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The Undead: Playing for Keeps

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4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.
While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and d
...more
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Published September 3rd 2014 by Curiosity Quills Press (first published September 2nd 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Katie Hamstead
***Note: I was the Acquiring Editor for this book***

Sixteen year old Lyla, is the daughter of the town mortician, and the family has been morticians for generations. When their cosmetologist quits and leaves her resignation painted in lipstick on a body, Lyla rushes in to fix it before all the guests arrive and see it.
But that night, the body vanishes. Everyone thinks it's stolen, and since Lyla is already a social outcast, the mockery at school intensifies.
She has one friend, Cassie, who stands
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Jessica
Sep 02, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
**Just a heads up, I know the author.**

Lyla's a pretty typical teenager growing up in a small town with an older brother she adores (aside from the whole "parents own a mortuary" bit). She's a lovely character to spend time with--a little shy, but charmingly level-headed. Of course, things change when she accidentally wakes up a dead person, attracting the attention of a Reaper (Eric) who comes to town to find out what's going on.

Their relationship grows slowly throughout the book, giving us ple
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Kisa Whipkey
I’ll admit that when I first saw the cover for this, I wasn’t terribly impressed. But don’t let it sway you, this is a fantastic read. Elmore had me hooked from the first sentence, and she never let me down. The Undead: Playing for Keeps is not your average zombie story. It starts with Lyla Grimm, the daughter of a mortician, applying make-up to a corpse after the cosmetologist for her family’s funeral home quits with a horrifying flourish. What she doesn’t know is that her touch is special — ...more
The Haunted Reading Room {Cthulhu Down the Chimney Tonight}
REVIEW: THE UNDEAD PLAYING FOR KEEPS by Elsie Elmore

"Young" Grim Reaper meets Young LifeGiver: it's a competition, who can win? Socially unadept Lily doesn't too much mind being part of the Grimm Funeral Home dynasty--not.the way her older brother Ben hates the idea. But she's not really involved, until an employee.quits unexpectedly, leaving the guest of honor quite a mess, and Lily steps up.to redo the deceased's makeup. Next morning the lady in question has departed--absent from the casket an
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Earicka
Oct 14, 2014 Earicka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Touch Not The Corpse

This book was very original and well written. The characters were incredibly alive and conflicted which was amazing. Definitely not the normal teen angsty ya or normal zombie fare!

Lyla has always been shunned and bullied at school ever since she made the mistake of taking her father to career day... Who knew kids would think she was a freak just because her father is an undertaker from a long line of undertakers? So she keeps to herself and only talks to Cassie who is her one
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☆Joycedale☆
Mar 31, 2016 ☆Joycedale☆ rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I found parts of this confusing. Such as what Eric is and just what he thought Lyla was up too.
Lyla I felt horrible for, I would be freaking the crap out if this was going on with me. It doesn't help that Eric was making it worse.
I loved the ending though. Lyla ended up being much stronger than she thought she could. I would like to see a sequel but I can't find anything about one and it has one of them endings where I don't know if it'll continue.
Lina (From the Verge)
Sep 07, 2014 Lina (From the Verge) rated it really liked it
This book was fun!
It has necromancy, an amazing rock band and a few kisses. What else do you need?

It's told from two alternating points of view, Layla and Eric. Their encounter is triggered by the unexpected disappearance of a dead woman's body from Layla's family Funeral Home. Lost between their own explanations and roles, their confrontations become more and more uncomfortable, as the recently deceased appear to haunt Layla's sanity.

Issues about family obligations, friendship, trust, hope and
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Nikki
Sep 24, 2014 Nikki rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like romance, reapers, and or sexy guys who play guitar, paranormal themes, and YA.
First of all, I'm realizing that I absolutely LOVE multiple POV's especially when it's between a romantic interest. Let me talk on each character POV individually.

Lyla:
Could easily relate to her as the shy, self-conscious girl in school, and I really felt every ounce of her embarassment. I did get frustrated a bit later on when she was so upset and still wouldn't stand up for herself, but she eventually figured it out, and I'm a bit of a Red personality so perhaps I'm just a tad hot-tempered.
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Kathleen
Sep 24, 2014 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Lyla, Eric, Ben, Cassie... these are the reasons to read this book. I attached to these fabulous characters immediately and they will stay with me. Lyla's self-doubt and fear, slowly changing to strength... Eric's uncaring just-doing-a-job attitude transforming to selfless love... Ben's love of music and struggle to be himself... and Cassie's humor and friendship all wove together to create complex relationships. I love them. I do, however, have a favorite... Ben. He spoke to me even being a ...more
Lake Reviews
Sep 29, 2014 Lake Reviews rated it liked it
The overview pretty much said it all. Lyla Grimm is a socially awkward and only has one friend. Crazy stuff starts to happen that makes her freaked out. As it seems to happen only now that Eric came to town. We do not know much about Eric at the start of the book but we will learn more about him. Mostly there is teenage drama with a side of paranormal to add to it.

When you read this you will get sucked in because you want to find out who Eric really is and what will happen to Lyla. Eric has powe
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Matthew Cox
May 20, 2015 Matthew Cox rated it it was amazing
This was one of the rare books where I didn't see the ending coming. Lyla's unusual gift stirs up quite a bit of accidental trouble, and the dearly departed are not the only souls she affects. Playing around with the dead (even by accident) attracts the attention of a grim reaper. A love story with a supernatural twist, I found the portrayal of Lyla and her family compelling and believable.

Her parents operate a funeral home struggling to stay afloat in the face of competition from a larger outfi
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Sherry Ellis
Dec 21, 2014 Sherry Ellis rated it it was amazing
Lyla is a sixteen-year-old with a strange ability: When she touches dead people, they don't stay dead. It's a bit of a problem, because of her family's funeral home business. Missing dead people are just plain bad for business. Trouble is, Lyla doesn't know she has this ability. Then Eric shows up. He's a Reaper who wants Lyla's gift. Of course things get a little complicated when the two of them end up falling for each other.

The characters in this book are interesting, and the plot is one that
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Sharon Bayliss
Dec 22, 2014 Sharon Bayliss rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
Lyla Grimm's parents run the town funeral home. Someone has to do it, right? That's weird enough to hurt her reputation at school but things get weirder when one of the corpse's goes missing...and then starts stalking Lyla. This was a fun and creepy read that I think young people will enjoy. As a grown-up, I had some trouble connecting with Lyla because she reads as very young and insecure, but I think that real teens would find her relatable. The author did a good job creating the characters' ...more
Patricia Lynne
May 15, 2015 Patricia Lynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really hate when I reach the end of a book and don't want it to end. This one did that. Elsie crafted a great tale. I enjoyed Eric's character development. Not sure Lyla should have been so easy on forgiven him. Make him squirm a little more, girlfriend. ;) Then again, she is a sweet character and was very timid at first. I liked how she grew a bit, but didn't loose her sweetness. The first 50% of the book I was able to pick up and put down, but the second half, nope, I needed to know what was ...more
Dena
I enjoyed this story however this should be a teenage book. The maturity issues are below me of course since I'm an adult and the plot line seemed ridiculous. Like I have stated before this is a book that should be read by teenagers not for adults since the issues are really very black and white. I thought the characters handled themselves very well for the situation they were in. The reason for my 4 stars is because this would be perfect for my daughter to read and I did recommend it.
Abby Reed
Nov 28, 2014 Abby Reed rated it it was amazing
I loved the family dynamics--not your typical zombie books. Worth a read if you're looking for an orignal YA paranormal!
Victoria
Originally posted at Revenge of the Feels

Rating: 3 stars

*Thank you to the author for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a honest review.

Fascinated. Confused. Amazing. Painful.

The synopsis of The Undead fascinated me and this lead me to gladly accept the author’s request in reviewing her book! Grim reapers are my thing nowadays and I absolutely love getting my hands on books with them in it.

When I first started this book, it was really confusing for me. I re-read the synopsis of the book a
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Michelle Book Briefs
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**

The Undead: Playing for Keeps is the story of a girl that can raise the dead with a touch. And as an added twist, her family is the owner of the town funeral home. I thought that was a hilarious twist to the story. Because the daughter has no idea that she is the one bringing the dead to life, and the funeral home is getting into all sorts of trouble because the corpses keep going missing! And in a small town word get
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LilyReadsBooks
Oct 25, 2014 LilyReadsBooks rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

I received a pre-release copy of thIS book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This paranormal romance starts off well. The premise is interesting: the hero is one of the grim reapers and the heroine has some weird unexplained power that means she can raise corpses from the dead. The setting could have worked really well: horror, the occult and small-town America are like chocolate, chilli and ice-cream: perfectly good on their own but heavenly combined (okay, m
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Sarah Cass
Nov 29, 2015 Sarah Cass rated it liked it
*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

3*s for lore alone. I like the idea of Reapers and Samaritans and I liked the world. I just wish...well.

Lyla was a girl I could understand. The ridicule she suffered through life, and popular brother, all of it. While my parents didn't own a funeral home I understood where she was coming from. I connected with her in all her whimpering glory and her attempts to be strong.

Eric...at first I
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Christa Hogan
Aug 23, 2015 Christa Hogan rated it liked it
The Undead takes ordinary teen meets supernatural powers to a unique place. Embalmed neighbors walking around a small town while a good-looking, guitar-playing grim reaper tries to corral them back into their coffins? Yes, please. While the concept is fun and creepy, it's Elmore's deft handling of the characters that creates a book well worth your time. Readers will relate to Lyla Grimm as a likeable teen trying to survive the complicated world of highschool while maintaining the fragile ties ...more
Joey Stone
Oct 01, 2015 Joey Stone rated it it was amazing
I am not normally into "zombie" type books, and if you aren't, this is not your usual zombie book! It's not your usual book at all which made it for a very original young adult book in a world of read-that-story-already young adult books.

I loved the dual point of views and without giving away too much of the story, the many reasons Lyla would have for freaking out are HUGE.

If you like complicated (whoa, is it complicated!) teenage romance, family drama, big moral decisions, and twists along th
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melissa
Nov 04, 2014 melissa rated it really liked it
This took a little bit to hook me in, but once it did, it was hard to put down.

The author alternates between POV from Lyla to Eric so we get a pretty good feel for each of the characters. It's kinda awesome to see the slow changes in each with Lyla becoming a bit more self assured and Eric not being such a self absorbed prick.

There's some paranormal hijinks and high school crushes along the way.

*Digital review copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher.
Edward Aubry
Nov 12, 2015 Edward Aubry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly enjoyable. The horror parts were just the right amount of gruesome to keep the story engaging without overshadowing the teen angst. I would have liked to see some of the mythology more fully developed. The little snippets delivered here are compelling, and I sense there is a much deeper story to be told there. Overall, a promising debut. I will be watching for her next book.
Runningrabbit
Runningrabbit rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2016
Hanna Marl
Hanna Marl rated it it was amazing
Mar 23, 2015
Lori Faires
Lori Faires rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2015
Caroline Anastasia Mccaskill
Caroline Anastasia Mccaskill rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2014
Tina Graves
Tina Graves rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2015
Curiosity Quills
Curiosity Quills rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2015
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