Sunday, 28 August 2011

She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens

Series: Spirit Guide, Book One
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Format: Kindle
Published: 19th August 2010
Number of Pages: 178
Book: For Review From Author*
Genre: Ghost Story, Paranormal, Dark Romance, Urban Fantasy, Murder Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Available On: Amazon (Paperback, Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Paperback, Nook), Smashwords (eBook) and The Book Depository (Paperback)
Author's Blog: From The Shadows

Synopsis From Goodreads:
It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television.
The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears.
Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

Yuki’s more-or-less your average girl: she has great friend Emma, she has a crush – who doesn’t crush back on her – and awesome boots.  Except Yuki can smell the dead.  Yeah, that’s right.  It’s not glamorous, and it makes it a lot harder to figure out what the spirit haunting you actually wants.  Now it’s senior year, and Yuki is being haunted by someone who smells like vinegar.  But that’s not the worst part.  She’s suddenly got strange feelings for Calvin Miller, her other friend and is having prophetic dreams at night.  And she knows – knows – that something odd is going on with Calvin…  Can Yuki save Vinegar Man?  Before she loses herself?
I loved this book!  It had action, romance, humour, dead-smelling: everything a girl wants in a paranormal book.  And – more importantly – it was wonderfully written with great characters and plot.  Thanks E.J.!
Yuki (her real name’s Vanessa, but she changed it because of some unfortunate nicknames) was just a character I instantly liked. I liked her habit of exaggerating, her sarcasm, her brilliantly mad fashion sense: everything.  Especially that her spirit animal is a dung beetle.  I laughed so much at that one.  All her strange, unique little sayings made me laugh, too.  How can you not at things like: “son of a dung beetle”, “holy heck”, or “this sucks eggs”?  She was just awesome, from the way she dealt with her gift – in a great, sometimes-funny and always relatable way – to the way she always called Cal by his full name to the habit she had of saying things like: “crow dude” or “doctor man”.  I loved her!  (Did she remind anyone else of Abby from NCIS?  Abby is my favourite TV character ever!)
Calvin Miller was sort of New Agey, into mystical, um, stuff…  He was just adorable: strong, cute, forgiving.  I loved him!  He really made me laugh.  Although, his big secret was kinda obvious.  To me, anyway.
Emma was the best!  She was a vegan and always laid into Calvin for eating meat.  As a vegetarian myself, I loved her: “Can you taste its fear?” comments.  She was really into human rights for everyone – people in the dark ages, bees.  Also into the whole herbal remedies, she was practical, cute, and funny.  She was awesome!
And Calvin and Yuki were really cute.  Their relationship was easy, natural, and oh-so sweet.  They constantly teased one another, and had funny conversations with words like “Smellavision” and “Technosmellor” in them.  However, their friendship changed lately.  Suddenly Calvin was flirting and interrupting Yuki’s daydreams about the studded, Emo-ish guy she was crushing on.  That’s what I liked most about this couple: the fact that they were friends first.  It wasn’t a love-at-first-sight connection, instead being a sweet and one-hundred-per cent believable romance.  Plus there’s the whole adorable: “Beetle Princess” and other nicknames as well.  I can’t wait to see where this couple goes!
I have to mention E.J.’s writing once again: it was amazing.  Easy and funny, I completely felt like it was Yuki talking, not an author writing as her, if that makes any sense.  It sounded like a teenager speaking, without having to try too hard by using irritating words such as too many “like”s or “totally”s.  It was believable and completely addictive.
Now, I have to admit something.  Before I read this book, I just assumed it would be a ghost haunting a girl, who would give him peace and everyone would be peachy.  I was wrong.  Yes, there was murder mystery, but it was so much more than that.  There was a whole other side, one that was so new and so amazing: a brilliant new take on many popular folklores.  I adored She Smells the Dead, and have only one major fault: it was too short!  And it had a terrible cliff-hanger.  I’m over the moon that I have the rest of the series so I can get my ghostly fix and find out what will happen next!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from author in exchange for an honest review


Liz. R said...

Glad you liked this one! It looks great - the main character definitely sounds likeable and a believable teen! Thanks for the fab review :).

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Liz: It's brilliant! And she really is! :)

TG said...

This book caught my attention because of its crazy title, but in every review I've come across, the reviewer has loved it. I really want to read it now.

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

TG: The title is wonderfully mad. It is absolutely brilliant: if you read it, I really don't think you'll be disappointed!! :D