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The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried Hardcover – 19 Feb 2019
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"Biting, hopeful, and laugh-out-loud funny, Dino and July's story is a heartfelt exploration of how our friendships shape us, even after they're dead and gone."--Francesca Zappia, ward-winning author of Eliza and Her Monsters and Made You Up
"A fearless and brutal look at friendships and the emotional autopsies we all do when they die. Like a real relationship you will laugh, rage, and mourn its loss when it's over. If you haven't been reading Hutchinson, this is a brilliant place to start."--Justina Ireland, New York Times bestselling author of DREAD NATION
"Only Shaun David Hutchinson could take on love, family, friendship, life, and death so deftly, hilariously, poignantly, and thoughtfully. I loved every second of this book. THE PAST AND OTHER THINGS THAT SHOULD STAY BURIED somehow manages to be wholly original yet familiar, simultaneously hilarious and moving, weird and wonderful. This is a book you can't put down even if you wanted to. Have you been looking for a zombie book that will make you laugh and cry? Look no further than this one, by one of young adult literature's sharpest talents."--Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King
Get ready, because Hutchinson (The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, 2018) is going to knock your socks off with this new, deliciously bizarre novel. Dino's parents own a funeral home, so being around dead bodies isn't exactly unusual for him. But when his ex-best friend July dies suddenly and shows up in his basement, it isn't the fact that she's dead that shocks him, but rather the fact that she suddenly wakes up! As the two do their best to figure out what is going on, they embark on a journey to confront their combined past, and their future apart. However, the longer they spend trying to uncover the mystery of July's reanimation, the more fishy things begin to smell--literally. Readers will find themselves captivated both by Dino and July's complicated history and even more complex present, as well as Dino's own journey of self-discovery. In the midst of everything else, Dino and his boyfriend--a sweet, funny, and supportive trans guy--navigate their own relationship against the backdrop of chaos July has brought down into their lives. Gender, sexuality, friendship, life, and death are all sensitively explored in Hutchinson's surreal, new narrative. His intelligent writing will seduce readers with its complex and spunky characters, lively dialogue, offbeat humor, and emotional depth. -- Rob Bittner--Booklist *STARRED REVIEW* "Oct 15, 2018 "
Shaun David Hutchinson has delivered another unique young adult novel. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of former best friends, Dino and July. What makes this different from other novels with alternating narration is the fact that July died and has come back from the dead--not as a zombie per se, but she is a decomposing, yet still functioning (except for normal physiological functions like a heartbeat) corpse. Throughout the course of the novel the two work through the issues in their friendship, accept some of their own insecurities, and come to terms with July's death. As Dino and July work through the mystery of July's return from the dead, they realize not only is she undead, but death seems to have ceased to exist around the world. The discussion of the larger impact the end of death would have worldwide contrasts with the personal story of Dino and July and is one of the novel's greatest strengths. Strong, well-developed characters will have readers feeling like they, too, are friends with Dino and July. The novel addresses sexuality, grief, and occasionally references our current political leaders. Comedic relief is provided through July's progressing physical decomposition. Purchase for most collections serving teens, especially where magical realism is popular. Give to fans of A.S. King and Andrew Smith. Kimberly Hillary, Librarian, Mount Horeb (Wisconsin) High School Recommended--School Library Connection "March April 2019 "
Gr 8 Up-A brain aneurysm killed July Cooper, but it can't destroy her bond with Dino DeLuca. July rises from the dead at the funeral home owned by Dino's family, and though the two teens had been on the outs for the past year, they are drawn together as they attempt to conceal July's reanimation. What ensues is messy. July's body is slowly rotting, and the two trade barbed words while untangling why their friendship ended after Dino met his boyfriend, Rafi. Once again, Hutchinson defies genres. This isn't a ghost story, and July isn't a zombie, as she frequently points out. But she can't eat, she has no heartbeat, and until she's finally laid to rest, nobody else can die. This inventive take on the life-after-death narrative ponders profound truths. It's the ones who love us the most who can inflict the deepest wounds and hold us back, but even bitter fights can't extinguish some connections. Like typical adolescents, uncertain Dino and snarky July seem wise beyond their years one moment and maddeningly immature the next, and their journeys to self-discovery will resonate with readers. VERDICT A grotesque, mordantly funny, and tender look at friendship, for fans of Aaron Starmer's Spontaneous and Adam Silvera's They Both Die at the End.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal--School Library Journal STARRED REVIEW "February 2019 "
About the Author
Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, At the Edge of the Universe, and We Are the Ants. He also edited the anthologies Violent Ends and Feral Youth and wrote the memoir Brave Face, which chronicles his struggles with depression and coming out during his teenage years. He lives in Seattle, where he enjoys drinking coffee, yelling at the TV, and eating cake. Visit him at ShaunDavidHutchinson.com or on Twitter @ShaunieDarko.
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I've always loved Shaun's books, the voice, and sense of self in them - plus I love the surrealism he plays with. But this book, and The Apocalypse Of Elena Mendoza have taken a turn. They're both so funny, and full of hope. Almost comedies. I know there are things in the world that made Shaun consciously take that turn. His books in the past have been very dark at times, not just with the horror or sff elements, but with the realism his surrealism lives inside. I love those books. But I think I love these last two even more. Idk - I hope that the HOPE in these this book (and Elena) mean that Shaun is in a place where he feels more hopeful, because this book definitely made me feel lighter. It let me breathe easier. And I love that this zombie ex-bff book is going to be in teens' hands soon.
Ugh. That was quite a ramble . . . short version: This is a beautiful, funny, and fun book. Full of hope and love.
The one con is that July isn't a likable or relatable character. That made her chapters a little distracting for me, but I'm not a young adult audience member. In other words, I'm not the primary audience for this book, and that's fine. I think teenagers will find something relatable to her, and that's all the book needs to achieve. Dino is much more relatable in that he wants to leave the toxic relationship, one in which July can't let go. It makes for an interesting and entertaining dynamic.
Although this does have a form of zombie-like qualities, this is more Warm Bodies than the Walking Dead. Less about the apocalypse and more about the ability to let go of the past.
As they start working on the mystery of July’s current state, July and Dino have to figure out why their friendship really ended. But doing so means exploring some pretty painful things of the past, and realizing that neither of them really had the whole picture.
I was so, so happy to get an advanced copy of this book! Shaun David Hutchinson has probably become one of my favorite authors, and so far, my favorite book of his is The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza. The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried hasn’t surpassed it to become my favorite, but it was still a masterpiece of its own accord.
One of the things that I love most Hutchinson’s works is the way that they often examine friendships. This book in particular did this best, as July and Dino try to figure out why they stopped being friends. The reality is that it took July’s death in order for them to make amends, which is something that happens all too often in real life. We get the good, the bad, and the ugly of teenage friendships, and everything about July and Dino’s relationship feels real. Well, except for the fact that July is not-dead.
The emotions are also a strong aspect of this book. We feel Dino’s love for Rafi; we feel his anxiety about not being good enough, we feel his frustration with July. And through July’s chapters, we’re able to get the other side of the story. We feel July’s frustration with Dino; her struggles with accepting that she’s died; her sadness at not getting to do the things she wants to do. The emotions are what carry you through the story, and their not emotions that are unique to just teens; they’re emotions that everyone can relate to.
While I related to the emotions in the story, the main reason this wasn’t pushed ahead of Elena Mendoza is because I related to her a bit more. The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried is a bit more subdued than that, but still 100% enjoyable.
Hutchinson’s book will take you on a weird, wild ride that you won’t want to put down until it’s done. And even then, you’ll probably want to go back and read it again.