Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review/ Beautiful Dead: Arizona

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
ISBN: 9781402239458
Author: Maguire, Eden
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: October 2010

There's been no sign of the Beautiful Dead for weeks. Darina achingly misses Phoenix all over again. But surely he will return with the rest of the Beautiful Dead as so much still remains unresolved. It's been ten months since Arizona drowned in Hartmann Lake. Suicide, it would seem. But something doesn't add up. Drowning herself in a hidden-away lake does not sound like strong, confident, Arizona: Ellerton High School's high-maintenance drama queen. Darina needs to help Arizona the way she helped Jonas. But time is running out ...

Not having read Eden Maguire’s first book in the Beautiful Dead series I had no expectations when I began reading book two, Beautiful Dead: Arizona. While I found myself a bit lost at first, I quickly caught on to what I found to be an extremely fascinating and suspenseful story.

The plot of Beautiful Dead: Arizona revolves around Darina, who is very much alive, and very much in love with Phoenix, one of several beautiful dead, who have recently died under unusual circumstances. Each of the beautiful dead have come out of limbo to find out the particulars of their deaths and Darina is a link to the world of the living. Without her help, they cannot find peace. As long as Darina is helping she is allowed to see Phoenix. In this second book, Darina has only a few months to find out whether Arizona committed suicide by drowning and the story follows Darina’s investigation while providing more insight into the beautiful dead.

I was really thrilled with most of the characters in the story. From the beginning of the book, it is obvious that Darina, is way over the top in love with Phoenix and is willing to do anything to keep him around. Darina, has lot more courage than I would have dealing with both the dead and the living. She stand up to Hunter (Darina calls him the zombie overlord and at times he is one scary dead guy), and she boldly investigates Arizona’s life, which ends up putting her in harms way several times. I could also understand Darina’s feelings for Phoenix, who even in death loves her and wants to protect her and keep her safe. Finally, like Darina, I found it hard to like Arizona, but as the story unfolds and Darina delves deeper into Arizona’s death by drowning, Maguire slowly reveals important information about Arizona and here life, which helps explain a lot about her complex and abrasive attitude.

Beautiful Dead: Arizona is a quick read, and the combination of paranormal and mystery was very exciting. Maguire incorporates a sense of immediacy to Darina’s  investigation into Arizona’s death and creates tension and suspense scene by scene. One aspect that I really liked about this series is that the ending did not leave me hanging. Maguire ties up all the loose ends of Arizona’s death, so that in the book three, Darina she can move onto the next beautiful dead’s death.  She also connects this book with the first book about Jonas, and provides enough foreshadowing to definitely hook me into wanting to know what will happen next. I am also very interested in how Maguire will eventually help Darina deal with her strong attachment to Phoenix, but I won’t get the answer to that until book four.

If you enjoy the paranormal, romance, and mysteries then I recommend you give Beautiful Dead: Arizona a read. I will definitely be back tracking to read book one and will be anxious to read book three and four when they are released.

Source: Received ARC from publisher

6 comments:

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! You make it sound very interesting. I wasn't aware of this series before, but I'll keep it in mind. I like the cover.

Lori said...

Your review convinced me! I need to read these asap!

Sue Jackson said...

Hi, Jan -

I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award because I really enjoy your blog. Check it out:

http://greatbooksforkidsandteens.blogspot.com/2010/08/versatile-blogger-award.html

Sue

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thebookfairyhaven said...

Have definitely seen this around at various shops, but for some or other reason can never seem to find the first on in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review and will now try harder to get my hands on both books in the series so far.

chelleyreads said...

good to know this book can be read as a standalone. leslie and i have this book and we're worried it'll be hard to catch on. thanks for the great review jan! it made me excited to get to it.

-michelle

 
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