Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: The Dead I Know by Scot Garder

The Dead I Know
Title: The Dead I Know

Author: Sot Gardner
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: March 3rd 2015
Pages: 208
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC


Aaron Rowe walks in his sleep and haunted by dreams he can’t explain and memories he can’t recover. Death doesn’t scare him—his new job with a funeral director may even be his salvation. But if he doesn’t discover the truth about his hidden past soon, he may fall asleep one night and never wake up.In this dark and witty psychological drama about survival, Aaron finds that making peace with the dead may be easier than coming to terms with the living. "I have never read a book more gripping, nor a book more triumphantly alive.

I didn't quite know what to expect out of this read when I started. The ARC ended up attainable and decided to give it a shot. This is one of those books that I liked, I enjoyed,l but it didn't wow me. It wasn't what I expected but I am not sure what I expected so that didn't bother me, I went in pretty clueless. It was a good story.  I have just a few issues with the book but overall it was a good read.
Aaron lives with his mam, an elderly woman who is dealing with some issues. Issues that are of the dementia kind or something similar. Aaron has to take care of her and gets a job at a funeral parlor. He meets the director, his boss, John and John's family. He goes on death pick ups and he helps prepare the dead for viewing and the funeral. This is not easy for him, he struggles through it but it still seems easier than his home life. At this funeral parlor, with John and his family, and with death, Aaron unravels his past and finds a way to live with his present. 

'So like I said, this book did not wow me but it was a good read. From the description I knew there would be a bit of mystery with Aaron' s life and it would begin to unravel. I don't think I expected what I found but it was still a good thing to explore. There are two parts for this book, one is Aaron's past. It is a mystery to the readers and the book is driven on finding out what is in Aaron's past, what is his relationship to Mam, and why is so distant and closed off. The other is part is Aaron's life he lives. The dreams he has, his sleepwalking, and why again he is so distant and closed off. So that is what makes up this book. 

The beginning was a bit slow but it still held my attention. This book is short, very short and still I felt it took a while before it seemed to get anywhere. Once everything started to unravel, the story picked up and it was a much quicker read. 

Aaron was a very interesting character, I liked him but I didn't love him, I connected to him in a way I felt bad for him and wanted him to find peace and deal with his issues, but I never seemed to get close to him. He was really closed off so it was hard. As the story progressed, I was able to connect more. I was able to understand as his past came to life. 

The funeral director, John was a great character, I did love him and his family. He was patient, caring, multi layered, and very loveavble. He was a very important part of this story and tied it all together. 

The story was good, the issues hard to deal with but real and I was happy to see them explored enough to see them and know they existed. I think the book could have been a bit longer and deeper, the issues addressed deserved a bit more time to understand and the story could have benefited from more depth. What was there was good but I think it could have been great. 

I was happy with the read, I just saw more potentional. The writing was good, the characters were good, the story was good. I think more depth and exploration would have made it great to awesome. 

A good read with tough issues

Scot GardnerScot Gardner wasn't born reading and writing; in fact, he left school in year eleven to undertake an apprenticeship in gardening with the local council. He has worked as a waiter, masseur, delivery truck driver, home dad, counselor, and musician.
These days he spends half the year writing and half the year on the road talking to people about his books and the craft of writing.


  1. Hmm, sounds okay, but not great. I don't know anyone who sleepwalks, so that should be different, like the idea of the two parts but it would have to have something to keep my attention, which it doesn't sound like it would, I'm iffy with slow beginnings so it all depends on the characters. Shame it is a slow pace, considering it's really short. :(

  2. I do love that cover. This book sounds unique. I am surprised it was so slow for a short book. Usually short books cut right to the point. I don't know if I will read this on. Great review!


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