*This review will be a little different than the others, because I have read this book in the past. So this can be considered a re-read book review!*
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Release Date: December 13th 2011 (first published March 4th 2004)
Genre: Young Adult (Almost New Adult), Romance, Paranormal
What happens when you’re stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.
Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.
Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.
Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize s that her appointed tie to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.
He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules.
When I first read the book:
I first read this book my freshman year of high school, so that was a while ago. When I read it back then, I thought it was a decent book with some grammar and spelling errors that a good editor could fix. I think when I read it the book, it was basically the printed adaptation of the kindle version, and it looked like it too. I’m not sure if the recent editions have changed slightly, but I had to say that I had one of the original printed editions. But, let’s see how this book holds up the second go around, especially now that I’m older!
Warning! This book has some dealings with mental illness (such as Bipolar, PTSD, and Schizophrenia) and psychiatric homes!
I believe that age has definitely changed me as a reader. I remember when I first read this, all the tiny writing mistakes that I found in the words, and that was all I really found wrong with the book. However, now that I’m older, I have found a few more errors in this book, though mostly to do with character building and really bad Google research.
Some of the character reactions to certain events didn’t sit well with me, especially to some of the traumatic events. What do I mean? Some of the characters were almost unaffected to some events that would make normal people just absolutely flip their switches or go into shock. When the main character reacted normally to the same situation, she was labeled as overreacting or mentally ‘fragile’. There were some other character actions that I found didn’t fit with their personality or age group. As for some of the dialogue from the teens, sometimes they didn’t fit. Teens are notorious for using slang, contractions, and the use of less formal variations of the same word when speaking to their parents or other teens. They don’t reply ‘Yes’ to every question, and they don’t say ‘Oh my G!’.
As for the bad Google research, well that mostly ties in with later in the book with some of the afore mentioned mental illnesses in the warning. Some of the things said and described in that section of the book really aggravated me because it was clear that the author had no concept or experience with such things. Instead, her opinions/thoughts on mental illness and those who suffer from them were very stereotypical sheltered.
The end was also a little twisted, not in a sick way, but in the sense that the author didn’t really completely explain some of the reality building she did in the book, especially in the last few pages. The author briefly mentioned some important themes in the dialogue, but didn’t fully explain them for the readers to get a clear grip on what she was saying. Maybe there will be more explanation in the next book? I can only hope, because I never got around to reading it!
However, despite these issues Existence for the most part was still very enjoyable for me to reread. It was fun to remember the feelings I had when I first read the book, and to remember the parts that I had to keep myself from squealing about in the back of the classroom my freshman year of high school. It was also interesting to see how my taste in books and how I rate them or feel about certain things has changed. It’s an easy story to follow, for the most part, and there aren’t a lot of things to confuse the readers.
This book will be fun for anyone who has an interest in Death, well obviously. And it will be enjoyable for anyone looking for a low key, simple, not a lot of adventure, paranormal story. I can say that this book will probably not be for everyone, especially with all of the current discussions and awareness of mental illness as a whole. However, regarding that area, this book does not spend very many pages, maybe 20-25, with the issue of mental illness. It reads as if it was thrown in last minute as a way to help push the story toward the final conclusion, but that’s just my opinion. The rest of the book is pretty enjoyable, if you don’t mind going back to high school, some continuity errors, some repetition, stereotypical portrayal of a ‘farm girl’ (that one really pushed my buttons), or the old stereotypical way of portraying people with mental illnesses. It’s a fun concept that I have not seen many people play with in other stories.
The story as a whole was pretty interesting. The concept was one that I had not read about when I first picked up the book, and I have not found many books with a similar concept since. With that being said, I think what I liked best about this book was the concept. The writing is okay, it isn’t the best that I’ve read, but it certainly isn’t the worst. The main characters are, for the most part, pretty fun and enjoyable to read about. The only marks that I have against this book are some of the hideous grammar mistakes that I found (I have an older edition so they may have been fixed by now), some of the unrealistic reactions of some of the characters, and the clearly high school, stereotypical way of portraying mental illness and the care that goes into those patients. If it weren’t for those this book would have gotten a 4 for the story.
As for the re-readability (if this is not an actual word I will make it one!), this book was fun to read again and remembering the different feelings I had while reading it years ago. I even remember how angry I got towards the end when I read it the first time. Now that I’m older there were other things that bothered me that I either never caught or didn’t think about before. But overall, this story was pretty fun to read again!