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Better Off Dead (Lily Harper #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,811 ratings  ·  196 reviews
If there’s such a thing as luck, Lily Harper definitely doesn’t have it.

Killed in a car accident before it’s her time to go, Lily learns that the hereafter isn’t exactly what she hoped it might be.

First, there’s AfterLife Enterprises, the company responsible for sorting out the recently dead and sending them on their way to the Kingdom, (aka happily ever after,) or to th
Kindle Edition, 247 pages
Published March 26th 2013
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306th out of 574 books — 1,033 voters
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Community Reviews

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This one is split right down the middle. I absolutely loved the whole premise, it is unique, creative and totally fun to read about. I loved Lily, I REALLY loved Tallis, I even loved Bill - despite (or maybe because of) his hilarious but crude comments.

It was in the actual storyline that I struggled. It seemed the entire book was spent laying the groundwork for the series. We learn about the characters, the world, and enjoy wonderful descriptions but there is very little actual action (o
Casey Keen
Well this book is very different from HP's other novels! I did love the plot and characters... except Bill. At first his crassness and constant joke cracking reminded me of an immature teenager... BUT something strange happened, I actually didn't mind him towards the end. I might have even liked him (maybe)!

I loved the plot and the journey to the Underground. Only thing is, I wish there was a little more to the story once they got there. It all seemed so fast compared to Lily's preparation for t
Better Off Dead is currently free on, and I must admit that was the main reason I picked it up. But it wasn't at all bad for a freebie, in fact, I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Lily Harper was supposed to learn a lesson about the consequences of texting and driving; a fender bender, just a little wake-up call. But instead, she wakes up... dead. As it turns out, not all guardian angels take their jobs seriously, and Lily's angel is as incompetent as they come.

Since she died before her time, s
Verity Brown

The premise of this book is entertaining: what if you died because your guardian angel wasn't there to save you when he was supposed to be, and the AfterLife bureaucracy gave you the "opportunity" to return to life as a "soul retriever," tasked with rescuing spirits that (oops!) got sent to the wrong location. Sounds fun!

So what went wrong? (Something obviously did, since I'm only giving this two stars.) The writing is good--no issues there. So why didn't I like it?

Mostly because of the characte
Mae Padua-janusas
I honestly don't know what to make of this first book. I loved both the Jolie Series and Dulcie Series. Both series has caught my attention right from book 1. Lilly's a little....blah. It's still a great story, but I think it went a bit overboard with the inspirational quotes. I feel as if it lacks....something I can't put my finger on that both Jolie and Dulcie series has that caught my attention right away. :) I will still read book 2 when it comes out though. Like I said I still like the stor ...more
William Breen
A good beginning to a new series. The three main characters - the wisecracking angel Bill, the bladesmith Tallis Black with his thick Scottish brogue, and Lily always spouting self help quotes - would be annoying in the hands of a lesser author but H.P.Mallory does a good job of making the reader come to care about them. It was a fun, quick read packed with humor and adventure.
I loved it! I am going to start on the second one right away! There was nothing about this book that I didn't love! And the kindle price is budget friendly enough to ensure I read everything by this author.
Great Book! Couldn't put it down! Read the whole series!
Jerry Newhouse
Apr 14, 2014 Jerry Newhouse rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers
This was a truly different take on the whole soul–saver genre, if there is such a thing. I admit I started it with a bit of trepidation as I have read so many books with similar subject matter, and regretted it. I did not finish many of them because they were just plain gross. I am glad to say that I ventured through to the end of this one. No unnecessary, or gratuitous, sex and violence. Only what was needed to get the job done. Well done, H.P. I can honestly say that I could recommend this to ...more
Kristen Lewendon
The storyline was kinda fun and the characters weren't completely hate-able - just two-dimensional - but I was hoping for so much more. I absolutely couldn't get past some of the plot points that it felt like nobody had bothered to check.
Congratulations, the author can type Scots Gaelic! But if you're going to write a main character that speaks it, please get someone pronounce the words before writing what they sound like. The last time I checked, "Donchad" is not how Donnchadh is going to sound
Actual rating: 1

This is the third H.P. Mallory book I read and it will definitely be the last. Actually, I can’t think why I even gave this one a try as I didn’t enjoy the previous two (To Kill a Warlock and Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble). Her novels are like chick lit with a bit of fantasy thrown in and they are boring, boring, boring. They are not YA but sometimes they do feel like they were written by an underage author…

This book was just another uneventful read. Well, it certainly didn’t hel
I gave this book two stars because while the writing was done well, I just was not interested. I could not get into this book. I actually quit reading at 60%, so I did not even finish it. The characters do not pull you in and they lacked chemistry. Lily was a bore, Bill tried too hard, and Tallis, also a yawn, seemed like a neanderthal (maybe he was one!). Needless to say, I will not revisit this story or its sequels, which is sad because I LOVED Jolie's and Dulcie's books and eagerly awaited ea ...more
Evelyn Amaro
Read my full review on Paromantasy

Is it even possible for HP Mallory to write anything but a hit series that will keep readers begging for more? If this series is any indication, the answer is no!

Immense danger, sexual tension, mysteries, humour and romance combined with never ending twists and turns will keep your fingers turning the pages and you dreaming of the characters long after you read “the end.”

Lily’s life has ended, yet that is where her story truly begins. After dying in a car accide
This was a really awesome book!
Lily has crappy luck, an alcoholic Guardian Angel, and now the crappiest job of a lifetime!

I liked Lily a lot! She's intelligent, nerdy, and although it doesn't seem it she's brave!

Bill was a blast of hilariousness! I couldn't stop laughing at all of his funny phrases and jokes! He did let Lily die while getting some booty, but hey everyone makes mistakes! :P

Now on to our favorite Scotsman! Tallis is gorgeous, huge, and the last true Celt (Druid) left alive today
I agree with Lily; she was Better Off Dead because. . .she gets to choose anywhere in the world she wants to live. She chose Edinburgh Scotland. The kind of body she inhabits is 5'8", hair color red, bra size 34D and 140 lbs, and for her new name she chose Lily O'Shaughnessy instead of Harper. Compared to her real life that was a vast improvement AND she had a fully loaded, never empty, bank account complete with credit card, and a car! She also accepts the job of being a Soul Retriever, which m ...more
Kel Crist
Better off Dead by H.P. Mallory: This Paranormal fantasy is so funny! H.P. Mallory, author of other titles such as To To Kill A Warlockand Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, brings you a funny, paranormal story with adventure and super creepy clowns. You will LOVE this one!

Lily Harper is a sweet, dedicated young woman who is career driven and is devoted to her friend and mother. That is until she dies. I know, right?! Here’s the thing, she wasn’t supposed to die though, and her screw-up of a guardi
Here's yet another book I received free from It's probably one of the craziest books I've read in a while. It's part mystery, part thriller, part romance, part comedy all rolled up into one package. There really isn't a dull spot in this book.

Lily Harper's life ends in a car accident at the beginning of the story. Where we learn she wasn't supposed to die, just be scared into not talking on her phone and driving. But her Guardian Angel, Bill apparently was too busy fooling around to
I'm sorry, I have loved other books by Mrs Mallory but Better Off Dead don't piqued my interest nor the protagonist Lily Harper, also I have had problems to understand Tallis, though Bill was very nice in spite of his sassy mouth. I think that the characters are little credible as the setting where was ambiented. Seems to me that what happened to Lily is too fast ,so isn't only she to be dazed and confused but also the reader.
Lily Harper is driving in a rainstorm, late for work, when she crashes into a truck. But Lily doesn’t know that she died until a strange bureaucrat brings her up to speed in an even stranger place called AfterLife Enterprises. To Lily’s horror, she learns that her death was a mistake because her guardian angel Bill wasn’t paying attention. Lily isn’t allowed into the Kingdom unless she either waits 100 years in a somber place called the Shade or goes to work for AfterLife to retrieve lost souls. ...more
J.C. Cauthon
When I saw the cover, I thought it was going to be a really bad read because yes, I do judge a book by it's cover sometimes. I was wrong this time. It was definitely a beginning of a series novel, or a Book 1 of whatever novel. There was a lot of world set-up in it, but H. P. Mallory did a good job of spacing it out between action and dialogue, so it wasn't as noticeable as it is in so many other novels I have read.

The characters were very well-balanced. The only one I really had a problem with
I picked this book up on Amazon because it happened to be a freebie and I have loved HP Mallory's other series (Dulcie and Jolie)

I really did like this book but, if I hadn't read her other book series' I am not sure I would continue the series. Why?
1- I liked the character development, but it felt more like part one of a book, instead of book one of a series.
2- I am sure I will love this series because Mallory has not disappointed me yet.
3- I know HP Mallory will deliver a great release t
KeriLynn Engel
This book started off with a bang, but by the end I was disappointed. The story is very unique & interesting, and the main character, Lily, was likeable enough. Bill the guardian angel was a riot (though sometimes it felt like the author was trying a bit too hard).

It was good enough, and I don't regret reading it. My main gripe was that, with all the cool set-up in the beginning, it felt like nothing really happened in the book. There were really no big events at all, they just traveled some
...So what’s this book about?
This is the first book in the Lily Harper series.
Our heroine, Lily Harper, is killed in a car accident before it’s her time to go because her guardian angel wasn’t doing his job properly. So to make amends AfterLife Enterprises, the company responsible for sorting out the recently dead and sending them on their way to the Kingdom, (heaven) or to the Underground City, (hell) gives Lily a choice; spend 100 years in Shade (the waiting space between Kingdom and
Brandy Rivers
Would give it a four because it is a fun read, but I was too hung up on Tallis' accent which slowed the book way down.

Interesting take on the afterlife. Bill is hilarious. Some of the self-help quotes got old fast. Lilly was interesting though, so that made up for it. And Tallis, even with the hard to read accent, was a very interesting character.
Terrie Wilson
The start of this book just didn't hold for me. I Read about 20 pages give or take and put it down to read something else. I have come to the conclusion it was me and not the book at all. Since I have several books that I have started and need to get back to.

I like the character Lily, she would be someone I would like to have around. She is sweet and smart. Plus the random shock value would be a great bonus for me.

After reading all of this book I have decided better for Lily to have this adventu
Barbara Ann
All of this cold, wet February weather was really starting to get to me, so I browsed through my library looking for a good plot with a romantic angle and plenty of humor. H.P. Mallory’s first book in her new Lily Harper series was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my funk. This was my first time reading H.P.Mallory’s work, and Better off Dead is a hilarious start to what looks like a delightful paranormal series with a future romance in the making. After Lily Harper dies in a car accident ...more
Chuck Heikkinen
A modern day reworking of Dante's Inferno with a few twists. The heroine, Lily Harper, dies ahead of schedule and Afterlife Enterprises gives her the chance to become a soul-retriever if she wants to go Upstairs without spending a century in Limbo. Her guardian angel is a smart-ass zany who left Lily in this fix when he was busy getting it on with a chick, and during the process not paying attention to Lily's imminent death. His language ranges from garbage-mouthed sexism to inventive puns and h ...more
I actually really liked this book. It isn't deep and heartfelt or even moving. But it is a fun read. The main character (Lily) is a bit irritating, but she grows on you a bit. I honestly laughed out loud several times at little comments here and there. Her side kick and angel, Bill, was irritating with his CONSTANT stream of sexual innuendos, but I've had friends who were just as crude, so he made me laugh at times. And when he needed to, it seemed he really tried to jump in and be there for Lil ...more
Jennifer Wade
2.5 Stars

I have read Mallory's other series and this has a lot of the same basic structures of those. Reluctant heroine meets brooding hero that helps her against his better judgement because he feels a pull/connection to her. Throw in an annoying third party for easy added tension.

I didn't like Bill, and found Lily frustrating. For as smart as she's supposed to be, she has seemingly no knowledge of human nature.

It felt like a lot of set up for the next book/series and there wasn't much stand al
Jun 09, 2014 Zee is currently reading it
No Star just yet.

Just started listening to the audiobook and I cant continue. I'm about 20 minutes in and the narrator is boring me to bits. Her tempo is really too slow so at a guess I'm only about 10 pages in. Also her characters (just four done so far) pretty much all sound the same (apart from the manager at Afterlife whose voice is a little deeper and narration is even slower). I'm only at the point when he's telling her to choose being a soul retriever or choose the shade and I have got t
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I started my writing career as a self-published author and was lucky enough to hit both the Amazon and the Barnes and Noble bestseller’s lists with my two series, the Jolie Wilkins series and the Dulcie O’Neil series. Most recently I hit the New York Times and the USA Today lists with books in the Jolie series.

I signed with Random House (Bantam imprint) to write three books in the Jolie Wilkins se
More about H.P. Mallory...

Other Books in the Series

Lily Harper (3 books)
  • The Underground City (Lily Harper, #2)
  • To Hell And Back (Lily Harper #3)
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins, #1) To Kill A Warlock (Dulcie O'Neil, #1) Toil and Trouble (Jolie Wilkins, #2) A Tale of Two Goblins (Dulcie O'Neil, #2) Witchful Thinking (Jolie Wilkins, #3)

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“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive.” 1 likes
“Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, For the straight foreward pathway had been lost.” – Dante’s Inferno” 0 likes
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