A room without a book is like a body without a soul - Cicero

To Be Read Soon!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Till death
Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever.
But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch.
Michael and Jana were incomplete without each other. There was no room for Mars in Jana's life-or death-story. Jana was sure Michael would rush to her side soon.
But things aren't going according to Jana's plan. So Jana decides to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true-no matter what rules she has to break.

                                                                -Chapters Canada

Dead Rules was a surprisingly good and fun read that was full of intriguing themes and new plot ideas. At first glance, I loved the book and the cover, but was a little underwhelmed at the premise. I'm glad I decided to pick this one up though, because although it reminded me of other series about life after death, and death themes among books in general, this particular one was unique and interesting enough to hold it's own in a varying category.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about Dead Rules was how interesting it was. I loved finding out about things that I was wondering about, and even though there was a lot the reader didn't know going into the novel, I still wasn't frustrated, which I found to be a really good balance. As we discovered about Jana's death, and about the fascinating deaths of her new friends at death school, I became more and more into the book, and really wanted more. In fact, after having read the book, there is definitely potential for a sequel, and I am really hoping that Dead Rules sees a sequel, because I am really not ready to say goodbye to Jana's world just yet.

The idea for the book, as a whole, was just so unique and everything that encompassed this new realm was both interesting and realistic. I really love when an author can seamlessly create a state parallel to our existing one that is implausible, but also fits perfectly into phenomenon and mysteries of our society. I just love jumping into these kinds of worlds and living there for a while.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves paranormal or supernatural story lines and also readers that may be skeptical towards the genre, because it really was a great read, and didn't seem at all weird or unreasonable!

Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!

As aforementioned, I really didn't have high hopes for this book, since I have read numerous other books in the ghost genre, and they weren't anything special. Dead Rules was a breath of fresh air though, in a stiflingly similar genre. As soon as I was introduced to Jana, I wanted to know more about her death and about all of her new acquaintances in Death School, and the mysteries of their deaths.

I didn't really care too much for Michael, obviously, he was so clueless and downright mean about everything to do with Jana, even though she was crazy about him and he was responsible for her death. Like geeze, stop stringing her along, she was obviously waaaaay more into the relationship than you, you could've at least let her down easy. I never really understood what he was even trying to achieve when he set about waxing up her bowling shoes. Like was making her fall and humiliating her just supposed to embarrass her enough to make her less eager, or make her break up with you? This just made me hate him more, and I loved that Russell built up the anger like this, while on the other side we see the dramatic irony play out with Jana willing to jeopardize everything for this phony a-hole that kills girls without even blinking. But he got his in the end, oh did he ever!

I absolutely adored Mars (I mean come on, I would give my left arm for a man with that kind of warmth! Seriously, I am always cold..), but I really wish we would have seen a little more action on the romantic spectrum. In a way, though, I really wouldn't have changed it because it was just so realistic. As much as I love the 'love-at-first-sight' aspect of mostly every other YA book in existence, this made the story seem that much more realistic in a totally implausible setting, which balanced the book completely. If Mars Dreamcote (love the name, btw) was at all cocky or outwardly vying for Jana's attention until she couldn't resist, it would have made the book too much for me, and taken away from the main themes.

I really do hope that we get to see more from Jana, Mars and Michael (since he is now dead!). I loved that he got killed off, and in a totally unexpected way, because the whole time that is what Jana was striving for, but I obviously didn't think that it was actually going to happen. It was totally unpredictable, and I really commend Russell for taking a cliche idea and giving it enough originality and surprising-ness that it totally payed off. I love this book, and I will definitely be recommending it in future!

Yay for books that surprise us in good ways!--Cheers & Enjoy♥

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