“Grief is quiet. Grief is a strangled cry. Tears we hide. A scream in a vacuum where sound doesn’t carry. And though we try to share it, grief is ultimately a burden each of us must carry alone.”
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up.
Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly—and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead.
As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.
Ever since I read Undead Girl Gang I’ve been on the hunt for a book that would give me all the similar feels, and this did not let me down. Although I will say that Undead Girl Gang is still my favorite of the two, this gave me exactly all those feelings I was looking for. Dino and July are ex-best friends but even when they were best friends they didn’t have the healthiest of relationships. After July suddenly dies of a brain aneurysm Dino is silently mourning the loss of ex-best friend and how their friendship ended prior to July’s death. It sounds like it’s a sad subject and don’t get me wrong, it will definitely tug at your heart but this is also such a heartwarming story filled with moments that will have you laughing out loud.
“Because you were a freak and I was a freak, and being two freaks together was better than being two freaks alone.”
I really enjoyed how the author takes a closer look at friendship in this book and picks apart how even the best friendships aren’t always perfect. July and Dino are both flawed in their own ways and part of that is the reason they’re no longer friends anymore. But when Dino is preparing his friends body for her funeral and she wakes up on the gurney – somewhat undead – Dino and July are forced to figure out why she’s not fully dead, how long she has before she really kicks the bucket, and why she was temporarily brought back from the dead. Together they pick apart what went wrong in their friendship before July died…for the first time and if there is any way for them to mend the rift between them and find the closure they both need.
“Life probably doesn’t feel like a miracle to the dead, and it sure as hell doesn’t feel like one to those left behind.”
My main reason for giving this a 3.5 rating was the ending. It felt a bit rushed and a little too sappy for my cynical taste. When I finished Undead Girl Gang I felt like I was ready to cry and ball my eyes out knowing one friend would have to lose the other again, but while reading this is just felt completely nonchalant knowing that July would soon be dead once and for all. And what’s really nonchalant about losing your best friend for the second time? There were also a few plot points that seemed a bit undeveloped for Dino, like his boyfriend and why Dino is so insecure that he feels he doesn’t deserved to be loved. I definitely wish that those were talked about more throughout the book.
All in all, despite the ending, I still really enjoyed my time with this book. I FLEW through the audiobook of this and was able to finish July and Dino’s story within a few hours. From start to finish this was a wild ride that makes you think about life, death, grief, and friendship. And if you guys know me you know a good ol’ thought provoking read is the key to my heart.
Until next time,