*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I didn’t expect this book to affect me the way it did.
With such a quirky, fun title and premise, even though I read some other reviews, I didn’t quite believe them. But listen to the other reviews and listen to this one—the character development, and the development of relationships between characters, for Emma, all the dead guys she brings back, and even some of the smaller side characters was real, believable, and absolutely phenomenal.
And the book was so much more meaningful and deep and touching and heart-wrenching than I thought it would be. I don’t full-on cry over books, but I did shed some tears and get watery eyes numerous times while reading. I’m a series girl because it usually takes me numerous books to really connect to characters and get emotional about them, but every dead guy introduced in this book somehow managed to worm his way into my heart. I just really felt for the characters and the struggles and heaviness of the situations they were in, and I couldn’t believe how quickly I got attached to each one.
As for the premise, I was imagining that the main character would do a spell and then a bunch of ghosts would rise up and follow her around. Instead, well, I’ll let you have the fun of discovering it as you read and just say it was very unique and creative and kept getting more interesting and complicated (in a great way) as the book went on!
I did have some general issues in the beginning (like the immaturity of the protagonist), but they faded away as I got sucked in, and eventually they all proved to be a purposeful part of the story.
So this wasn’t a dark book, but it wasn’t rainbows and unicorns either. It was fun and quirky, but it was also serious and emotional. It would make me laugh on one page then cry on the next. And even though this book dealt with topics of death and life and what it means to really live, it didn’t so much make me think as it just made me feel. Overall, it was just kind of beautiful.
Fans of character-driven urban fantasy, anyone who loves character development and growth, and anyone who likes books that make them FEEL!
More Books in the Series:
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts.” But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one…
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young man determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will appeal to the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.
***Note: classified as New Adult due to the college-aged main character, but material is appropriate for those in 10th grade and up.***
Book Author: Ann M. Noser
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Series: The Witch's Handbook
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Book Rating: 4.5
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series
Setting Location: USA, Wisconsin
Non-Human Type: Ghosts/Spirits, Witches
Romance Type: M-F
Extra Love: Adorable Friendship, Adorable Relationship, All the Feels, Favorite Book/Series, Funny, Super Creative, Thought-Provoking