Author: Kim Harrington
Release Date: January 1, 2013 (hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Source: ARC gifted from Nicole at Nicole About Town...
Overall: 4 Stars
A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.
Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
I really enjoyed Kim Harrington's Clarity and its sequel, Perception, so when I heard about her latest standalone novel, The Dead and Buried, I couldn't wait to read it right away. While I didn't think Jade particularly stands out as a protagonist, she's a very kind person who remains level-headed when under pressure... and she certainly needed to keep her wits about her in this book! Kayla Sloane is not a ghost you ever want to cross!
Jade never imagined that the beautiful home she and her family have just moved into used to belong to the most popular girl at her new high school... or that she'd died of unnatural causes and no one was ever caught. It's creepy, yes, but what's all the more scary is that Kayla Sloane, the former queen bee of Woodbridge High School, is still haunting her old home, and she won't leave until Jade learns who murdered her, even if that means threatening Jade's younger brother Colby.
As Jade hurries to find Kayla's murderer, she also learns that her new friends are hiding dark secrets, and that Kayla was a much more cold and manipulative person than many believed. Jade's search for the truth also finds her caught between the attentions of two very different boys who were very close to Kayla when she was alive. Kane, a popular jock and one of Kayla's best friends, has taken a romantic interest in Jade and would like to become more than just friends. He's sweet and charming, but Jade can't help feeling attracted to Donovan the more she gets to know him. When Jade first meets Donovan, Kayla's former boyfriend and the last person to see her alive, she sees an emotionally broken boy who needs help putting the pieces back together again.
Just when I thought the clues had led me to the murderer, new twists are revealed which left me completely second-guessing myself! The Dead and Buried is far from the predictable read I'd assumed it would be. The suspense and mystery steadily builds as the novel progresses, and I couldn't help becoming increasinly suspicious of everyone close to Jade. Kim Harrington's The Dead and Buried is a perfect read for those who love ghostly tales with a dash of romance!