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Picture the Dead
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Picture the Dead

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  961 ratings  ·  264 reviews
A ghost will find his way home.

Jennie Lovell's life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiancé falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone. Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to...more
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,734)
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Loved it! So you may start seeing me review books with illustrations, being illustrator by career myself. This book is told in a combo of text, pictures, and letters. Here are some of the lovely illustrations that I took some jank pictures of with my phone:

The illustrations are interspersed before every chapter, meant to represent the main character's scrapbook. There are many chapters, and therefore a lot of illustrations!

The genre I believe is young adult, though the text is a little big as it...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown have written a unique illustrated young adult novel that is difficult to categorize. It's carefully researched historical fiction but also a ghost story and a mystery with graphic novel elements as well. With illustrations that mimic the look of a Civil War scrapbook kept by our heroine, our story is told in the first person by orphan Jennie Lovell, who together with her twin brother has been raised for the last four years by her aunt a...more
The more I reflect on this book, the more I dislike it. I was going to go for a three star rating, then dropped down to two, and then dropped down to one. It isn't that Picture the Dead is precisely a bad book, it's that it just could be so much better.

Griffin's writing is beautiful, and Brown's illustrations are unique and polished. They just don't ... really work together in this particular narrative. This is a problem I seem to be running into a lot with illustrated books, which might have so...more
Set during the American Civil War, Jennie Lovell is orphaned and living with her Aunt and Uncle -- who are anything but kind. She has lost her brother and now her fiance on the battlefields. With both the men gone Jennie feels lost. When she becomes friends with a spirit photographer she learns secrets that are almost too hard to bare.

An interesting story about war, spirits and death. I've always found stories of the civil war captivating, especially hauntings or ghost stories. I found Jenny's j...more
Kat Heckenbach
The voice and writing in this book are strong, and I did find myself connecting quite well to the main character, Jennie. However, the other characters never really came to life for me. I found the story interesting, though, and loved the ghostly elements.

There are illustrations--I happen to be someone who finds illustrations distracting, but I can see why these were included. It does add to the historical feel of the novel, and reinforces Jennie's obsession with her scrapbook.

Overall a good re...more
3.75 stars.
I'm very conflicted about rating this and collecting my thoughts and opinions. I don't believe the synopsis is even an accurate description of what happens. Here, let me try to explain.

In Picture the Dead,a young woman is faced with the aftermath of losing almost everyone dear to her. We start out with the return of her cousin (from war), Quinn. When she doesn't see her fiance Will, she is immediately struck with grief. If being looked down upon by those you live with and those who ru...more
I love ghost stories. They are something new to me and so they are still unique. I haven't read very many but Picture The Dead ranks high among the ones that I have read and makes me very interested in reading more.

Jennie Lovell does not have an easy life. After being orphaned, she and her twin, Toby, are forced to live with their Aunt Clara and Uncle Henry. Things aren't too terrible though because Will and Quinn are there. Things get even better when Jennie falls in love with Will and he ask h...more
Aik Chien 인첸
Picture The Dead is a charming gothic ghost story which incorporates elements of suspense, mystery and paranormal. Each chapter is ended with detailed illustrations which reflects the bits and pieces of Jennie's scrapbook. The overall design of the book is very eye-catching and special. However, I don't feel particularly spooked or frightened by the story.

Jennie is a likeable heroine. She has just lost her beloved Will in a battlefield, and her heart aches for him, but be that as it may, she is...more
Haley Mathiot
When Jennie's fiancé dies in war and only his brother, Quinn, comes home, Jennie is heartbroken. She soon learns there is more to Will's death than she thought. She is haunted by his ghost, and by the mysteries left unanswered. Piece by piece she begins to uncover his secrets… and at the same time starts to fall in love with Quinn. But there is always more to a story when there are ghosts involved.

Picture the Dead had a lot of thought put into it. The mysteries presented and the way they were un...more
Small Review
Love the pretty

This is a goooood book. Really. I wasn’t especially grabbed by the cover photo, but when I got the book through inter-library loan I was delighted by the heft and detail put into its construction. The publishers and illustrator Lisa Brown really went all out in designing a book that is visually attractive and replicates the feel of a scrapbook (something that plays an important role in the story). The combined package serves to create a reading experience rich in atmosphere that p...more
***Originally posted to: Bookish Blog as a part of the blog tour.

I am currently hosting a giveaway for a paperback copy of this book. US/Canada, ends: March 15th

Picture the Dead is more than a ghost story. It's a truly masterful, original, and jaw-dropping creation - a work of art. There's a touch of romance, beautifully described historical setting, goose-bumpy atmosphere, and a thrilling mystery. Above all, there's a skillfully executed, bone-chilling plot line, emotionally engaging first-p...more
Jun 26, 2010 Kelsey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arcs
Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. I love reading about our past- the people, clothes, customs, etc. The Civil War, surprisingly, is a time period I’ve rarely read about. I’m so glad I had an opportunity to read Picture the Dead.

Jennie was a well developed and likable main character. She had a strong head on her shoulders and knew what she wanted with life. Jennie had faced a lot of death in her short life; both her parents, her twin brother, and her fiancé. Her parent...more
Four Stars: An intriguing ghost story told with the aid of pictures.

The carriage wheels rattle up to the house in the dead of night. The entire household is quickly aroused from their slumber. Master Quinn has arrived home from the war, injured but alive. Jennie takes one look in his eyes and sees the terrible truth: Will, his brother and her fiancé, is not coming home. Jennie's world comes crashing down. Without Will, her position in the house becomes precarious. She was taken in by her aunt a...more
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I absolutely loved that Adele Griffin wove a haunting love story around historical fiction. I am such a sucker for history and really enjoyed this YA paranormal book. It's a haunting read, with a dark and twisty plot that had me devouring the pages. While it's not a shake in the seat of your pants haunting, it's a vivid and real life haunting. I like that through out the book, there are vivid illustrated pages with pictures from Jennie's scrapbook. The illustrations are of pictures, letters and...more
Summary: After Jennie Lovell's fiancé, Will, is killed during the Civil War, she forms an alliance with a spirit photographer and uses her ability to talk to the dead to investigate the secrets Will was hiding and how he really died.

Considering this is written much like a traditional Gothic ghost story, I didn't find myself at all creeped out. I figured out the "mystery" way too quickly in the story. I also found Jennie, the main character who tells the story, to be pretty silly. I think I only...more
Michelle E. Kobus ♡ HAPPY HALLOWEEN! ♥

This is a gothic ghost story without too much emphasis on the ghost part; more like nightmares and foreboding with a hint at the supernatural.

It's an easy read and written well, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting from the description.

This novel also features illustrated segments from the MC's "scrapbook" at the start of every chapter, and "her" handwriting is often hard to read; so, neat idea there, but poor execution.
Did this get more attention when it was published and I just missed it? Super enjoyable, and I didn't expect the ending; I kept expecting that some of the people who seemed dead would be not dead and so on; but the book kept surprising me. I was puzzled by what seemed like a couple of very obvious copy-editing mistakes and wondered if they were somehow part of the mystery, but it seems not. (I think the date on the photo of the twins is wrong, and either the birthdate of the dead sister or the i...more
Adele Griffin
Feb 18, 2010 Adele Griffin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Lisa Brown and I are Skyping your way -- our Skype tour starts next week and continues through March. We can beam right into your library of book club to discuss early photography, spirit photographers, ghostly homes and haunts, the Civil War, and hair art. Ask your local librarian or visit to find out more ...
I liked this book; I really did -- but I am what I am, which is an absolutely fanatical history buff. So, I can't say that I love this book because there was one glaring inaccuracy that bugged the crap out of me. Yes, the Irish Brigades were real and the info about the Battle of the Wilderness and Andersonville/Camp Sumter and all that were real, but if you know those few items about the Civil War and you can't distinguish between "secession" and "succession", then ... well ... I just don't know...more
Lauren DeStefano
I loved this book. It's a short, poetic read, and the illustrations set the mood perfectly. The narrator is a bit strange, flawed, and likable, and some passages are so vivid they stayed with me for days after.
Brilliant! This book is wonderful, and I couldn't put it down. It gives the author a feel for the historical period without being inaccessible to the modern reader. It seamlessly blends historical fact with supernatural speculation (and the notes at the end help the reader know which is which). It is full of plot twists, reversals, and suspense. There is whimsy and humor in spite of the over-all serious tone. The illustrations are unique and intriguing. My only slight gripe is that the "letters'...more
vistorian style writing, interspersed with letters, photos referenced in the story. too bad they weren't more authentic-looking, but rather juvenile drawings. good story, though.
This was a great book. It was a mystery, ghost story and historical novel. This was a very good read, also had good illustrations.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is my second time reading this book, and I found myself enjoying it much more than I did than when I first read it, which led me to up my original rating of three stars to four stars. It may be that I'm older or that I'm more experienced with really taking apart a book and separating what I enjoyed and did not enjoy or that maybe this book is just a book that is better the second time around. Either way, it was a ride that I had fun with.

Probably the best part of this book that we hope is...more
Brad Skubal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A Canadian Girl
When I got Adele Griffin's Picture the Dead in the mail, I couldn’t help flipping through the pages and admiring the gorgeous illustrations within. Days later, I read the book and was thrilled to find that the gothic ghost story and mystery is just as good.

The main character, Jennie, is an orphan in a precarious living situation: her twin brother Tobias and cousin/fiancé Will are both dead, her uncle doesn’t really care about her, and her aunt is vile. This immediately made her a narrator I coul...more
Jennie and her twin brother, Toby moved in with their Uncle Henry and Aunt Clara after their parents died. Jennie's distance Uncle and Aunt, are well to do and have two sons, Will and Quinn.

After Toby dies in battle (Civil War) Jennie was left alone, but Toby's ghost did visit on occasion. Aunt Clara doesn't think much of Jennie. In 1864, the only thing keeping 17 yr old Jennie in good standing is her engagement to Will. When Quinn returns wounded from the war, with news of Will's death, Jennie...more
Over the course of my life I have missed out on many a movie night because I refuse to watch scary movies. I am very susceptible to nightmares and hate being startled or anxious. Surprisingly, books have never really bothered me. The chills and shivers I get ready a creepy ghost story or thriller are very welcome, and PICTURE THE DEAD gave me chills as I was reading it – though reading a ghost story at 2am probably didn’t help!

Our main character Jennie receives news that her fiance Will has died...more
Crystal Books Unbound
There is something so haunting and creepy about this book yet so inviting at the same time! The illustrations, the mystery, the letters from other characters and the narrative of the story mixed all together make it one of the most unique books I've ever read! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books written with mixed media.

When Jennie is very young her parent die and she moves in with her aunt, uncle and two older male cousins. One of her cousins, Will, begins to like her and th...more
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“Aunt Clara doesn't take her eyes off her toast. Her delicate jet earrings tremble as her knife scratches at the toast like a cat's paw, buttering every inch. Strange how even the most mundane habits of dislikable people can strike such harsh chords. I even hate the way Aunt butters.” 5 likes
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