Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.
A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.
The cover of the book is so gorgeous and it is only when I started reading the book that I realized the subtle meaning of it and nearly swooned at how sly the symbolism is. The book deals with coming back from death yeah? So the model pictured on the cover is tearing the “veil,” that is, she is literally coming back from the dead. Cool stuff, very cool stuff.
Okay, now let us move forth to the review proper. The premise is fresh and innovative (and the zombie free novel wins points too). Daisy is a likeable character with a readable voice. During the first few pages of the novel, I was immediately struck by her nonchalance where death is concerned. It does not seem to mean a lot to her. Especially the fact that despite knowing that she has a deadly allergic reaction to bee stings, she consciously leaves behind the medicine that could save her life. So that really did not sit well with me but I realized later that Patrick was laying down the foundation for Daisy’s education.
What follows is an intriguing mix of science, intrigue, romance and friendship. More on the romance later. First we need to talk about the friendship. I like how Patrick takes time and care to build up the friendship that is such a huge part of this novel. It is a genuine friendship and not a means to an end. The fact that Daisy makes her first real “normal” friend makes the culmination of the friendship even more poignant and you will need to read the book to figure out the cryptic statement. The romance. This is what I had some trouble with. Honestly, the love interest sounded amazing. Hot, kind and nice. You know, truly nice. Do you know how difficult it is to find truly nice, boyfriend material guys? Very difficult, I assure. And I was all gungho about him until he said something that made me take a step back and question myself.
Maybe it is because I am an older reader and maybe more attuned to stuff like this and perhaps more sensitive to it but in a scene when the protagonists are talking about the love interest’s ex-girlfriend, he, quite casually, says “She’s a bitch.”
Everything came to a screeching halt right then. I find it extremely off putting that just to assuage his current love, the guy is calling his ex names. It makes me wonder how he would react when and if his relationship with Daisy breaks up and it makes me question his niceness. There were so many other things he could have said but the fact that he called his ex names just to calm Daisy’s insecurities makes me lose all respect for him. Calling your ex names does not seem like love-interest-ey behavior to me.
That said, I found Daisy’s gradual journey to understanding death and grief fascinating. The book demands a lot emotionally from you but I think the pay off equalizes the demand. Would I recommend the book to you? Well, I liked it. I thought it was an interesting take on the paranormal. While the scientific portion that explains this Wonder Drug is missing, there is plenty of action and intrigue to make it an entertaining read. Make up your own mind.