|Available March 15, 2011. Pre-order from Amazon here.|
CRAIG, who has not been charged with murder, is focusing on his classes, and also on avoiding Nicole’s sorority sisters, who seem to blame him for her death even though the police did not.
PERRY, Craig’s roommate, is working through his own grief (he grew up with Nicole, after all, and had known her since kindergarten) by auditing Professor Polson’s sociology class: Death, Dying, and the Undead.
MIRA has been so busy with her babies—two of them, twins, the most perfect boys you could imagine, but still a nearly impossible amount of work even with Clark’s help—that she can barely keep herself together to teach (Death, Dying and the Undead), let alone write the book she'll need to publish for tenure.
And SHELLY, who was the first person at the scene of the accident, has given up calling the newspapers to tell them that, despite the "lake of blood" in which they keep reporting the victim was found, the girl Shelly saw that night was not bloody, and not dead.
My opinion: This book actually follows the lives of several different characters, revolving around an car accident where a young college girl died. Craig was driving the car, beside him his girlfriend Nicole; Shelly, who works at the college, is the first on the scene. She finds a Craig and Nicole, knows enough to tell Craig not to move her that she might be hurt and immediately calls 911. She notes that there is no blood at the scene and soon paramedics come to take over. In the newspaper however, the article paints a different tale; that there was a lot of blood at the scene and the middle aged woman who was first on the scene failed to call 911, which Shelly knows to be false. She calls the newspaper first to try and get the facts corrected, then the police, but to no avail. To me, right away I knew obviously they were trying to cover something up. The book goes back to the first day of college, when Craig meets his roommate, Perry, and first sees Nicole. He falls for her immediately, but she's a good girl, wholesome and pure, and Craig is sort of a bad boy. Perry has known Nicole his whole life, they grew up together, and it seems like he has some sort of feelings for her as well. Another main character is Professor Polson (Mira), who works at the college teaching a course on death and dying, customs from around the world related to death. Her husband is a stay at home dad, and at the beginning she says that he's content to do that but when you get a glimpse into their home life you can see that he's not. They have twins and it seems to be having a profound impact on their relationship; he feels like he doesn't get enough time to himself having to watch the kids all day and her working all the time. But of course someone has to work to support them, so it's a never-ending fight. To keep her job, Mira has to write another book and have it published. But what to write about? Then some of the students report seeing Nicole around campus, only with dark hair. Suddenly Mira has something to write about; are kids imaginations playing tricks, could it be a ghost, or is something far more evil going on at the school?
I really enjoyed this book. I felt bad for Craig, returning to that college after the accident where Nicole was killed. Everyone in the town wanted him to leave, calling him a murderer. And the fact that he couldn't remember any of it had to have been hard. Luckily he had Perry there for him, otherwise he wouldn't really have had anyone to confide in. I can't even imagine how frustrating it would have been to be Shelly, knowing what you saw but no one wants to hear the truth. And then she gets involved in something that changes her life, and it really makes you outraged for her. I felt for Mira, she was working so hard, and had to do research for her book plus teach her class and it seemed like every time she went home her husband wanted to pick a fight. I'm a stay at home mom (admittedly I don't have twins though), but the way her husband acted just really irritated me. She's trying to support all of them and all he does is complain. Yes, taking care of kids is extremely hard work, which is why being a stay at home mom or dad is exactly like having a job. But he could have tried to be more sympathetic to her needs as well. He wasn't even doing a good job of being a stay at home dad, she was coming home to find him sleeping in the middle of the day, the kids awake with no one to care for them. Honestly, I pretty much had figured out some of the big secrets before I got to the end, but even I was surprised by some of the outcomes. It was a great book, I loved how it followed several different characters stories. I like the cover, because that's how Nicole was said to look when Shelly found them; hope it's the final cover. The name is very fitting as well, but you don't get to know the significance until later on in the story. Definitely worth reading, go check it out!
My rating: 4/5 stars