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Being Dead

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  967 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Master storyteller Vivian Vande Velde explores the world of the dead and the undead in this surprisingly moving collection of unnerving tales.
Kindle Edition, 221 pages
Published (first published September 1st 2001)
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Rebecca McNutt
Being Dead is a gripping anthology but I found there to be very little originality in it, and the juvenile style didn't seem to fit with the heaviness of the subject matter at all.
Most of the stories in this book are straightforward and well-done ghost stories -- "The Ghost" is obvious but amusing, "Shadow Brother" and "For Love of Him" are creepy as advertised, and "October Chill" and "Being Dead" are touchingly sad. "Dancing with Majorie's Ghost" is silly, and not as interesting as the others.

"Drop by Drop" is horrifying. Not terrifying. When you get to the end of the story (or near enough to put the end together) and realize what's happened, it's horrifying, of the put
♫randomly Me♫
May 22, 2009 ♫randomly Me♫ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This book scared the crap out of me but it made me realize the importance of life and opened my eyes to something I never really thought of, be aware that you will cry at some points and be scared at others.
Feb 07, 2011 Jodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A chilling book of seven short stories, each a little different. The cover is enough to give you nightmares. I'm not a fan of short stories, I am a series girl, but for some reason I picked this one up and so glad I did!

Drop by Drop is a 60 page tale of a young girl and her family moving to the country. Once arriving only Brenda seems to be having visits from something beyond this world. Once she realizes just what, or should I say who it is it'll leave you stunned.
Dancing With Marjorie's Ghost
A collection of short stories I picked up to start my Halloween tradition of reading scary stories.

Was not impressed. A rather dull, confusing first story that leaves me with no desire to finish the book. :/ I think it's just my intense dislike of short stories coming through, because the actual novels I've read by this author I've liked.

Not this.

I think I'll go try a zombie apocalypse book now.
Allison Parker
This collection of short stories, some scary, some not, investigates that mysterious boundary between life and death. Vivian Vande Velde uses surprise, intrigue, fear, and even a little humor to entertain her readers. The first story, "Drop by Drop," is by far the stand-out: a teen girl, depressed at having to move with her family into the country, discovers a ghostly visitor upon their arrival. The ghost, a little girl, makes herself known only around water. When she appears, she is also drench ...more
Melissa Wickelhaus
Short Stories

Being Dead by Vivian Cande Velde contains seven short stories about death, ghosts, cemeteries, and other such dark things. One story follows Brenda, a teen who moves to country with her family and is haunted by the dripping wet, bloody ghost of a young girl riding a bicycle. After a few days of being tormented by the ghost, Brenda realizes that her involvement with the young girl is much more serious than she thought. Another story tells of a man who never treated
Dec 02, 2008 TheSaint rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, horror
Being Dead, another book of creepy short stories by Vivian Vande Velde, will not disappoint the many fans of her horror fiction. Ghosts are the theme of each of these seven stories -- ghosts who may or may not really want to haunt the living. And the living are (mostly) not thrilled to be haunted. This is one of the author's best efforts.
Melissa Aguirre
Jan 08, 2016 Melissa Aguirre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd recommend this book to middle school aged children who are wanting to read ghost stories. It is comprised of several short stories that are interesting to read. There's nothing really gruesome in the book and there's no vulgar language. The stories are entertaining and could be creepy to younger readers. I enjoyed the book.
Oct 20, 2013 Syanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 40-book-club
I just finished a scary, mysterious book called Being Dead by Vivian Vande Velde. This book tells some scary, short stories. They are all about people finding ghosts in there houses, ghosts talking to people and more. I really like scary or mysterious stories, hopefully you do to if you are thinking about reading this book.
this is like one of the best ghost story books i read. some actully sounds so real that it give me night mares. but it is a good book after all. so if you are not sacred of reading scared things or love to read scary things, you should go pick up one of this book and read it yourself. you can read it to your friends as ghost stories and get them sacred!
Jan 18, 2008 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen horror fans
Shelves: horror, short-story
Creepy collection of short stories. The first story, "Drop by Drop," was my favorite. Brenda is sullen and unpleasant to be around when her parents decide to move to a new house in a tiny little town. Brenda's mood does not improve when a dripping girl who no one else can see appears in the house.

Not gory, just creepy.
Aug 05, 2011 Stultuscaudex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED it. The short stories were wonderfully written, and most had some very unexpected twists to them!
Amanda G.
Feb 28, 2011 Amanda G. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is really scary but cool and its wow now im in the begin of the story but its sound so good to read tonight
Kelsey Edwards
Oct 07, 2016 Kelsey Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
book read after my 400pgs
Jan 03, 2012 Madeline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In Vivian's book Being Dead, there are not just one, but seven ghost stories told. The book started off with a scary story about a sixteen year old girl that moved out to the middle of nowhere. The girl keeps getting phone calls even though the phone isn't connected yet. The phone call is of a small girl asking for help and ringing a bicycle bell. You think that nothing else is gonna happen besides little things like that, but then the small girl appears in her bathroom when she is taking a bath ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 01, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories. The first one is about a 16-year-old girl named Brenda who has (to her) a very annoying younger brother, Danny. Their family has just moved to the country. Her parents have gone back to their old house to pick up things. Fairly standard.

Except for the phone ringing and someone saying “Help me” to Brenda, even though the phone is not connected. Then there's the problem of a hand coming out of a pond that's barely two feet deep. And Brenda's clothes being thrown on t
Feb 12, 2012 M— rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, hunted
A collection of really very good ghost stories rather along the lines of Scary Stories to Read in the Dark as intended for a slightly older age group.

Drop by Drop — A teen girl finds herself being haunted by the slowly decomposing ghost of a young girl. (view spoiler)
I am not a horror reader (or movie-watcher). I don't tend to seek out scary things. The opening scene to the fourth Harry Potter book made me shake when it came out, and I had to put the book down and walk it off (even though it was, you know, interrupting the timing competition that snotty middle schoolers got into with each other. "I read Goblet of Fire in 2 days!" "Yeah? I read it in 6 hours." etc etc.)

And yet, I read every single Vivian Vande Velde story I could get my hands on in middle sch
Rarely do I enjoy every story in an anthology, but every story in Being Dead entertained me in one way or another. Some stories were terrifying, some touching, and some hilarious. My favorite is probably the short and simple story "The Gost."

SECOND time reading it:
Oh my gosh I love all these stories so much. I could remember how all of them were going to end, so I kind of wish I could go back to that state of shock and awe that is so rare when reading a book. But I still got to relive all of tho
Jasmine Roque
Perhaps it's because the cover was misleading, or because I've read Anthony Horowitz's ghost stories and since a) I read them when I was a few years younger and b) some really scared the crap out of me so I now automatically expect ghost stories to scare me in some way, I found most of these stories a bit disappointing. The first was more well-thought out, many of the rest seemed to just be thrown in, almost like filler (the one with the book's namesake, for example). I don't know why though, bu ...more
Warning: Not creepy at all.

Drop by Drop: liked, was clever (view spoiler), left me feeling sad

Dancing with Marjorie's Ghost: was okay, but I feel like I've read this type of story before

Shadow Brother: my favorite story of the collection, really liked, the narrator was insightful and there was a depth to this story

The Ghost: was okay, cute story about a prank loving ghost

For Love of Him: liked, boy gets caught up with ghosts in a cemetery

Kathleen Garber
This is a small book of short stories. It is written for young adults. I was expecting it to be scarier based on the quotes on the book:

"It'll make you want to sleep with the lights on." - Teen People
"Vande Velde again chills, charms, moves and startles with her customary effectiveness" - Kirkus Reviews

However I suppose the stories may be scarier for a teenager.

My favourites were the first and last story which not coincidently were the scariest of them all. (There are only 7 stories in all.) The
Jul 31, 2013 Kerri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The cover of this book makes it look creepier than it really was. I thought it was a lot of fun! I felt like I was watching an episode of Supernatural while reading this collection of stories. I have always wanted to find a good book to offer students when they come to me saying that they want a scary book. This one is just scary enough to keep their interest, and I think girls would like it just as much as boys! I'll be looking for more from this author!
Aug 06, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this book from a friend and found it pretty interesting. However, to be honest, only 2 of the stories really interested me to the point where i wanted to know how it ended. The others in-between were a bit too generic for my tastes but still good. Drop by Drop and October Chill were my two favorites of the seven in the book. Do not misinterpret my review. The book is good and i suppose to those who are easily spooked, a good source of a small scare.
Jamie Brooks
I read her other book of stories and I wanted a book I could read in about 2 hours all the way through so I picked up this one. Only 7 stories this time instead of 13 which I actually think is better because the stories were longer and had more thought to them. I enjoyed it. I might check out some of her other books around halloween time just for fun because of the season. I am going to see if she writes any other genre of books besides young adult
Sep 04, 2014 Kaylee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in eighth grade I believe, and loved it! It made me jump at times like in movies when they have scary pop ups; well, this book had pop ups! It is about a girl whose family buys a house the country, and when they arrive weird things happen. From objects being moved, to first encounters, this book will be sure to grab your attention, and will make you want to sleep with the lights on.
Jacy W
Nov 28, 2016 Jacy W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being Dead by Vivian Vandele is a very suspenseful and spooky book. If your looking for a book your send chills down your spine, this book is definitely the one. Before I realized, I was reading page after page for hours.
Jul 22, 2014 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, tweens-to-ya
Yes, it's for young adults, but I find the age group to be more engaging because it doesn't get dummied down by too much sex. This was pretty imaginative. At a few times predictable, but other times I found I thought I'd figured something out and was incorrect. If you read R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike and want something along those lines give this book a try. I will definitely read more by the author now.
Lucy (Talk Less, Smile More)

The stories were ok, I didn't even read the last one. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Maybe some day I will. Now on a more positive note, I wish that October Chill was a stand-alone book. It's the best story out of them all. It had so much potential and it left me wanting to read more about it. Even though I really fancied the plot of October Chill, the rest of the stories just didn't pull me in.
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Vivian Vande Velde (born 1951, currently residing in Rochester, New York) is an American author who writes books primarily aimed at young adults.

Her novels and short story collections usually have some element of horror or fantasy, but are primarily humorous. Her book Never Trust a Dead Man (1999) received the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. She says that she really likes to write for
More about Vivian Vande Velde...

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“People always talk about good, fresh country air, but I kept getting wiffs of something that was neither good nor fresh but definitely country.” 15 likes
“Then, early, early, early in the morning-just as in countless Disney films-I heard a rooster crow. But guess what? They don't do it just once.” 9 likes
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