Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Review: The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

21980732Title: The Dead I Know
Author: Scot Gardner
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Edition: eARC

Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep and haunted by dreams he can't explain and memories he can't recover. Death doesn't scare him-his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn't discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up. In this dark and witty psychological drama about survival, Aaron finds that making peace with the dead may be easier than coming to terms with the living.
**Thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review!**

Aaron Rowe is constantly tormented by his overly vivid dreams that he has every night. He has the same one every night. Aaron also lives in a trailer with his poor grandma who is slowly losing her mind. Sometimes she even forgets who Aaron is and she will call him David instead. Aaron prefers to keep this information to himself though, so that he won't lose her.

Aaron ends up getting a job with the local funeral director since he isn't that scared of death. He helps pick up the bodies and make them look nice for upcoming funerals. Aaron also goes to all of the funerals and helps out. His boss is John, who is a very kind man who is always looking out for Aaron and has his best interests in mind. John lives with his wife who is always making them little sandwiches for lunch, as well as his daughter, Skye who has taken an interest in Aaron and seems to always put a smile on his face.

I greatly enjoyed this novel. I have never known much about funeral homes and their directors and what went into preparing for a funeral, so this book really educated me on that topic. I felt so bad for Aaron the entire time because of the horrid dreams that he had every night, and it took me a while to piece together what it all meant, but right at the end it suddenly all clicked. Aaron was such a good guy and I couldn't believe what he was going through. It was much darker than I had ever expected.

On the other hand, this book had some lighter moments too. John was so kind to Aaron and I loved how they became good friends. Aaron was always amazed by how much John did for him and how he took care of him, but it was just so sweet. I also loved Mrs. Barton, John's wife, because she greatly cared for Aaron as well. Skye was such an awesome character. Even though Aaron's life was just so dark, Skye seemed to always bring a smile to his face which made him always look forward to waking up the next day. Their friendship was so innocent and understanding.

I don't know how Aaron held his life together because it seemed so hard, especially trying to keep his Mam sane all the time and caring for her as well as herself. He did so much more than anyone would ever realize. This book was very mysterious and interesting read, and I'd definitely suggest picking it up!


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