Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Friday, June 18, 2010

Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown

New from Sourcebooks in May this paranormal, historical, young adult romance is sure to please. Jennie Lovell lost her parents when she and her twin brother were only twelve, forcing them to live with their Uncle Henry, Aunt Clara and their two sons Will and Quinn. Jennie and Toby instantly bond with Will and after a few years Jennie and Will are engaged. But then the Civil War comes and her brother and Will are both killed in the war. Jennie's aunt does not care for her and she is left with nothing. But strange things start occurring in the house after Quinn returns home. Jennie feels that she is haunted by something or someone. With a spiritualist photographer to guide her Jennie tries to free herself from this demon this is tormenting her, only to find the demon may not what it seems.

This is one of the books I picked up at BEA. I saw that there was an author signing and decided to wait in the very long line to get a signed copy. It was well worth it. The two authors were were lovely and very passionate about this story and the characters they created. I am so glad that I met them before I read the book, it makes me like it that much more now. I must say that from the first line I was pulled in, "A ghost will find its way home" is a strong way to start any story. Added to that first line is so much artwork throughout the book it is staggering. At the beginning of every chapter is something else from "Jennie's scrapbook", from letters to pictures and newspaper clippings you really feel immersed in this world.

The story moves along a bit slowly at first, giving you small hints and details while you watch Jennie go unloved and forgotten. But after the family visits the photographer the story moves very quickly. The story gets to be more creepy then scary and you, the reader, are always questioning the truth of what is going on. By the last 40 pages or so you are so engrossed in this book that nothing will distract you. I literally had my mouth open in shock and horror for at least 25 of the last 40 pages, making me look quite ridiculous but very entertained. The end is great and I am glad the authors added an Epilogue or I would have been very angry to not have the characters a bit more settled.

The book's website is wonderful and has a lot of interesting extras for you to read through and play with. Below is a video about how the authors came up with the story, it is interesting to hear their creative process. In the end I highly recommend for girls ages 13-adult.


  1. Man oh lordy, I keep seeing reviews of this book, and I really want it. I can't believe I missed it at BEA!

  2. It is very fun, but the library should have it now. The library is my go-to on books I want to read.