did start to really like Rath and Rennie, even though they literally popped in and out of Molly's life and sort of left us both (Molly and me, the reader) hanging and wanting to know more about them and have more interaction with them, too.

However, I felt the majority of the problem I had with this book was with the protagonist herself--Molly.

While Molly might represent a percentage of the teenage population with her 'speak', I just couldn't buy into the fact that she was mature enough to handle the HUGE responsibilities bestowed upon her by the god of the Underworld, Anubis, and to be this eventual 'champion' of his to save the world...even with TONS of training and education that may follow in future books!  Using the powers she barely understands, she made rash and careless decisions that had serious repercussions that left me shaking my head and being frustrated with her.  Perhaps her actions could be explained by a combination of being purposely and frustratingly left in the dark and her inexperience in dealing with heavier issues than what she was accustomed to...but none of those explanations could help me get on her side despite my sympathies for her situation.  There seemed to be 'pockets' of maturity here and there but those would soon be followed by a "Whatevs" or "Hel-lo", or "mondo" (do they even say that anymore???) 

My own struggles with the story aside, perhaps there is some hope for some growth and maturity in Molly, and in the story itself, in the sequels to follow, but I don't think she or the story is compelling enough for me to want to continue on with it.  I'm sure this story will appeal to some other readers...and maybe, for me, it was just a personality clash...but The Reaper Diaries ends here for me.

I'd like to thank Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read this story in advance.


The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.


  1. Objective and reflective - a really classy review. :)

    1. Thanks Jen! It's so hard to write an objective review when I really didn't enjoy the book. I appreciate the vote of confidence that 'I did good'! ;)

  2. Well, this book looks like it was a disappointment. Many of the bloggers I trust have written negative reviews about it. Which is very disappointing, indeed.
    I really like the blurb and the cover, but zombies as pets? Who would want to keep zombies as pets? That's really irrational. it looks like the author just wanted to add a new plot twist to the story.
    LOVED your review, though, Michelle B
    Your constant reader,

    1. Hey Soma! Thanks so much for your comments! After I read and reviewed Undeadly, I too looked at what others were saying about it. Some did like it...but I guess I'm in the majority on this one. The 'zombies as pets' wasn't the main element of the story, however, it was just part of the initial world-building. The issue I had most with this book was with the protagonist. I think I would have liked it a lot better had I liked Molly and could really believe in her...zombies as pets, and all! ;)


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