Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming

Title: On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave 
Author: Candace Fleming 
Genre: Middle Grade, Supernatural
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Pages: 208
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from: July 6 - 8, 2012 
My rating: 3 stars: I like it
Summary: The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860's to the present, and ends with the narrator's death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago's rich history—the Great Depression, the World's Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters. 

This one definitely took me by surprise. I didn't expect much, and I came away more than satisfied. Candace Fleming's On the Day I Died is fun, spooky, and.. well, fun. Absolutely fun.

It's not exactly a short story collection although it is full of short stories. Let's put it this way: this book is a collection of short stories about how each one of the characters died. Mike, the only living character in the book, visits a cemetery one night to return a pair of shoes to a dead girl he ran into earlier that night. He's surprised when he sees that the ghosts that come out to welcome him were all teenagers. One of the ghosts starts telling a story of how he died, and when he finishes, another one tells his story, then another, and another, and another. This book therefore consists of 8 short stories that link back and forth between Mike's present and the time of their death, with Mike being the only audience.

The little tales are surprisingly spooky but in no way too dark. I felt uncomfortable and panicky when I read this at night. One little sound in the silent night could lead me into thinking if my house caught fire, or remind me of the haunted asylum I just read about. I shuddered at the images that were created in my head. I heard sounds that only I could hear. The voices of these ghosts haunted me in my sleep. This book is haunting and so much fun, even though I think it's quite pointless. The story really goes nowhere, and nothing is done. But the fact that it's a light and fun read makes it very enjoyable.


This review is also posted on Goodreads.
I received a digital copy from NetGalley and the publisher for review.

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