Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming

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  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Source: eARC from NetGalley/Random House for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Overview

The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860's to the present, and ends with the narrator's death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago's rich history—the Great Depression, the World's Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.


My Thoughts

This was a great collection of stories of how each of these characters died. I liked how it was set up though. It wasn't like a typical anthology would be with just having the short stories in it. The short stories are being told to Mike who stumbles into this cemetery due to an event that happens. Each ghost is telling the story of the day that they died. After each story we are brought back to the present where Mike and some of the ghosts say a few things about the story they just heard before the next ghost tells their story. All of these ghosts died when they were teenagers, all around Mikes age. They all need to tell their stories. I am not going to go into each one, I will just give you an idea of what each story is about.

The book starts off with Mike, who is the narrator. He is on his way home, but something unexpected happens which brings him to the graveyard. It is there that the stories begin. We first get to hear Gina's story, she was fifteen when she died. This was a story about a psycho kid really. The next story is about Johnnie, who insists that he got revenge and revenge got him. He was sixteen when he died. He lived during The Depression. He was a trouble maker, and in the end he feels like he got what he deserved. We move onto Scott after that who was seventeen when he died. His is a creepy ghost story from an insane asylum. Then David tells his story. He was fifteen when he died. This was a pretty crazy story to be quite honest. Evelyn, who was sixteen when she died is up next. Her story is about her and her twin sister who she absolutely hated. Lily's story is one about love and loss. Also evil magic. She was seventeen when she died. Rich was sixteen when he died. His is a story of evil possession. Edgars story is a bit odd, but creepy. He died when he was seventeen. And then there was Tracy who died when she was fifteen. This girl had a pretty rough life and it gets much more rough and scary weird on the day she dies.

So I know that all of that didn't really tell you much. What is really cool is that each of the stories have some actual history behind them from the time period that it is from. At the end of the book the author so nicely puts each person and where their story came from. I really love how she details each story. It's interesting to get to know some of the real history of the events and the places. It seems like she really looked into the time periods to get the settings, fashions, and decorations correct. You can really imagine these characters in the specific time they are supposed to be from.

This was a fast and entertaining read. The stories had magic, love, revenge, evil, and ghosts. They were all such different and creative stories about how these teenagers lives ended. In the end they need someone to listen to them tell it. Evey one of them needs their death tale heard. This was very well written and you really feel like you are listening to each of these people tell you how they died. (There will be an audiobook version of it which I would love to listen to.) There is plenty of creepiness and action in this book, and it doesn't read like an anthology. The stories are within a story and it works really well. It's almost like a bunch of teenagers hanging out with each other telling ghost stories. If you like ghost stories this is a fun book. It's not scary, but some of it is a bit on the creepy and weird side. It was just a mindless read, which you really need sometimes. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

15 comments:

  1. Oh so this is like, you have one narrator throughout and he hears these stories? that's a neat way to make an anthology but not really anthology book lol. I love ghost stories too I don't recall seeing this one on NG. I like that she did her research to give em realistic histories, too! Lovely review, chicky!!

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    1. This was a really cool book. It was quick and entertaining to read. I loved how it was done with the narrator.

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  2. Interesting. LOVE ghosts. My favorite tween ghosty read is Jennifer Allison's Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator series. Good stuff!

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    1. Yeah, this book is definitely for tweens I think. Even though the characters are all between 15 and 17 the story really seems written for people younger than that. It was very enjoyable and some of it was pretty creepy though.

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  3. This sounds like a fun set of stories. I don't know what it is exactly but the cover just reminds me about Halloween (my favorite holiday) maybe the colors or cartoon-y-ness. If anything I'd probably like to listen to the audiobook version.

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    1. Yes, I really did enjoy this, but if the voice actor is a good one, I would love to listen to it on audio. I think I would be able to get the feel of it a bit better. (Like I said, if it's a good voice actor)

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  4. It sounds like a really neat idea. I kinda like the cover too. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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    1. Thanks, it was a cute idea to make it the ghosts telling their stories to Mike. I really liked that about it.

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  5. Never really been into anthologies but I really like the idea of the connection with Mike. Seems to tie them all together which appeals to me. Thanks for sharing.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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    1. I like anthologies if I am in the mood for them, but this wasn't really like an anthology. It was more like a bunch of people hanging out telling stories to each other.

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  6. How interesting! I think this sounds like a good book. I like that it's an anthology set within a book. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall.

    -lauren

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    1. It was a fun and quick book to read. I loved the way it was told.

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  7. I do like a good anthology. This one sounds very interesting, creepy and sad. I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. It's definitely Middle Grade or Younger YA, but it was still very enjoyable. Nothing too scary, just a little creepy.

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