Liz's Reviews > Putting Makeup on Dead People

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
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Apr 19, 2011

it was amazing
Read from April 14 to 19, 2011

The title of this book had me at hello. The jacket flap sealed the deal. The reading made me full of long and joy and delight.

From page one, I climbed into Donna's back pocket and was totally wrapped up in her journey though this book. I haven't rooted so hard for a character in a long time. I just wanted everything to be all right for her. She makes some great decisions, some terrible ones, but they all seemed really necessary at the time.

I loved the naked honesty of the narrative, and Donna's views of other people throughout. She's very observant, even though she's stand-offish. I even enjoyed the impact of Catholicism on the book, which I did not expect. Normally, I'm not taken with religious characters. But here, Donna's faith and relationship with religion were an integral part of her journey without defining her or constraining her. Violi played her hand beautifully here.

The secondary characters in this book, especially Liz, were as real as Donna herself, and I really enjoyed how Violi kept them from being stereotypes. Yes, Liz was the independent, free spirit, but she was not predictable. Yes, her sister, Linnie, was the angsty goth type, but she turned out to be more open-minded at the end than almost anyone.

There were so many delightful things about this book, I could wax poetic for pages. But I'd rather you just read the book and experience it for yourself. You won't regret it.
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Heather Yes, yes, and more yes! Joy and Delight, the kind that comes with copious happy crying. So glad I knew you loved this one, so I could pick it up when I saw it. It was so worth it.


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