Author: Sharon Jones
ISBN 13: 978-1408327548
Dead Jealous by Sharon Jones is described on the blurb as a “thriller,” but from reading it, I’d say it’s far more based on relationships and emotions than having any mystery or thriller elements. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing although I’d have personally preferred a bit less of an emotional side. Overall, I’d say the book was okay but not really anything special.
Dead Jealous main character is Poppy. The story begins when she goes to a Pagan festival with her parents. However, while out by the lake, she finds a dead body and, despite everyone else’s belief, she is convinced the dead girl was murdered and sets out to find out who the killer is. In a typical mystery fashion, everybody seems to have some sort of motive or suspicious element to their character, and Poppy has to gradually uncover the truth. On top of this, she’s dealing with romantic issues of a personal kind and, fairly predictably, spends much of the book stuck in a love triangle, unsure of who she really wants to be with.
When I was reading, I allowed for the fact that Dead Jealous’s intended audience is probably younger than the books I usually read. I would still say that the language used is, at times, overly simple–there are a lot of repetitive words and descriptions that made it slightly difficult to read consistently. Particularly, at the beginning of the book, the plot seems to jump around quite a lot with no real links from one passage to the next. For me, this meant that I had to keep looking back to see what happened, a task that disrupted my reading. While most of the book was interesting enough to hold my attention and keep me reading, the plot does drag a bit in the middle when nothing much happens. However, the ending is far more fast paced and exciting. If the whole book had been similar to how the ending is written, it would have been generally a more interesting read.
I also struggled to connect with the main character, Poppy, mostly because she seems really inconsistent throughout most of the novel. One minute she’s trying to solve the murder and the next she’s worrying about her personal relationships. This made the story feel quite awkward and clunky. Although I thought most of the characters were okay, they all had something that made them feel less believable. There’s also a very awkward scene in which Poppy discusses sex with her mom that made me squirm. Similarly, the supernatural elements, such as the tarot cards, didn’t always seem that consistent with the plot. Even though part of the point was that it’s never clear whether the tarot cards and dreams are real, there were times this made the story less believable.
Overall, I have very mixed opinions about this novel. I enjoyed the mystery elements but there wasn’t enough of this to carry throughout the story. The emotional sections were okay in places, but they sometimes felt overdone and they didn’t fit well with the plot. However, I did enjoy reading Dead Jealous and would recommend for you to read it yourself and make up your own mind.
About the Author
Undiscovered Voices 2012 winner, Sharon Jones, has been writing since childhood. While studying for a degree in politics and then a Masters in theology, she worked in two independent bookshops where she developed a love of young adult fiction. Sharon gained a doctorate in the theology of story whilst being den mother to 500 undergraduates and has taught courses on everything from the philosophy of education to the history of Neo-Paganism. Having lived in Liverpool, Cambridge, Warwick and Colchester, she now lives back in her native Lancashire with a giant white poodle, Harvey.
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Text © 2014 Kathryn Lewis
Re-print © 2014 The Black Lion Journal
Re-printed with permission.
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