Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Dead and Buried: Author Interview, Mini Review, & Giveaway

We are excited to be part of the blog tour for The Dead and the Buried. The Larks would like to welcome author, Kim Harrington, to the nest today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Why do you choose to write YA?

Kim: I think it’s a good match for my voice. And I love to write what I read, and I read a ton of YA.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Ghost stories are timeless. I love them! What inspired you to write The Dead and Buried?

Kim: I love ghost stories and I’ve always wanted to write one. But the haunted house sub-genre has been done to death, so I wanted to wait until I found a fresh spin on it. One day I read an article about stigmatized properties (murder houses) and how they can be great bargains for families looking to trade up to a nicer town or a bigger house. And I thought…well, what do we have here? An idea! Rather than a hundred year-old haunted house…it could be a regular suburban McMansion. Rather than an old ghost, it’s a fresh kill, and then I could combine a ghost story with a murder mystery. Now I just needed an interesting main character and a huge motivation for her to investigate the ghost girl’s death. A lunch I had with a friend helped inspire my main character of Jade. And a real life scary moment helped create the turning point (the end of Chapter 12) and my main character’s motivation.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character in The Dead and Buried is most like you?

Kim: Probably Jade, because of her instinct to protect.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How is this novel different from the novels in the Clarity series? Are there any similarities?

Kim: The books are similar in the way that I combine a murder mystery with elements of the supernatural, plus a dash of romance. The Dead and Buried is different in that it’s a haunted house book so there are a few more creepy scenes than in the Clarity series. And it’s a standalone so everything is 100% wrapped up at the end. Also, while the Clarity books are all from Clare’s perspective, in The Dead and Buried I also have some chapters from the dead girl’s perspective—entries from her diary—and they’re coded in such a way that you could figure out who killed her. It’s like a game within a book!

Andrea @ Reading Lark: If you came back as a ghost, who would you haunt?

Kim: Whoever was responsible for my death….

Andrea @ Reading Lark: It's a Reading Lark tradition so I have to ask, what's your favorite bird?

Kim: They don’t fly, but they’re still birds so I’m going with penguins. They’re adorable!


The Dead and Buried
Published By: Scholastic Point
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal Mystery

I adore a good ghost story and this one certainly delivers. It has elements to sends shivers up your spine and a mystery that will have you piecing together clues. As Kim mentioned in her interview, the segments of Kayla's diary were like a game. I enjoyed trying to break the code and figure out who Kayla was referring to in her diary. 

In addition, I really liked Jade. She was a strong heroine that I would certainly want on my side in a crisis. She kept a level head - even when things were creepy and dangerous - and kept her focus on protecting those she loved. I also found her fascination with gemstones to be intriguing. I learned quite a bit about various gems; I was excited to see my favorite, aquamarine, make a brief appearance.

Also, I adored Donovan. Watching him transform from the school recluse to a strong, caring friend to Jade was one of my favorite aspects of this novel. I enjoyed the relationship between him and Jade.

My only complaint with this one is that I figured out the killer a little too easily. I wonder if other readers will encounter this same issue. In spite of having a strong suspicion of the killer's identity, I didn't know the true motive until the concluding chapters.

All in all, I really enjoyed this story and it gave me quite a few chills. 

One Last Gripe: I found it difficult to feel sympathy for Kayla at times. She was such a mean girl.

My Favorite Thing About the Book: I loved the mood and tone - perfect for reading on rainy nights

First Sentence: I'm not stupid.

Favorite Character: Jade

Least Favorite Character: Faye

A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?

Be sure to check out all the great stops on The Dead and Buried Blog Tour!

January 1st: Mandy @ YA Books Central – Intro & Review 
January 2nd: Gabrielle @ Mod Podge Bookshelf – Author Interview 
January 3rd: Giselle @ Xpresso Reads - Review 
January 4th: Savannah @ Books with Bite – Author Guest Post – Top 5 Ghost Books/Stories 
January 7th: Jen @ Hypable - Review 
January 8th: Christin @ Portrait of a Book – Fantasy Casting 
January 9th: Rachel @ Fiktshun – This or That with Donovan & Kane 
January 10th: Amber @ Page Turners Blog – Review 
January 11th: Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight – Scenarios & Gemstones 
 January 14th: Heidi @ YA Bibliophile - Review 
January 15th: Andrea @ Reading Lark – Mini Review & Author Interview 
January 16th: Julie @ Bloggers[heart]Books – Review 
January 17th: Katie @ Mundie Moms – Playlist 
January 18th: Damaris @ Good Choice Reading – Interview

Want to win your very own copy of The Dead and Buried? Fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway open to US residents only.


  1. I've read several reviewers that said they knew who the killer was. I didn't! I'll admit it. Maybe I'm not "good at" figuring those things out, but just wanted to point out that not everyone gets it. I really enjoyed this book, and your review.

    1. I think part of why I figured it out was I went in knowing it was a murder mystery and I read it to collect clues. Mysteries to me are like puzzles or games. I've read so many that things that other readers might overlook hold a different significance for me. I still enjoyed this one. I agree that not every reader will piece things together. That's what I love about discussing books with others. I love how different people approach the story in different ways.


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