How to Date Dead Guys is a really good start to a new series featuring Emma Roberts and her Book of Shadows.
As the synopsis states; Quiet, bookish student – Emma Roberts – finally shows an interest in a boy – Mike Carlson – who just happens to be the brother of her roommates latest beau- Eric - who she watched Chrissy & her sister put a love spell on. She finally has the chance to get to know Mike better on his 21st birthday when he gets smashed and decides to go for a wander, Emma follows him on his adventure but it soon takes a turn for the worst when Mike, decides to go for a swim in the river. The river has taken a few lives over the past few months so Emma decides to join Mike in his night swim in an effort to make sure he gets out alive….. but he doesn’t, he dies and Emma is burdened with guilt. After a particularly nasty encounter with Mike’s mother & brother where they clearly blame Emma, she decides to be pro active and armed with Chrissy’s sisters ‘Book of Shadows’, Emma sets about raising Mike from the dead…… only it’s not Mike that returns…at first…. So it’s up to Emma to put things right and solve the mystery of the rivers victims….. unfortunately, there’s also a pesky cop on her case.
I enjoyed this book and thought the idea behind it was really good. Emma was likable character but a bit of a flake in the beginning, she’s had bad experiences with bullies and hasn’t many friends anyway but that gets even worse following Mikes death and she ends up a very pitiful figure. It was quite heartbreaking watching her bear the burden of a guilt that wasn’t hers and how it affected her, it was horrible when the confrontation with Mike’s loved ones makes her feel even worse and forces her to take desperate measures but this is a turning point for her and as she helps the victims, she becomes empowered in a way by each of them showing her something about herself and themselves, teaching her to live too and it’s then we see her blossom and start to become a more confident person & selfless too.
The storyline was really good and I like a good ghost story that involves people helping them gain some sort of resolution. I used to watch Medium a lot and this book is along those lines with Emma being the only person to see the ‘real’ person beneath the veneer and the only person to help them move on and just as I liked Medium, I like this too and it’s not often I read books like this but when I do, I always enjoy them. The main difference here is that Emma has actually resurrected the spirits into a physical form and I have to say that that did add a certain something to the story because she could interact with them physically too although it was a bit awkward for her to explain the different spirits to people who also interacted with them… but fun too. I liked how each victim got their own little segment of the story and how we find out what happened to them, I also like how Emma interacts with them & then we see Emma help to put things right so they could return to the river. I thought the added threat of the police officer on her tail was good, it added an element of danger, a threat to her mission but I also liked how it turned out. I appreciated that as Emma was sorting others lives out, that her life was getting the same kind of treatment, her parents became more aware of her, she gained some friends that could be way better for her and as I mentioned before – she blossomed in confidence & character. There was one death that wasn’t totally sewn up for me and it leaves me wondering if it will become the series thread but I was very satisfied with the ending and would love to know what happens next for Emma.