Published September 29th 2015 by Crown Books for Young Readers
Format read: Finished copy publisher
Crow Darlingson may be dead, but he still loves air hockey, bowling, and drawing. Like other kids, his mother makes sure he finishes his homework, and he alwayslooks forward to Halloween.
But Crow Darlingson isn’t like other kids. He stinks. He’s got maggots. His body parts fall off at inopportune moments. And he hasn’t been able to sleep in years. Not since waking up from death.
Despite the maggots, Crow is lonely. When Melody Plympton moves in next door, Crow finally has a chance at friendship and a shot at getting his life back from the mysterious wish-granting creature living in the park. But first there are tests to pass. And it means risking the only friend he’s had in years.
Debut author Laurel Gale’s story about friendship fulfilled may be the most moving—and most macabre—yet.
But Marci Lynn Curtis gave the book a strong review, and I definitely trust Marci's taste. So when Random House asked if I would be interested in joining the blog tour, I immediately agreed!
Debut author Laurel Gale introduces us to Crow, a young boy who just happens to be dead. Forced to spend his days at home with his mother - who helpfully sews on body parts that have fallen off - Crow longs for a friend.
He finds one in new neighbor Melody Plympton, who is also struggling with her own life. When the two of them decide to go after the Meera, a supernatural creature that may solve their respective woes, they are in for a surprising journey...
What's absolutely fantastic about Dead Boy, is the many layers that Laurel Gale has imbued into the story. On the surface, there's the foundational zombie tale: Crow is a dead kid in a living world, and he has to live his accordingly. Because the outside world won't accept him, his life now consists of a smaller microcosm involving only him and his mother.
But on a greater level, Dead Boy serves as a smart, bracing analogy of the struggles and pains involved with growing up. Like many overbearing parents - though she most definitely has more cause in this case - Mrs. Darlingson is an extremely protective parent, and Gayle smartly points out that even dead, Crow struggles with too much of his mother's love. He is struggling with the very teenaged desire of freedom and wanting to grow up.
However, the growing process is an imperfect one, and it's hardly surprising that Crow and Melody decide to go after a creature that can grant wishes and solve their problems, a very childish notion of wish fulfillment. But Gale throws another proverbial wrench into the works, proving that while desires can very well be achieved, there is - like adulthood - no perfect solution to anything.
You have to work hard for what you do achieve, and Crow's ability to learn this lesson, concludes the book in a very satisfying way.
Laurel Gale has written a beautiful and heartbreaking tale on the challenges of transitioning from childhood to young adulthood, and just how much of a struggle it can be. Regardless of whether you're alive or dead, it's always scary to accept the change involved with growing older, especially when there are those around you who also may not want that change.
Crow's journey from an isolated young boy, to someone who bravely fights for the right to his future, is a fantastic and macabre journey, that is fulfilling and enjoyable. Highly recommend for all MG fans, full stop.
Enter below! US/INT.