Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay BuriedTitle: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: February 19th, 2019
Pages: 304
Audio Length: 6 Hours and 34 Minutes
Genre: YA Paranormal Contemporary
Series: Standalone
Source: Audio

A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up.
Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly—and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead.
As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.
What made me pick this book up: 
The cover was amazing. And I had to find out what it was about because of the title and the cover.

What did I like about the cover: 
The bright colors, the colors in general really. I love the blue and yellow together. And just well everything. This is one of my favorite covers.

What made me read this book: 
It sounded really great. I thought it would be a good emotional book.

What did I like the most: 
I like the names in the book. Rafi, July, Dino. They're cute and unique. 

I also really like the idea of this book. I love the story it could have been. 

I feel like this book had SO much potential. So much. And it just fell so flat it was a huge disappointment. 

What didn't I like:
Pffft. So much. I'm sad to say how much I didn't like this book, because I was REALLY REALLY excited for it. It had SO much potential. 

The pacing was just weird. It was really really slow for the type of book it was supposed to be. I felt myself constantly just waiting for something interesting to happen. 

The characters just fell flat. The only good thing was Dino's BF, Rafi.

Dino could have been so much more. He should have been grieving his best friends death, even if they weren't really friends anymore. But it felt like he felt nothing for anyone. He was a pushover and when he tried to stand up for himself it was... Not well done. At all.

July? Oh man. Where do I even start with July. She was awful. I think if her character was rewritten into someone likable then this book could have been a 3. Maybe. Probably not. However, she definitely killed this book. No pun intended.
She was rude. She was annoying. She was an awful friend. She was self centered. She was FLAT. She had no emotions.

I really didn't understand what half of this book was about. What was the point of this? To show how much he missed his friend? How being gay is hard when having a female best friend? 

And then they mentioned Rafi being trans. But it felt like it was just thrown in there to make people happy. It didn't feel like there was a point to that even.

And that ending. What!? Completely sucked. Didn't make sense. 

*Slight spoilers*
Like. We never find out WHY. Why did she come back to life? What caused it? 
*end spoilers*

I feel like the author should have just made it like he was dreaming the whole time. Then he could have made it about how he missed his best friend and how much it hurts with what happened.

Ugh I just keep going back to July. SHE WAS AWFUL. Borderline abusive to Dino. Seriously, she should have just stayed dead.

Would I read the rest of the series/more from this author?
The rest of this series? If there were one, no. I want to try these though.

The Apocalypse of Elena MendozaWe Are the Ants

So very disappointed in this book.

“You can tell me I’m dead until the words lose their meaning, but it won’t change that I’m not, and I don’t want to waste the time I have.” 
― Shaun David Hutchinson, The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

You Asked for PerfectEarth to CharlieWe Contain Multitudes

Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.


  1. Yep! I'd have picked it up for the cover and one-clicked for the blurb. So sad about the pace and the disappointing best friend character. Doesn't sound like there were other strong elements to carry the book and balance what you didn't like.
    On to the next. :)

  2. So I read a compilation book that this author put together (VIOLENT ENDS) and it was AMAZING!!!! So I thought I would love his books and I tried to read AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE and I just did not click with it at all--at all. So yeah, I'm wary of his solo efforts. Although, WE ARE THE ANTS did get glowing reviews....


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