Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Dearly, Beloved

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
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This summer has been full sequels that outshined their predecessors. Dearly, Beloved is one of them. Not only is it funnier, better thought-out and better written than Dearly, Departed, it also affected me more strongly. The plot is well-planned and well-executed and it finally gave this series a much needed direction it lacked in the first book.

Strangely enough, I originally gave Dearly, Beloved three starts, but, upon further consideration, I decided it deserved more. Lia Habel has enormous talent for worldbuilding, and she is quite good at creating vivid imagery and leaving a strong impression on her readers. The secondary and even tertiary characters she introduced aren’t lacking in detail or in color – from the zombie girl who grows flowers in her rotting body to our dear, headless doctor Samedi, they are all both interesting and entirely unforgettable. As for the main characters, they all changed significantly, some for the better, and some (like Pamma) not. Once again, Habel doesn’t shy away from gory details. Some of the descriptions in Dearly, Beloved are utterly disgusting (and infinitely thrilling, of course). It is through blood and rotten body parts that she breathed life into her world and made it stand apart.

The only thing I can’t seem to get used to is the number of perspectives. There are even more this time: Nora and Bram of course, Pamela, but also Michael, Vespertine, Coalhouse and a newly introduced character, Laura (the zombie flower girl). All of them undoubtedly contributed something significant and as hard as I try, I honestly can’t come up with another way to tell the same story, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t feel disjointed at times.

Romance, however, is what really brought me to my knees. I expected it to be lovely after Dearly, Departed, but I didn’t expect such sweetness and maturity. Nora and Bram face everything together, they understand each other perfectly. Nothing can keep these two apart, they love each other as openly and honestly as they can, aware that time is quickly running out for Bram. And yet, even with time in mind, they (mostly) uphold the rules of propriety, they are both bold and respectful at the same time and this balance they constantly maintain is quite beautiful.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dearly, Departed, but everything changed with this book. I can’t wait to read more.

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Reading Progress

22.0% "Are all these points of view really necessary?! Oh, wait, I know the answer to that one: NO!" 4 comments

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (Good Choice Reading) (last edited Sep 08, 2012 08:09AM) (new) - added it

Amanda (Good Choice Reading) Interested in seeing your thoughts on this. I loved the first book but couldn't make it past the first few chapters of Dearly Beloved before I just gave up. :s I don't know if my taste has changed too much or if it was the book.

message 2: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie I have to say it again, I love your new blog layout! Seeing your little picture at the bottom there just reminded me so I had to tell you. :)

message 3: by AH (new) - rated it 3 stars

AH Bonnie's right, the blog looks amazing.
Hey, I'm glad you liked this. I'm taking a break from it because I found something shiny and new, but I will get back to it soon. I noticed that you made an update about the POVs too.

Reynje Great review, Maja. You liked this one more than I did, but I agree with a lot of things you have to say. I love Habel's attention to detail- especially with Laura and Chas' physical attributes? The plants were a fantastic touch :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Hah, thanks, ladies, but I can hardly take credit. All I did was ramble about how I wanted something name-related, warm and inviting. The rest is Parajunkee magic, Rachel is so amazing.

Rey, in my defense, I had a fever when I wrote this, so I wasn't exactly coherent. :)

Ioana Ugh, I wish I could say the same, that this was better than Dearly, Departed. I thought it was so slow and dragged out, I finished it in aprox two weeks. The fist part of the book just couldn't hold my attention for long.

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