Sunday, June 1, 2014

#YABookReview: 'Dying to Tell Me' by Sherryl Clark

Dying to Tell Me by Australian author Sherryl Clark is a paranormal mystery with a young adult protagonist. Before I read it, my grandma read it. She doesn't usually read YA or paranormal, so I'm not sure where she picked it up. A friend must have passed it along to her. Her copy is inscribed, "To Emily York, Enjoy your book! Love in Jesus! Bro. Ed + Sis. Betty Borlik 9/5/11." I don't know the Borliks or Emily York, but maybe the Yorks are some of my grandma's neighbors. Alternatively, she may have bought this at the thrift shop.

It was a fairly quick read - I read a large chunk of it while waiting at my husband's doctor's office. I'd never heard of Clark before, but judging from the back matter, she's a popular children's picture book and young adult author Down Under. 

The heroine is Sasha Miller, age 13. Her mother recently left the family, so Sasha's dad Dennis is moving Sasha and her 10-year-old brother Nicky to the small town of Manna Creek. There, Dennis will be the new chief constable. 

Sasha isn't getting along very well in Manna Creek, though. Her first day, she slips near the creek and hits her head on a stone, landing her in the hospital with a concussion. Then she discovers a dilapidated old building in the back yard of the house they're staying in, and it turns out to be the town's first jail which, incidentally, is haunted by the ghost of a man who committed suicide a hundred years before. Or did he? 

That would be bad enough, but when some of Dennis's mates bring around King, a trained police dog, to be the newest member of the Miller family, Sasha thinks she's hearing things. In fact, she thinks she can hear King's thoughts telepathically, and he can hear hers. Is Sasha going crazy, or simply coming into her special powers? 

This book reminded me, to varying degrees, of three other things I really like:

1. Sookie Stackhouse, if she were a teenager

2. Marlene Perez's Dead Is series, although Dying to Tell Me is darker and less cartoonish

Still, these elements added up to a unique story. I liked this book, and my grandma liked it, too. Clark's storytelling makes this a compelling read even if you're not normally a mystery reader, not normally a paranormal reader, and/or not normally a YA reader. 

My grandma is currently reading, and enjoying, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, a Canadian author. I haven't read the book, but I did like the movie. I'm still working my way through Middlemarch - I'm almost at the middle - and my secondary book is The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. 

1 comment:

Shoshanah said...

This does sound interesting. Although I'm not quite sure the cover seems to go with the summary. it just feels a little too grown-up for a book about a 13-year-old.