Early Book Review: Dead Boy by Laurel Gale

Dead Boy by Laurel Gale is a middle grade novel that is currently scheduled for release on September 29 2015. Crow Darlingson died in the 4th grade, but he’s still alive and growing. He can’t eat or taste anything, his body parts sometimes fall off (mom always sews them back on, though), and he’s only allowed to leave his house once per year, on Halloween. His parents are now separated, and he blames himself, and is chafing at being confined. Sneaking out at night only makes things worse, but he can’t resist the chance at a real friendship with Melody Plympton, the new girl next door, who loves mystery more than she minds the side effects of Crow being dead. Together they investigate the mysterious Meera, a monster living in the nearby park. Logic and fear tell Crow to stay away, but fuzzy memories lure him on. When Crow and Melody venture into its underground lair, Crow’s not just risking the half-life he clings to. He’s also risking the only friend he’s had in years. The importance of friendship is crystallized as Crow and Melody face tests of loyalty, courage, and honor.

Dead Boy is a dark but still fun book about a boy that is slightly dead, but still wants to live his life. He has an overprotective mother that refuses to talk about any uncomfortable topic, and a father that loves him but lives a few hours away.  After he died and came back crow has had no real life outside his home; no friends, and no outside time to speak of. when a new girl moves in next door, and just happens to be fascinated with magic and monsters, the pair become fast friends. Then things go wrong, as they often do, and friendships seem to be crumbling. Encountering the Meera during a disastrous Halloween lead Crow and Melody on a quest of tests that will put their bravery, loyalty, and more to the test. However, just when everyone things things are settled, they will discover that there is more to do in order to reach their happy ending. Everyone discovers some truth about themselves, their faults, and the importance of being honorable. 

Dead Boy is a macabre story with much more to it than it seems. There is plenty of dark humor, high action, and adventure. However there are also lessons about friendship and being a honorable, good person that are woven through the story. this is a read that will appeal to many readers, for many different reasons. I think anyone that picks it up and reads will be happy with that decision. 

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