Hi lovely people
As it’s spooky season it seems like the perfect time to post my review of The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston. I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of this via NetGalley and actually read it back in July of this year (safe to say I’m a little bit behind on posting reviews) however I feel like this is more of an autumn read anyway and I think is perfect for anyone looking for a ghost story that’s more romance than spook fest.
So what’s the story….
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead… but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
While I was extremely excited about this book, I have to confess that having now finished it I’m a little unsure what I think about it. I guess overall I did enjoy it, it has the quirky premise I love, some funny and emotional moments and is quite sweet. However, I found my attention occasionally wandering while I was reading, particularly at the start, and it was only really at the end I found myself fully engaged in the story.
It’s possibly a personal taste thing rather than an issue with the writing itself but I found it a little too heavy on the narrative and descriptions in the first part of the book. My brain does not like lots of descriptions (they go in, then straight back out and I remember nothing) so detail on character appearance and setting is lost on me and I have a tendency to lose focus. Skip the descriptions and give me lots of action and dialogue and I’m a happy reader.
Anyway, once I got past the bit at the beginning it becomes a much more enjoyable story. I’m sure I saw a synopsis or review saying it was like the movie Ghost but for me it was probably more a combination of The Sixth Sense and, one of my favourite films, Just Like Heaven. Main character Florence Day, is a ghostwriter for a famous romance author who has the ability to see ghosts. Having had a really bad break up, she believes love is dead which is not great when you’re on a deadline to write the big ending of a romance novel and your new hot editor refuses to give you an extension. When tragedy strikes and she has to return home to the town she fled 10 years ago she gets a bit of a surprise when the ghost who turns up on the doorstep of her family’s funeral parlour is that of her editor.
For the most part I did find Florence pretty likeable. Given her unique ability she is a little bit different and I do like a quirky and different character. I did at times feel like this quirkiness was played up a little too much in the story and certain aspects of her personality seemed a little contradictory which made it difficult to really understand her. Ghostly editor and love interest Benji was much easier to like. He has his own baggage but generally seems a lot more straightforward which was nice.
I really liked the relationship that developed between them. It’s a bit of a slow burn, probably necessarily so given he’s a ghost, which is definitely a plus and I thought they complemented each other perfectly. I will say however that I didn’t feel any real spark between them, and the spice is fairly minimal (although I guess that’s also ghost related).
The highlights of this story for me though were Florence’s other relationships and the way she develops over the course of the novel. I really enjoyed reading the sections with her family and the relationships between Florence and her siblings in particular. I also loved that Florence’s family ran the local funeral home and were very much at the heart of the community. I thought the way that affected their lives and view of death was incredibly well portrayed by the author. It definitely brings a different perspective to things.
This is an emotional read at times but there are quite a few funny moments too and it never gets too heavy. The overall feel of the book is hopeful and uplifting rather than a sob fest. Yes, I did shed a few tears here and there (although not at the parts you may expect) but I also laughed out loud.
Overall an enjoyable read that I’d recommend to anyone.
Thanks to Netgalley and publisher giving me the opportunity to read an advance copy. This has in no way influenced my review