I am super excited to welcome author Kim Harrington to the blog today. Many of you know Kim from her Clarity Series. Kim just recently released The Dead and the Buried, a stand alone ghostly thriller. I invited Kim here to answer a few questions, and of course there is a giveaway!
Here is Kim's bio:
Kim Harrington is the author of the Clarity series for teens and the Sleuth or Dare series for kids. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. When not writing, she's most likely reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. Her first book, Clarity, received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, was a 2012 ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, sold to nine countries, and was optioned for television by Warner Brothers. Find Kim on her website, blog, twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
Here are my interview questions for Kim:
1. I enjoyed that the heroine, Jade, was a gemstone collector and I liked learning more about the individual gemstones and their properties. Why did you decide to utilize gemstones in the book? Are you a gemstone enthusiast?
It’s funny because, other than my wedding rings, I don’t own any expensive jewelry or gemstones. I’m actually allergic to gold and nickel. I can’t even wear earrings. But I wanted Jade to have a hobby, something connected to her mother, to delve into her character more. So I chose gemstones. Luckily, I have a good friend who designs her own jewelry and she hooked me up with information and a stack of gemstone catalogs.
2. What type of research did you do on ghosts?
Just some mild Internet research, not too much. Though when I was little, I was obsessed with haunted houses. There was a house at the end of my street that had been built in the 1800s and was abandoned. All the kids in the neighborhood were convinced it was haunted and we used to spy on it. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea.
No, I don’t believe. But, with that said, I do get spooked easily. So maybe my subconscious believes?
4. My favorite aspect of the book was the diary entries. Kayla was a particularly wicked and selfish character. What was your inspiration for Kayla and her journal?
I’m sure everyone who went to middle or high school knows a Kayla. I certainly did. They gain power by being cruel and that power gives them license to do what they want and pretty much get away with it. And I thought she’d be an interesting character. If she was a mean girl in life…she’d make a really angry ghost. The diary entries were wicked fun to write, and I loved the idea of coding the entries and making it so that the reader could figure out the mystery before Jade does.
It depends on how haunted. I can deal with cold spots and flickering lights now and then. What Jade went through? I’d move real quick.
6. Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier is one of my favorite classic books. Did you purposefully set out to have shades of Rebecca in your book, or did it just happen?
About halfway through my first draft, I needed a book for Jade to be reading in English class. I decided to pop in Rebecca to do a shout out to one of my favorite books. But then I started thinking…what if I layered in some parallels? I have no interest in writing a retelling, but I thought it would be fun to have a few hat tips in there.
I love to curl up in my favorite reading chair under a big fuzzy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and good book. And booking a vacation someplace warm always helps.
I’ve actually never read an ebook. Not yet anyway. But I’m sure I will soon.
9. What books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?
There are so many! The first ones that come to mind are THE DARK BETWEEN by Sonia Gensler and THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR by Mindee Arnett.
10.What is next for you?
I can’t talk about what I’m working on now quite yet, but I’d love to keep writing YA mysteries and thrillers and I hope I get the opportunity.
Thanks for having me!
A big thanks to Kim for taking time out to answer my questions. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors! Thanks to the good folks at Scholastic, I am able to offer a giveaway for you all. For U.S. residents only, fill out the Rafflecopter for your chance to win one of two paperback copies of The Dead and the Buried by Kim Harrington. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
The Dead and the Buried by Kim Harrington
A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.
Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Scholastic Point
Four Stars: An exciting ghostly tale that is heavy on suspense!
Jade is finally getting her chance to attend a big fancy high school, even if it does mean she is the new girl for her senior year. She is anxious and excited to start her first day. Unfortunately, she doesn't receive a warm welcome from the handsome boy who is supposed to show her around. He bolts out of the office once he finds out where she lives. He isn't the only one. All the students are whispering behind her back. What is it about her new house that has everyone so jittery? When Jade discovers the truth, she is horrified to learn that the most popular girl in school died after falling down the stairs in her house, the one that Jade and her family live in. Her five year old brother, Colby, begins telling her that he is seeing a ghostly girl in his room. Jade is living in a haunted house and it turns out the former tenant, Kayla, is determined to find out who pushed her down the stairs, and she will stop at nothing to get her way. Can Jade save her brother and rid the house of the ghost?
What I Liked:
- This book is heavy on the suspense. From the get go, the reader is plunged into this ghostly mystery trying to unravel the clues and catch a killer. The list of suspects is long and there are plenty of motives. I was constantly changing my mind on who was the killer, and I admit, I was thrown off track a time or two. This book will keep you guessing up until the final dramatic scenes.
- I enjoyed that Jade is obsessed with gemstones and throughout the book she is wearing different stones and she reveals the meanings and properties of each gem. This was a unique characteristic for a heroine. It is also informative as I ended up learning quite a bit about gemstones.
- One of my favorite aspects of this book was that Ms. Harrington presents you with many of the typical stereotype characters: popular girl, handsome jock, creepy neighbor, smart girl....only to surprise you by showing that each of these characters extends beyond their stereotype and they have surprising depth. I really enjoyed that these characters were so much more than meets the eye.
- I loved that this book has shades of one of my favorite classic novels: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Jade takes up residence in the former popular girl's home and is soon surrounded by all of her former friends. She is haunted by the specter of Kayla, figuratively and literally. But just like in Rebecca, Kayla wasn't as wonderful as everyone thought.
- I really enjoyed the inclusion of the journal. Throughout the book there are numerous diary entries from Kayla's diary showing what a manipulative and cruel person she really was. The diary pages are cryptic in that she refers to everyone by number instead of their names. Each person is assigned a number based on when they appeared in the journal. In the beginning, the reader has no idea who the players are, but as time goes on you piece together the clues and you can slowly figure out who each person is. I liked the challenge of determining who was who.
- It is always refreshing to discover a book in the YA genre that refrains from cliffhangers and love triangles and this book does just that. All the issues resolve at the ending, including some conflicts that I was not expecting to resolve so that was a nice surprise. I really enjoyed that this was a solid stand alone novel.
And The Not So Much:
- I enjoyed the realism with the ghost in the beginning, things being moved around, a cold chill in the air, but once the Ouija board and the possession came into the picture, I was not particularly thrilled. It kind of moved beyond the believable into the ridiculous at that point, but still the suspense and the mystery kept me enthralled.
- I didn't particularly like the mean step mother especially when Jade confronts her about the ghost harming her stepbrother and the stepmother is cruel and unbelieving. This just bothered me, but it ends up being okay in the end.
- I really liked the smart girl, Alexa, but I wished that there was a bit more resolution and revelation with her regarding Kayla. Obviously, she and Kayla had a not so pleasant history, but we never get to see Alexa's side. How she dealt with Kayla's cruel taunts and pranks. It is inferred that she took the high road and ignored her, but I would like to know more, especially with the scene regarding the paper.
- I wasn't a big fan of the romance in this one. It just felt a little off to me. I think perhaps because I didn't have strong feeling with the male love interest and I didn't like that he was once involved with Kayla.
- This is a personal preference, but I preferred the original cover as opposed to the new one that will be used for the book's release. The old cover was more creepy and drew my attention.
The Dead and The Buried was a quick, high suspense read with plenty of twists and surprises. This is a good stand alone that refrains from love triangles and of course cliffhangers. If you are looking for a fun ghostly mystery grab this one.
“I liked to get to know people and decide whether or not I liked them by what was inside.”
“Sometimes it scares me, though. Sometimes I think he’s trying to see into my soul.
And I’m scared he won’t like what he sees.”
“I was more impressed by Donovan’s integrity than Kane’s popularity. That the sensitive, dark, artsy guy made my knees weaker than the athletic golden boy. That, when I looked at them, Kane was a flashlight and Donovan the sun.”
I received and ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.