- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (21 Mar. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553512498
- ISBN-13: 978-0553512496
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,063,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I Woke Up Dead at the Mall Paperback – 21 Mar 2017
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This sparkling debut pulls out all the stops: sweet, sad, hopeful, funny, and romantic in turn, it s a story boundto make readers laugh even as they cry. Bookliststarred review
"A feel-good novel about being dead? Only in this quirky, even romantic story." Kirkus
"Humorous and offbeat." --School Library Journal
From the Hardcover edition."
About the Author
Judy Sheehan is one of the original cast members and creators of the long-running stage hit Tony n Tina s Wedding. She was the playwright-in-residence at New York City s prestigious Looking Glass Theatre and has had plays produced there and at regional theaters around the country. She lives in New York City, which is sort of like living in a giant mall.
From the Hardcover edition."
Top customer reviews
I liked getting to know the characters in this book too. We have five young people who have all been murdered and all come from New York City. In fact, they find that they all lived in the same neighbourhood as each other. Where some of them died a while ago, some of them died at virtually the same time, did they know each other in their former lives? I liked the fact that there was a bit of conflict between the characters, but also the relationships that they formed with one another. Sarah is our main character and so we see things through her. She has had it tough in life, but not as tough as some of the others and there is definitely more to her than meets the eye!
Of course I loved the setting. There is a particular scene where they go down to the aquarium and another where the ride the roller coaster and I really enjoyed reliving my trip to MOA alongside them. The description is great though, particularly the scenes in New York and so if you haven't been to either of these places, you will definitely feel at home there after reading this book!
As I say, this book isn't quite what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed what I got. Perhaps there could be further clarity on the jacket as to what to expect, but if you are ready to suspend your disbelief and you are ready for a little bit of magic, then I am sure you will enjoy this story of teens and their afterlives.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Sheehan’s first stroke of genius was to place her leading lady and a tremendously appealing cast of supporting characters in perhaps the only world that Fiction has yet to fully chart - the Hereafter. In offering us such an irresistible playground (the Mall of America - who knew?) and the unlikely but winning scenario of an unexpectedly dead teenager trying not only to solve her own murder but also to save her father’s life back in the world of the living, she has created a divine bubble in which even timeworn challenges dastardly deeds, and rites of passage seem to be newly minted.
Sheehan has a gift for dialogue that will no doubt send scores of blockbuster authors into therapy. Sarah and her contemporaries speak in a flawlessly rendered, preternaturally precocious urban contemporary dialect that is at once enchanting and riveting. For the next generation or so, Sheehan’s dialogue will remain a trendy shining light in the YA firmament; thereafter, it will serve as a “sociologist’s dream” time capsule of teenaged life on earth in the early Twenty-first Century. Sarah Evan’s quest is an adolescent epic myth for modern times and her archetype is Everyteen.
Add into the mix a plot that surprises in the most gratifying ways without ever seeming hackneyed or implausible and the result is one of the finest novels imaginable for Young Adult readers. “I Woke Up Dead at the Mall” is waiting (quick - look on the front lawn) for those who believe that a truly original, achingly witty and unexpectedly heartbreaking YA novel is still possible.
What happens to teenagers’ souls when they are murdered? Why they go to the Mall of America, of course! There is a special, ethereal fifth level where the teens prepare themselves to “move on,” or into the light if you’re a fan of The Ghost Whisperer.
Sarah Evans is surprised, no shocked, to find herself waking up dead, wearing the same Godawful mango chiffon bridesmaid dress that she was wearing at her father’s wedding. She is surrounded by other teens who have also been murdered. These are teens in her class that are preparing to move forward with the help of a “death coach,” Bertha. If she can’t move on, she’ll suffer a fate worse than death: she’ll become a mall walker. Think zombie.
Once sixteen-year-old Sarah figures out how she died, she is certain that her father is in grave, extremely grave danger. She believes she knows who her killer is and why that certain someone has plans to off Dad.
The story and plot are quirky. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but I didn’t find myself laughing out loud as I’d hoped when I saw the title. Ya gotta love the title. It would be ease to slip into religion, but Sheehan avoids it. Her”God” is the Boy, otherwise known as the “Boss of You.” He wasn’t well developed and came off as flat.
Sometimes languid, sometime spirited, Sarah is the most complex character in the story. I Woke Up Dead at the Mall receives 4 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.
Judy Sheehan’s new book is filled with her special brand of witty humor and engaging writing style that young adults will embrace. Compelling characters in a fantastical setting is as enlightening as it is enjoyable. Well done.