Before I start, I just want to say that as a wuss, and a usual ghost-avoider, The Dead and Buried may fall a little flat for horror lovers! I, however, adored it!
Something that many non-creepy readers will love is that while it was a bit spooky, it was completely "Oh my GOD that is freaky" kind of scary. So if you're expecting to be scared out of your pants...change your expectations! The Dead and Buried is a typical ghost story, brought to an extreme and detailed level, which I loved. A haunted house, the new kid turned detective, and a love triangle? A bit familiar? Maybe. But I loved it.
It wasn't too creepy for me, but it still made me feel a bit spooked and that's something that rarely happens. I'm either completely scared out of my wits, or I'm bored. This was a perfect balance between both and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The plot was...fine, I admit, cliche. But the ending? Definitely shocking! I had never suspected that person and the fact that it was that person? Shocking to say the least! Reading back, I could see all the hints pointing at it, but it was still shocking. I thought I knew who it was, then I was proven wrong, rinse and repeat several times, but did I ever guess who it actually was? Did I even have an inkling of a thought? No, not really. Actually, let me rephrase that: No, not at all. It was completely shocking and the way that every hint seemed...innocent? That was just a cruel, cruel twist! The plot was far from slow and while it wasn’t necessarily action packed, it was still highly enjoyable!
I just couldn’t believe the romance between Jade and Donovan. Every kiss, stray look, each feeling. It felt like it was just there for…nothing, and I just got extremely annoyed by how little depth the romance had. The same goes for things between Kane and Jade. There was…nothing, though I do get that the only reason Jade was leading Kane on was because of her “research”, but I honestly think The Dead and Buried may have been a much more engaging book if most of it weren’t that taken up with Jade and her boy problems.
The characters? They were real. They each had weaknesses, they all had had their secrets, and there was always one thing they wanted. Whether it was protagonist or antagonist, I loved each of them. Even Kayla, who was supposed to be the bratty one. I feel like if someone had just seen her for herself, not her social rank, she could’ve been…better. I even liked Faye, the reigning “mean girl” who was trying to slip into the role of Queen Bee. Everyone had their own story and I loved discovering what their sore point was, what they’d wanted the most.