I said I’m staying away from zombie books (after the displeasure and confusing read of The Forest of Hands and Teeth) but you know what, I didn’t stay true to my words. But in my defense, I didn’t know it was zombie theme (I know with title such as ‘Dead Beautiful’ it should be ringing some bells. But it didn’t, or maybe I’m just too dense, lol). Anyway, it was a good book and that says a lot considering I don’t like zombie and I hate philosophy (seemingly impossible, right?). But I don’t know how the author pulled it all together to make these detest subjects of mine flowed flawlessly. I love it. I like the premise of the book, the characters as well, especially how it incorporate philosophy with world of the undead. It was really clever.
The story at first kinda reminds me of Hex Hall, the boarding school and the ‘my-roomate’s-former-roomate-mysterious-disappearance’ plus some of the people in the school (faculty included) are spooky. Yep, that stuff. But that’s where the similarities end, it was completely different — to my satisfaction. I find the first half of the book kinda dragging, the story move sort of slow but it wasn’t dreary. I think the pace is much better if it was progress a little faster (or maybe just my preferences, to each their own, lol). But as the story wrapped up, the anticipation level rises. It was awesome how the author managed to draw these philosophical ideas to death, which also, while I’m reading the book arises some personal questions (when I said personal, I’ll try to keep it to myself, lmao). I was never a fan of philosophy, mind you. I thought it was utterly boring and confusing (though I never failed the class, and somehow did well on it. I don’t know, perhaps I’m just lucky). But I like the idea how philosophy could be consider as a science and a myth, it somehow balances both. I like that it tried to explain the existence and nature of man — that’s one aspect I find philosophy as a subject fascinating.
I digress, I also like Latin, I was really interested of that language, and I really absorbed how the book used it, in a way, making the language mysterious. Yes, that effect.
I like the characters, but not in a strong way as other characters in some books I read left on me – that said, they are not forgettable (definitely not). Dante somehow reminds of me Edward (Twilight) and the features of the undead when explained in the book kinda vampiric in nature to me (minus the blood sucking, of course). Although I observed some similarities, it’s still came refreshing to me. Unique, if not. Renée is like a fenestra (from Meridian) where they can sense the dead (not in tunnel, passing way, no). She also, like most of the YA heroines, have this annoying factor — stubborn and, well, let’s say the thing that make these heroines made of the same DNA — when their love life is concern. Whiny at times but completely tolerable. Overall, quite ok, I like her despite all of that.
I love the ending, although I thought it’s a bit rushed (because it was quite slow to build up and then the next minute it was concluding quite rapidly) but it kept me hang tight to the story. I’m surprised, some people might have seen it, but I didn’t saw the ending as it is, it was a complete eye opener. Really love the cliffhanger, not overrated but well balanced and exhilarating to boot.
I can go on and on how much I dig this book, but I’ll stop right now before I babble endlessly. I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s been a while since I genuinely enjoy a book, really glad I read it.