Kereesa's Reviews > Dearly, Departed

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
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's review
Aug 26, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, apocalyptic, dystopia, friendship, grrl-power, it-s-a-dress-it-must-be-ya, paranormal, paranormal-romance, science-fiction, young-adult, zombies, we-are-never-getting-back-together
Recommended for: YAers
Read from August 07 to 10, 2012 , read count: 1

Reading Dearly, Departed was like reading your typical YA novel, but with all these hints, huge hints, that so much of it could've been better. So much of it is original, and so much of it is exciting and new to the YA and paranormal field, that I couldn't help loving part of the novel, while still simultaneously hating the parts that were too YAish for me.

The world building in Dearly, Departed was probably one of my favorite aspects of the novel as a whole. As a setting Dearly, Departed's world is pretty phenomenal. A Victorian society in a post-apocalyptic, but tech savy world that includes zombies? Really, what's not the love? The explanation for a how such a society came to be was well done in my opinion, and I liked the continual incorporation of technology among more traditional aspects; it brought about an interesting version of steampunk at the very least.

One problem I did have with the world was the language used. Yes, I know it's like 2100 something in the novel, and yes obviously modern language is going to survive in such a society. But part of me did feel that if you're going to do any kind of Victorian setting, you should at least attempt to incorporate more of the language that time is known for. Otherwise, it does feel like you're just using the idea of a Victorian society, but not actually incorporating it.

Plot-wise, this novel does a good job of balancing romance with conspiracy and crazy action fun times. The conspiracy was, sadly, nothing I didn't see coming or had any reason to be shocked by, but was interesting enough to keep me reading. I liked the racist angle the author went for regarding zombies, but it wasn't anything new or enlightening in my opinion. The action was what it should be: filled with daring scenes and near misses.

The romance was one of the better aspects to this novel, and, as a whole, I actually did enjoy the developing romantic relationship between Nora and Bram. It was standard YA fare for the most part, but thankfully lacked the usual insta-love quality I've seen too much of. They won't be making it in my 100-couples-I-want-to-cuddle-awkwardly list, but they weren't mind-numbingly awful.

The characters were also very well done in my opinion, for the most part, though I definitely wasn't a fan of the author's use of multiple POVs. 5 1st person POVs is just too much for me to really enjoy. I was never confused by them, but I really didn't care for any besides Nora's, Bram's, and on occasion Pam's, and slogging through the rest really turned me off to reading more than a few times.

All in all, Dearly, Departed was an okay read that, in my opinion, had the capacity to be so much more, but was slogged down by too much YAish, and a much too confusing narrative style. 3-3.5/5

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