July 4th 2013
People think of Mother Nature as a gentle lady. They forget that she's also Death...Sixteen-year-old Poppy Sinclair believes in quantum particles, not tarot cards, in Dawkins, not druids. Last summer, in a boating accident in the Lake District, Poppy had a brush with death. But the girl she finds face down in Scariswater hasn't been so lucky. As she fights to discover the truth behind what she believes is murder, Poppy is forced to concede that people and things are not always what they seem and, slipping ever deeper into a web of lies, jealousy and heart-stopping danger, she comes to realise - too late - that the one thing that can save her has been right there, all the time.
Dead Jealous was a really great murder mystery that ended up being a lot more than I'd thought it would be. It wasn't perfect, and there were parts of it which I felt didn't work as well as the rest of it, but it was a lot of fun to read and I like Poppy Sinclair a lot, and it'll be fun to hopefully get to read more books about her in the future (though I want a book where she solves a crime with her poodle Dawkins).
One of my favourite things about Dead Jealous was the intertwining of the sort of supernatural and the real world. The majority of the book takes place at a Pagan festival as Poppy's mum and her step-dad are Pagans even though Poppy doesn't believe in that stuff anymore herself. Despite this, though, the murder kind of leads to a lot of weird, not quite explainable stuff happening to Poppy. The only downside to this is that it wasn't really explained so even after having finished the book, I'm not sure about whether the supernatural stuff actually happened or not. I guess that that's kind of the point, though, so.
I also actually liked the love triangle of sorts. In this context, in worked, as Poppy is in love with her best friend Michael, yet also has a bit of a fling with burger van vendor Tariq. I kind of liked the fact that she did that because really she was trying to get over Michael and move on because he had a girlfriend and Poppy wanted to try and preserve their friendship. But I liked that Michael wasn't really sure about what he wanted, either, and it was sort of complicated and not a really straight forward situation.
Personally, my main problem with Dead Jealous was the ending, as it all was just wrapped up so absolutely neatly that I was a bit suspicious. The build-up and the climax were awesome, don't get me wrong. It was really tense and a bit scary and I didn't clock on to who the killer actually was until, like, literally just before it was revealed and it was not at all who I expected it to be. It was all action and excitement and things went wrong, but then the ending just fell a bit flat for after that. I kind of hoped that there would just be, well, more, I guess.
I did really like Poppy a lot, though. She was tough and curious and a bit snarky like all good teen detectives should be, but she's also in a lot of emotional turmoil because of the situation with Michael and Tariq and also because a girl she met one night at a Pagan festival wound up dead - murdered, no less - the next morning whose situation had been similar to Poppy and Michael's. Also, she nearly died a year before the book is set and she's dealing with her parents divorce and her mother's remarriage. So. That's a lot of stuff for her to be dealing with, let alone the whole testing of her resolute, scientific beliefs. I am really excited about getting to read more books about her.
Dead Jealous was a fun sort of mystery/paranormal book that I really enjoyed (really, I'm loving all of these British teen detective books. I would like MORE.) and I would recommend it to anyone who liked books like the Body Finder series or Unspoken and are looking for something to fill the void.