Thursday, November 15, 2012

Undeadly (Reaper Diaries #1) by Michel Vail

Title: Undeadly (Reaper Diaries #1)
Author: Michele Vail
Release date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 272
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: YA

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird…

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another…except, there’s something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly’s got an undeadly knack for finding trouble….

Undeadly was a very highly anticipated book for me.  I have adored pretty much every book Harlequin Teen has published and I expected this one to be no different.  Sadly, I didn’t love it as much as I hoped though I did enjoy it.
Molly, the main character, is a bit immature for her age.  She turns 16 at the very beginning of the book but I would have pegged her as 13 in maturity age.  She liked to use phrases such as “whatevs,” “OMG,” etc.  After a while it got a little old.  She was also quite naive.  A lot of things that happened surprised her and every single one of them I could see coming.  She was too trusting of people even when she knew she shouldn’t be.  She was a very flawed character and I never really saw any development until almost the very last page.  I get that this is still the first book in a series but I expected to see some changes in her before the end.  Her attitude will probably annoy quite a few readers but once you get past that the story is good.
The rest of the characters were some of the best but they were a bit lackluster.  Molly’s family was funny and quirky and it was clear how much they loved her.  Her sister was a bit of a brat but it was actually more comical than anything.  The really awesome characters showed up once Molly got to Nekyia Academy though.  Her new group of friends are a very odd bunch but they are perfect together.  There are some rich kids, some poor kids, some goofy kids, some serious kids, and some ghosts.  The ghosts might have been my favorite part.  I would have liked more development to these characters but I really didn’t expect much so I wasn’t really disappointed with that part.  Once again I can really see these characters growing and getting even better in the next book in the series.
Now, I will be the first to tell you that I love zombies.  Zombie stories have become some of my favorites and I’m always looking for a new take on them.  Undeadly definitely provides that something new.  In this book is a world where zombies are normal everyday things.  People can bring their family members back to life with just part of their soul and a chunk of money.  It’s a unique concept and it made for some very interesting shenanigans.  However, while these zombies are family members and everyday occurrences, they still try and eat people every now and then.
Part of the reason why I didn’t love Undeadly had to with the romance or more accurately, the lack thereof.  I have come to expect some hot and steamy romances from HarlequinTeen and I didn’t get one from Undeadly.  In fact, there was very little romance.  There seemed to be a hint of a romance in the beginning and then again at the end but there was no development to it.  I’m really hoping there is more romance in the second novel in this series.
Overall, while Undeadly didn’t quite meet my expectations I still enjoyed it and got a couple good laughs out of it.  I would definitely recommend it but I would say to go in with low expectations and you will probably enjoy it more.
Looking for more reviews of Undeadly?

8 Comments

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    My review will post next week but sadly Molly sucked all the fun out of it, along with some plot issues. Like you I did enjoy it..it just wanted the over the top book I was so hoping for. Great review!

  2. Tim K

    Do you think it’s possible there is a team of ghost writers working for Harlequin? It would make sense that one is a 36yr old male on their team and has NO clue as to how a 16yr old girl speaks.

    I look forward to reading this book with my own 15yr old daughter, perhaps she could school them as to what is expected to come out of a teen-aged girls mouth.

    http://may-contain-humor.blogspot.com/

  3. Ellen

    Great review. I didn’t like this book as much as I had hoped either. Felt like it was kind of a G-rated zombie book, and agree that Molly’s character was kind of immature. Hopefully, the sequel will be better.

  4. Christina Kit.

    It seems like there was too much lingo here, maybe trying to make her voice authentic, but it backfired it, making her too young.

    The paranormal world sounds great though!

    Lovely review :)

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