The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass
Published: July 12th, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
One year ago, Kitty’s boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he’s dead. With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead, she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade–a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic… and Kitty’s late mother. Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he’s letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything. From rising star Eliza Wass comes a sophisticated, mesmerizing meditation on the depths of grief and the magic of faith. After all, it only works if you believe it.
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Thank you, NetGalley, the publishers, and authors for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Death was the worst kind of magic. It took something that was there and made it disappear.”
“There is no right and wrong.” His teeth flashed. “There’s only life and death.”
This was interesting. I liked and didn’t like this book. Plot and concept wise this was excellent. The execution, however, needs a lot of work. This was a bit all over the place and at times I didn’t understand who was speaking because the dialogue was written all together. It was not broken up in a way that made it easy to decipher who was talking. The writing itself did fit the whimsical and creepy vibe of the story itself and the author knows how to write so that was not a problem. The basis of the story was that Kitty’s boyfriend Nikki Bramley went to visit a psychic who basically told him he was going to die. Kitty doesn’t believe it and tells him to forget it. Eventually, Nikki dies and Kitty and the Bramley’s all grieve him in their own ways. A year later Kitty can’t let go what happened and want’s to understand what happened that fateful night he died and especially the night at the canal. She discover’s The Life and Death Parade and a boy named Roan. He claims all his antics are for a show for the tourists but he knows more about Nikki then he lets on. Kitty eventually learns things about Roan that changes her views on him and it’s a big twist that I have to admit I did not see coming. The last 30% or 40% is when the story got REALLY good and what made it worth the read. I thought about DNF’ing it a lot but it kept my interest enough because I to wanted to solve the mystery of what really happened to Nikki. It had flaws but it was good enough to keep me to the end.
To be honest the characters were neither good or bad. I just didn’t care about them or connect with them but, I was interested in them. Which again kept me interested in the book. Kitty became obsessed with solving what happened to Nikki and it was admirable because I thought she would go down the path he went but she prevailed. Nikki was a precious boy. He didn’t become one of my favorites but you can’t help but love him when you learn all about him. Roan was surprising because I was not expecting to learn what we did learn about him. The Bramley’s were interesting people and an odd family when I really think about it but they were good people just working out their grievances.
The relationship between Kitty and Nikki was weird. I didn’t get the vibe that they were together when he was alive like the synopsis says. I knew he loved her but it felt one-sided of course until he died. I didn’t get that romantic feeling or anything really. Her relationship with the Bramley’s was sweet and I really liked how Nikki’s parents took her in after her mom dad and cared for her like one of their own.
“He really loved you, you know,” he allowed. “He used to tell me all the time. You were like a god to him.”
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