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Six Feet Over It

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No one is more surprised than Leigh when her father buys a graveyard. Less shocking is the fact that he’s too lazy to look farther than the dinner table for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she becomes great at predicting headstone choice (mostly granite) and taking notes with one hand while offering Kleenex with the other.

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to quit this stupid after-school job. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her gravedigger. Can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?

Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl surrounded by death will change the way you look at friendship, love, and life.

352 pages, Library Binding

First published August 26, 2014

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About the author

Jennifer Longo

3 books196 followers
Winner of the 2021 Washington State Book award and 2022 Iowa All Reads Book Award, Jennifer Longo’s WHAT I CARRY (Penguin Random House "A NOVEL OF NUANCE AND HUMANITY” - Kirkus, Starred) published Januray 2020. Her debut novel SIX FEET OVER IT ("SUPERB" - Kirkus, Starred) published 2014 by Penguin Random House. UP TO THIS POINTE ("SAVVY...VIVIDLY CONVEYED" The Bulletin, Starred) published 2016 by Penguin Random House. A California native, Jennifer holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing For Theatre from Humboldt State University. She is a two-time Irene Ryan Best Actor award recipient and a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Best Full Length Script honoree for her play, FROZEN. Jennifer lives with her family on an island near Seattle.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 252 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,372 reviews9,450 followers
September 23, 2016
Ugggggggggggggggggg! I'm so mad! I just knew I was going to love this book to death <--- No pun intended. But for some reason I just liked it. I really loved UP TO THIS POINTE by the author but only liked this one. When I read the blurb, I thought this was going to be totally awesome but I just wasn't feeling it.

This is one of those books I will have to do a re-read because it could have been my mood. I mean I'm not in the greatest of moods and here I am reading a book about a girl who has nuts for parents, a sister that got over cancer, a friend that died <--still don't know how, and lives in a graveyard. She has to sale plots and stuff to people after school to make a little bit of money. She doesn't want to but her dad just keeps on about it.

I did enjoy the main character, Leigh and her new friend Elanor and Dario who came to work at the graveyard, digging plots, etc. But something didn't just grab me and hold on. I love those kinds of books.

I'm so happy for those that loved this and maybe one day on my re-read I will find it different then I did today.
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,039 reviews463 followers
May 10, 2021
What an enjoyable - but heart-wrenching - read! Fifteen year old Leigh was suffering from what I call Caregiver's Syndrome. If you've ever been responsible for a terminally or gravely ill family member, then you will most likely have experienced much of what Leigh had to endure in Six Feet Over It.



Chapter 3 just downright had me sniffling into my hanky. Things stayed sniffly for a few more chapters, and you were so fed up with Wade and Meredith (Leigh's flaky parents) and the loving but self-absorbed and needy Kai. They were sapping all the joy and strength from Leigh by relying on her to do - EVERYTHING! Or was this just bitterness and exhaustion talking?

As a caregiver, you do love the person that you are willingly making so many sacrifices for, but there are also times when you start to resent everyone, including your sick charge, for overlooking the fact that your life is on hold, your needs are often not being met, you are the default drive on the computer of life, and everyone is taking it for granted that you can cheerfully cope with all the demands and stresses of your (self?-) imposed martyrdom.

The pressure gets to Leigh so badly that she starts to believe that she will cause the deaths of her loved ones by failing to give them all of her time and attention. As she described it herself: she was deeply enmeshed by her own inner psychosis.

After the move to the cemetery, Leigh feels the loss of her best friend Emily very deeply- no spoilers here! Although she is dreadfully lonely, she is afraid to make new friends: she doesn't want to take on any more responsibility: her sister's life is already depending on her. Leigh mistakes the likeable, home-schooled Elanor for Emily at first. Elanor helps her parents, who run the gardening supply company that supplies most of the flowers for the cemetery. Leigh discourages Elanor's friendly advances at every turn, convinced that Elanor will suffer for their friendship.



Leigh was a mess: she was sad - if not depressed. She embraced her martyrdom, never giving voice to her inner resentment and pain. She needed help, but with all of the self-absorbed misfits surrounding her, it didn't appear she was going to get it until Dario (Wade's new hire: an undocumented migrant gravedigger) came on the scene. I enjoyed their slow-growing friendship.

A really enjoyable read: I had a hard time putting this book down. I am a huge fan of this author and can't wait to read her newest novel, What I Carry,. Well done! I'm rating this author's debut novel a 4.5 out of 5.
Profile Image for Allie.
171 reviews55 followers
August 10, 2015
I cried all the way through this damn book. Excellent--should be a Printz contender next year. More to come...

REVIEW

I adored this book, despite the fact I wept all the way through it. I cannot believe this is a debut novel!

Six Feet Over It was so not what I expected. I thought it would be a snarky teen surface-depth kind of book. I did not see this one coming.

What I loved about this book: 1) Leigh. Her voice was immediately sympathetic and authentic. My heart just ached for her every time she was on the verge of breaking and then her sister would turn it around to be comforted herself, or her father would leave the office sticking her with a grieving wife, etc. And her magical thinking is sooooo realistic for kids who grow up in dysfunctional homes or experienced trauma. I 'got' Leigh on every level, and I loved her.

2) Elanor. BEST. FRIEND. EVER. but not a goody-goody or simpering or too good to be true. The speech. THE SPEECH. Never have the phrases 'yeast infection' and 'government cheese' been used to such effect. Bravo.

3) Dario. I loved it that he was so sweet but never inappropriate and his sweetness felt real, not over the top.

3) Tu madre. That is all.

4) That we got glimpses of all the unsympathetic adults that rounded them out. I did not like Wade and Meredith any better, but by the end of the book I understood them better.

5) The information about the Day of the Dead that was woven in so beautifully with the story without feeling like I was hearing a lecture. Dario was responsible for a lot of my tears, damn him.

6) Leigh's growth felt gradual, real, and earned.

7) That when Leigh finally broke down, there were so many hands lifting her up...but in ways that felt believable for the personalities that had already been developed--and true to their limitations as humans.

I could go on and on!

I am going to buy this for my library and tell the Media Specialist at the high school about it so she can get it too. If this is not chosen for the Printz next year, I will explode from the injustice. (Yes, I say this in February which is seriously early days and there is a lot of reading still ahead of me. I mean it).

Review egalley provided by Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,976 reviews362 followers
August 26, 2014
This book is so very hard for me to review.

It was a hard book to read even, for many reasons mostly because, this isn't a happy go lucky kind of read. It is about a girl that is literally surrounded by death, every single day. But that isn't what makes the story special, or even the girl for that matter. Instead, this is a story about a girl trying to deal with death, not just live with it.

There is depth to the pages, to the inner monologue and to the conversations around Leigh and sometimes, even more importantly, to what isn't being said or shown but rather what is being felt instead.

I don't think this book will appeal to everyone, but I do think those that get it, that get the messages, are going to love it and cherish it and be thankful that they read it.

The humor is dark and snarky. No witty banter in this one but rather the musing of a girl so very lost and trying to find her way that it is instead sad at times and heart wrenching.


This is Longo's debut novel and I must say, she will be one to watch in the future. One that will bring us something outside of the norm for the genre. Those reads that make us really stop and think and most of all, feel.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
223 reviews2 followers
Read
April 27, 2014
DNF @ 25%.

I'm not going to rate this book, because I didn't finish it. I managed to read 63 pages into it and just couldn't go on any more. It's not that it was a horrible story or had horrible writing, it was just horribly depressing.

Fourteen-year-old Leigh works for her father, selling gravesites and headstones in a memorial park. Her parents are infuriating, neglectful, absent-minded, self-centered, inconsiderate...I could go on. Every conversation with Leigh's parents just made my blood boil. To top it off, her father (atheist, Communist and borderline racist, considering the way he discusses his new employee) forces Leigh to work three days a week (or more) in a job she hates, while he and Leigh's mother let her sister, Kai, do what she wants.

Despite the depressing story and self-centered characters, the story is well-written, which is how I managed to get much further than I usually would when I find myself uninterested in a story. I actually was going to try to get to at least 80 or so pages, but then I discovered an all-too-convenient coincidence (MAJOR SPOILER , and it just turned me off of the book.

A page before, the story includes a brief newspaper clipping, which also upped the irritation. Note to authors: Before writing any kind of death notice, please read some in an actual newspaper first. No journalist would write something like this:



It reads like what someone thinks a newspaper article should sound like, if that person doesn't actually spend any time reading newspaper articles. (OK, maybe I'm ranting way too much about the two paragraph newspaper clipping. I was a journalist and copy editor in my former life, and poorly done newspaper articles in books annoy the bejesus out of me.)

Meh, tl;dr -- it's not a bad book. It's just not a book for ME. Well written, but very selfish and depressing characters.

Thanks to Random House via Netgalley for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
1 review
May 27, 2014
Six Feet Over It (out 26 August 2014) is a story to savour.

The book rolls out more slowly than the typical YA. The back-story and conflict are allowed to unfold carefully, making room for the reader to become immersed in the story, much like wading into water on a shallow beach, rather than a more commercial book that throws you off the boat on page one.

The author gives credit – and reward – to the reader for hanging in there.

With the slow unfolding, you might be forgiven for thinking, “Wait, is this YA?” especially if you are comparing it to something like The Hunger Games or Divergent.

But that is the wrong comparison. This narrator is all teen, if a well-read, precocious one. And here’s the thing – well-read teens are out there, too. They want and need smart books to feed their precocious selves.

This is a smart book.

We talk about the need for greater diversity in children’s literature. That includes race and ethnicity, of course. Discussions of diversity must also include socio-economic circumstances, dis/abilities, gender orientation/identity, and any other conditions that might push kids to the fringe of society, into a position of Other.

Jennifer Longo's debut novel explores this sense of Other - tenderly, organically, with beautiful language and sharp wit.

Longo has a deft hand with details, showing us the reality of being a poor teenager in high school, the characters encountered working for the family cemetery business, the martyred feeling of imagining oneself the cause of all bad things that happen, the hopelessness of feeling alone.

The story’s main character discovers her strength, her voice, her agency, as she realizes she was never as alone as she imagined.

The ending is charming, satisfying, and EARNED.

My only concern for the book is the marketing – the title and cover suggest a sarcastic, well-off, perhaps unlikeable MC, one who is, “soooo over it.” For readers expecting another Gossip Girls or boarding school style story, this is not it.

On the other hand, for readers interested in a more literary YA take on life, death, family, friendship, guilt, shame, and rising out of the ashes to take command of one’s own destiny, this cover doesn’t give a sense of the depth of the story.

I hope readers will give this story a chance to get inside their hearts, even so. And I hope RH does a better job of representing the story with the paperback package.
Profile Image for Eve.
337 reviews460 followers
January 26, 2015
Tips for any desperate soul who decides to read this book and protect their sanity:

1. Consume an obscene amount of caffeine
2. Invest in a second brain to prevent overall thinking exhaustion
3. Contemplate whether or not tip 2 made sense
4. Be unable to come to a decision due to loss of brain cells
5. Chocolate
6. Try and understand. Why. Longo's sentences. Are so. Cho. Ppy.
7. Attempt to sympathize with Kai and overlook her annoyingness because cancer
8. Fail
9. Two words: Sexy. Mexican.
10. Three words: Sexy. OLDER. Mexican.
11. Four words: Sexy. Mexican. Not. Single.
12. Seven words: Still a better love story than twilight
13. Did I mention caffeine?
14. Coffee?
15. Diet Pepsi?
16. Silently cry because 200 PAGES LEFT
17. Hug self
18. Become six feet OVER IT
19. Pat self on back for pun
20. Even though pun is name of the book
21. Shuttup
22. You're still witty
23. You came up with it first
24. Reward self with cookie
25. 50. PAGES.
26. Roll on floor and sob
27. Read about illegal immigrant activity stuff
28. Suddenly Leigh is a bilingual bad ass?
29. Accept it
30. Move on
31. 20. MORE. PAGES.
32. Power through
33. Skim
34. Facepalm because ending dumb dumb
35. HEY AUTHORS EVERYWHERE, STOP TRYIN' TO BE PROFOUND AND POETIC WHEN YOU CAN'T
36. Except Glen Coco
37. You go Glen Coco
38. Read last page
39. REJOICE!!!!!!
40. Cupcakes
Profile Image for Rayne.
852 reviews288 followers
October 7, 2015
1.5 stars

Under normal circumstances, this book's rating would've fluctuated between an underwhelming 2 stars or a merciful and mediocre 3 star rating. Six Feet Over It is a strange and quirky read - not exactly enjoyable, but weirdly compelling. It is very slow, the plot is nonexistent and the narrative is frustratingly choppy, but there's still something about the book that's peculiarly charming. Not exactly an explosive debut, but a contemplative and mildly engaging one that provided me with a very different reading experience. Had I been another reader, this book would've probably amused me for a while and then would've proceeded to be promptly forgotten. That would've definitely been better than the boiling irritation I am experiencing every time I think about it.

Incredibly, what bothered me about the book wasn't that it was admittedly unexciting, mostly uneventful and dangerously near to boring, nor was it the depressive atmosphere, the generic, stereotyped and underdeveloped bullying sub-plot, the haphazard way in which events occurred in this novel, the broken narrative that made it so hard to follow what was actually going on or the feeling of pointlessness that the whole story exuded for me. It wasn't even the complete lack of hilarious dark humor I was promised in the blurb what killed the book for me, which was mostly half-assed throughout the story and barely spiked on my radar. I think I could've actually handled all of that perfectly considering the inexplicable allure of the story, the quirky characters and the unexpected interest I had in Leigh's depressive way of looking at life (even if her actions did annoy more than interest throughout the course of the book)and the way living/working at a graveyard was used as a metaphor for how poorly she dealt with death. What really crushed any of this book's potential for me is something that might not represent a big issue with most other readers but that was a huge strike against this novel for me. Two words: cultural appropriation.

This book made it its life mission to butcher my language. Long passages in the novel were dedicated to entire conversations in Spanish and it very often read like the author had simply copy/pasted what she wrote in English into Google Translate and then copy/pasted back into the novel, patting herself on the back for being so culturally conscious. That last comment is not me being bitchy, well, not entirely. After her main character blundered her way through almost every single Spanish phrase she uttered through the entire novel, "Spanish speakers" in the story would flock to her to congratulate her in her amazing skills at speaking in Spanish. Never mind that I am supposed to believe that she acquired complete fluency in Spanish, that she got to a level where she could understand perfectly what some native Spanish speaker was saying and that she was able to have entire conversations in the language after a single semester of Spanish in a small-town American high school, but what really bothered me if that the author didn't care enough to make certain that the actual native Spanish speakers spoke their language correctly. I could've understood Leigh making mistakes, but every single Mexican character as well?

If you are going to incorporate the use of another language in your story, if the nationality of some characters is really important to the book and it is one you are not entirely familiar with: Do. Your. Fucking. Research. How hard could it have been to find someone who actually knew Spanish throughout the entire process between writing the book to actually having it hit bookstores? It's just so infuriating that writers think they can take elements from other people's culture, from their way of life, and half-ass the whole thing in and then congratulate themselves on being edgy and diverse and different. Beyond the brutalization of my language, this novel took elements from Mexican culture and tradition and presented them solely in relation to the white American main character. Nothing about their culture was ever explored in depth or elaborated, it didn't even actually play a role in the story at all. It was only a touch of color in the main character's road to acceptance, for which several colored people were used as well as their experience with a horrifying situation (crossing the border), all so she could feel pain and start living life. Are you fucking kidding me?

I'm Puerto Rican and this shit even bothered me. It made it impossible to enjoy this novel. Every time I would start to actually get into it, another butchered Spanish conversation would be forced in and I would just rage inside. You are not honoring another culture if you take whatever bits you like, force them into your narrative in the most shallow of ways and just use it, not to explore their meaning or give depth to the characters that actually belong to that culture, but to make the generic white main character "interesting" or to further the understanding of herself.

Leigh's psychological conflict was actually sort of interesting, but the narrative refused to go deep into anything. This girl was obviously anorexic and dangerously depressed, but the story never even mentioned those terms, never mind actually trying to push Leigh into acknowledging them and doing something about it. She was being neglected to an abusive degree by her parents, but no, they were just quirky and they cared about her once about a dozen years ago, so it's okay. These things are not funny. If I was supposed to be amused by this, well, maybe I'm not the right audience (which I doubt because I adore dark, morbid humor), but all this bordered on sick some times. I could honestly understand Leigh's grief, and her contemplations and inner monologues resonated with me more times that I expected, but then it would feel so manufactured and blown way out of proportion. Whatever emotional connection I could've developed with this novel was instantly killed with its pathetic attempts to be exaggeratedly funny.

Moreover, this book was just so fucking inconsistent. Leigh would claim she did nothing but read, her own teachers actually asked her not to read so much (what?), and she didn't even know what the fuck Lord of the Rings was or even goddamn King Lear. I think the author missed a huge chance here by not making her an unreliable narrator, which I think would've improved the novel tremendously.

This book just made so angry and I hope this review shows how disappointed and indignant I feel about this novel. It could've been a perfectly decent one, definitely forgettable but safely above the "fine" line, but I took many of the issues in it personally and I simply refuse to push aside my feelings for whatever minimal enjoyment I could've derived from this experience. I am pissed, plain and simple, and that's definitely not the feeling I wanted to take from this novel.
Profile Image for Katherine.
14 reviews2 followers
April 18, 2014
High praise indeed for this author's debut!

What a quirky (without trying too hard to be quirky) story, with a sharp and funny MC, and charming supporting characters. At first, I didn't really know what I was getting into. I'm not much on pithy titles, but the premise sounded interesting enough. I'm so glad I didn't listen to the inner cynic in my head.

However, it did take a while for me to fall "into" the story. I was afraid I was going to get a sort of "Six Feet Under" copy cat in YA novel form. Happily, this was not the case, although it does have some hilarious and yet melancholy moments. At first I thought the character seemed a little whinny, and needed to stick up for herself more. But watching her grow throughout the book became such an experience for me.

It's funny, surprisingly dark, and at times at little of both, without losing it's voice or audience. It doesn't just lightly skim over heavy issues, but tackles them head on, while not bogging the reader down with depression. It is light, yet filling, like a bistro lunch paired with a small glass of white whine(Yes, another food analogy). I highly recommend reading it immediately if you have access to an ACR, but if not, the wait will be well worth it. A wonderful read, and again, just OH SO charming!

Profile Image for hayden.
1,051 reviews732 followers
May 1, 2016
this was really good!! absolutely amazing voice, not too saccharine, a little bit meaningful, full of just the right amount of morbid humor i wanted out of a book about a girl working at a graveyard. i can't wait for longo's next book to come out in paperback (because, let's face it, when was the last time i bought something in full-price hardcover?).
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,333 reviews232 followers
November 19, 2020
Rating: 4.5 Stars

My first Longo book was her most recent, What I carry. That book touched me in a such a profound book, that I was determined to read her backlist, and I was not disappointed. Six Feet Over It was another hit for me. Leigh was the one who always held it all together. When her sister was fighting cancer, Leigh put her needs last. She made sure she caused no trouble for her parents and was always there for her sister. Fast forward, and Leigh is still trying to be the good sister and daughter, but she is starting to unravel. Though the book is infused with lots of humor, my heart ached for Leigh. I wanted someone to finally take care of her. This made me grateful for her friendship with Dario and Elanor, who were there for her, so that she could finally release all her pain, sorrow, and grief. I was also impressed when others stepped up and finally recognized that Leigh was NOT ok. This was a very different, but utterly touching exploration of grief, family, and friendship.

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Profile Image for Zosi .
478 reviews2 followers
September 23, 2019
I didn’t like this as much as Up To This Pointe and some of the humor fell a bit flat but it was still a funny and enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Evie.
698 reviews921 followers
September 2, 2014
Six Feet Over It is a story about a girl surrounded by death who is still trying to learn how to deal with loss. Death, in fact, is the recurring theme of this book, but it's life and learning how to live that is the essence of it. Thoughtful, poignant and undeniably hypnotizing, Six a Feet Over It is a tale about loss, grief, family, friends, letting go, finding happiness and opening your heart.

I'll be honest with you and admit that I did not, initially, like the passive-aggressive tone of this book. The first-person narrative was very dark, sarcastic, dripping with perpetual sadness and negativity, and I couldn't really understand why (but only at first). Some of Leigh's remarks and inner thoughts were genuinely amusing and clever, but the majority of them came across as very bitter and depressing (Every single moment I’ve been alive is directly related to and for the sole purpose of celebrating, defining, facilitating death.)

Leigh is 14 years old (when the story begins) and forced not only to live in a graveyard, but also to work in the office there, selling coffins and resting spaces to people who just lost someone they loved. This is not an ideal environment for a very young teenage girl to grow up in and I can definitely understand and relate to her objections towards this kind of lifestyle. In fact, the more I read about her and the more I got to know her, her past and current situation, the more I sympathized with her. There is so much more to her character than meets the eye. She's snarky and seemingly negative about everything, because she's been badly burned before. She learned to guard herself, and this whole "I am cursed, back off" and "I don't want anything to do with anyone" attitude is just an act - a wall she built around her heart to protect it from being ripped open again. Between her sister's leukemia and their family starting a graveyard business, she's just exhausted - mentally and physically. And there's more, but to elaborate on that would be to spoil it for you.

I’m not sure how else to convince her I am not a good candidate for friendship. I’ve been dismissive at best, at worst unkind, but she doesn’t seem discouraged. At all.
Her impossible likeness to Emily is strange and awful and not her fault, but still here she is, a Lego brick fit of an Emily replacement and I cannot. I will not.
I’m not good friend material.
I’m not good person material.


In fact, Leigh is kind of a human-onion. The more layers you peel off, the more amazed you are by what you discover underneath, until before you know it, you're crying your heart out for her. Because, truth be told, she's a wonderful, caring, intelligent, loving, thoughtful, humble girl who would rather wear one pair of pink sweatpants forever and be mocked for it and laughed at, than to bother her parents about it and steal their attention from her sick sister. Yes, she is that kind of person and by the end of the story I loved her like a sister.

I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the story immensely, but the ending fell a bit flat for me. It was a good ending - inspiring, hopeful, positive - but I didn't think it brought all the answers I was looking forward to, and that kind of made me sad and disappointed. Not to mention that I sort of thought the entire story would go in a different direction all together and when that didn't happen, well, I guess I was a bit surprised.

While the overall theme of this book is rather sad and dark, the message it carries is a positive and meaningful one. Embracing death, learning to grieve without punishing yourself for all the what-ifs and if-onlys, allowing yourself to be happy - these are just some of the very important messages conveyed in this book. All in all, Six Feet Over It is a heartfelt, remarkably well-written, sharp and powerful debut novel. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys complex, multi-layered characters, meaningful plot-lines and dark, clever sense of humor.
Profile Image for Melissa Chung.
903 reviews325 followers
May 13, 2015
Just....wow! I wish I could just cut and paste the author's notes from the back of the book. I won't do that, but I will start this review with a snippet from the author's notes instead.

"Six Feet Over It is a story about a girl keeping it together. Maybe she shouldn't have to, but she's good at it and someone has to do it, so she does it until she just-can't."

I read this book pretty slowly. Not because it was boring, but because it was a story that didn't need to be rushed. This dark contemporary is about a young girl struggling with grief. Lots of grief. Loads of grief. A boulder on each shoulder kind of grief. But she is also the silent type. The "I'm okay" type. So she shoulders this grief quietly. Alone. To top off the hardships she is facing and many things have happened...her dad decides to buy a cemetery. A good investment! This decision changes her life. Slowly at first and then all at once ;) (Anyone get that reference?)

I loved this story because it was pretty accurate to how a depressed person might feel or deal with their sadness. Trudging through life. Not expecting things to get better. Just living with no real purpose.

I loved every character in this book and I rarely love all the characters but I did. Each one was a positive in Leigh's life. Each one gave her some kind of strength. Each encouraged her in their own way. Gave her the space she needed. Unlike another book I finished today, in this book everyone around Leigh let her fix herself. No one tried to force her to change. She did it in her own time, when she was ready.

Essentially this is a coming of age story about loss. Different kinds of loss. About a girl just barely keeping it together. About a family trying to reign it back in after tragedy. About letting go. About allowing others to help you.

Over all a wonderful book :D
Profile Image for Lady Assassin.
Author 1 book2 followers
April 2, 2016
i didn't like this book i thought it was just her at a cemetery to scared to have friends because she lost Emily, also who sits around and eats York's all day. i wish i knew what happened to Emily family i thought the book would at least mention it. the only part i liked about this book was the page mentioned about going to Disneyland and how she accepted Elanor friendship. other than that i didn't enjoy it i kind of dreaded finishing it.
Profile Image for Ruth Turner.
408 reviews111 followers
September 11, 2014

DNF

I'm in the minority again. So many great reviews for this book, but I didn't enjoy what I read.

The writing was choppy, the narrative was rambling and hard to follow at times, and the main characters were unlikeable, with no real depth.

I stopped reading at half way.
Profile Image for Anja.
603 reviews48 followers
July 30, 2014
Wasn't for me. Nice cover, misleading synopsis. Awful protagonists, choppy writing, useless plot. Didn't enjoy a single moment of it.
DNF at 26%
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews49 followers
January 1, 2015
Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!

“Please don’t go.” “I’ll be back.” “You won’t.” “I will.” His shoulders, his arms again and again holding the weight of my aching head, my sadness, my selfish, lonely heart. Two days later he is gone.”

Six Feet Over It was a book that you need to read when you’re in a certain mood. And after my “experience” of reading this book in the point-of-view of a gravedigger’s daughter who went through a ton of loss and grief after her best friend and only person who understood her died, I’d say that you’ll need to be in a mood where you won’t get so pissed-off easily. Because really, I chose to be reading this during the wrong time.



In a nutshell, this is another one of those funny-contemporaries with dark periods in between. I’ve read many of those before, and I’d have to say that this was nothing new, although there were some interesting parts that came to be. Leigh was a protagonist who you’ll end up feeling so much sympathy for, and especially for the way she was treated by everyone around her—like a piece of trash on the street that everyone loves to kick around. And the thing is… she let them kick her around. She needed to transform into somebody else.



Throughout a long period of the novel, Leigh feels as if she’s being followed around by the stroke of death. Death is supposedly at her footsteps and is around her—and in a way, you could say that it’s true. She basically lives in a graveyard. And she’s in charge of selling graves. Adding to that, more grief and unfairness shows up when she finds out that her best friend, Emily, died. Emily was the only one who understood her and her problems, and through her, she felt like she had a real family. As time goes on, Leigh still doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do (and I really don’t blame her) so some feelings between her and Dario, the little-too-old gravedigger sprout.

The basic point and idea of this book was all about Leigh trying to figure out what she wants. Her family’s crazy and dumb and don’t understand her (which gets me to feel sorry for her) and her brain’s all over the place. Sure, Dario was hot, but I couldn’t get the thought of him being a little too old for her out of my mind. And then when he left? Ugh don’t even get me started.



As this seems like an ordinary story with a not too well-thought out plot, it was good for a lot of parts. The idea may have been wacked-up, but it kept me sane and left me wanting to read on and find out who Leigh will come to be. It was believable, and I pictured all of the events coming to life just as I expected. Jennifer Longo is a very talented author who will sure stun readers in the coming days, weeks, months, millenniums, whatever you want to call time. And through this book, time was a key thing that made the story grow onto a teensy pretty flower as I see it as.

A good key thing to remember is that although the romance in unreal, it was cute. Dorio and Leigh did make a cute couple, especially when you think about the connection and strong feelings they had for each other. Their love was sparkly and firework-y, just as you’d expect a romance to be and turn into in a contemporary about finding yourself would be. I was all, “YES!”



As we come to the end, I think about the key concepts that made this book original and lacking from a 5 star rating, which it obviously wasn’t. It definitely had its negatives, but unusually coming from a book with a 3 star rating from me, it was enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong about my negativity. Sure, the protagonist needed a slap or two, but it was a story that grew on me from beginning to end. So don’t freak out if you end up getting fireworks in your heart by the time you complete this even though you’re thinking of a 3 star rating. It’s normal.

This review can also be found at Happy Indulgence! Check it out for more reviews!
Profile Image for Hazel West.
Author 24 books130 followers
September 2, 2015
Thoughts on the Overall Book: On occasion I like a contemporary novel and this one actually fit the bill really nicely. It was a lovely friendship story and coming of age story with enough sarcastic humor to appease me and surprising feels throughout. I enjoyed it a lot.

Cover--Yea or Nay: I like the idea of the cover, but do not like the girl at all. She doesn't look a thing like how I pictured Leigh.

Characters: This is a very character driven book and it has a cast that can actually support that. Leigh is a great protagonist. I enjoyed reading about her story and sympathizing with her. She's the younger of two sisters, her older sister Kai, had cancer but beat it and she was there to look after her through it all, even more than their parents were. That's why they moved from the ocean though, to a small town, where their father bought a graveyard that he doesn't even like to work in. I did like Kai overall, and I'm glad she provided a confidante for Leigh even if was still in too weak a place to really offer much, thus leaving Leigh feeling like she had no one until Dario came along. It goes without saying that I loved Dario, he was sweet and funny, and really like a big brother to Leigh, giving her someone she could confide in who would actually listen and take care of her, and that was great. Even at the end of this book, I'm still not certain what I really think about Leigh and Kai's parents. Yes, you did see that they cared about their kids, and there were a couple moments they almost came through, but not enough for my taste. Their mom would have nothing to do with the graveyard, and spent all her days painting unless she was running back to the sea without even thinking of bringing the girls even though it was their home too. And their dad was just worthless. He didn't want to work in the graveyard, in fact he couldn't even handle dealing with people in the office for a little while before Leigh would take over, he was essentially a big child. And their grandparents sounded like really annoying people as well. What disgusted me most though was their reaction to her friend being killed. There was nothing about that that was okay. And finally there was Elanor. I really liked her as a character, and I thought she was an awesome friend. While I wanted to slap Leigh for treating her the way she did at first, I also understand on a very personal level why she felt she couldn't have her in her life. I will say however, that I'm not really sure if I am insulted with how she was portrayed as a homeschooler or not. We're not all either stuck up or hippie whack-a-dos, some of us are normal.

The Romance: Not really any, except Kai and Elanor's brother and then Dario and his girl eventually.

Writing Style: I really liked it. It's narrated from Leigh's POV and she has a nice sarcasm to her, but also something very relatable that draws the reader in. I think I just really liked how the author explored human emotions in this. I was an angsty teen and while I didn't share the same issues and insecurities as Leigh, I totally understand the want to have a real friend and how hard that is to find sometimes. I also liked how this also kind of illustrated the blood doesn't make you family ideal, which has always been one of my favorites. What I liked most about this is that through the book we saw Leigh overcome her problems and grow into a different person from where she started, and even better, we saw how much happier she was because of it. And I love books like that, they always make you feel good inside.

Accuracy/ Believability: It's contemporary so obviously, it's probably not going to be unbelievable. And I think I already touched on how well the human emotions were portrayed.

Problems/What bothered me: No problems with this one.

Conclusion: 4/5 stars. I really liked it. Actually turned out to be a really surprising read. I picked it up for something easy and ended up getting a lot more than that. I would like to check out some of the author's other books. The action at the end did surprise me a bit, but in a good way and it's still not out of place.

Recommended Audience: Girl read ages 14 and up. If you're looking for a contemporary novel to give you the feels that isn't unnecessarily heartbreaking, check this one out :)
Profile Image for Margarita.
301 reviews233 followers
September 12, 2014
Jennifer Longo has quite the flair to making you think and feel things that you don't want to. In SIX FEET OVER IT, we encounter loss and death, depression and sadness, new and unusual friendships - a coming-of-age story of a girl who learns that its okay to let go, move on... to live life and be happy.

Leigh, pronounced like Lee, has had quite the tumultuous childhood. We get to see reminisce about her childhood on their much beloved beach house with a cool older sister, hippie-artist mom and fun dad. She also dwells on how their lives fell apart when her sister Kai was diagnosed with cancer. On how her parents are unable to deal with it, and they start to neglect the girls. And then Leigh is left to try to keep what little is left of her life together by going to school, ignore the bullying that happens, and then coming straight home from school everyday to be with Kai.
Leigh tried her best, but there is only so much a tween, now a teen, can do.
Especially after the loss of her best friend.
And then her father, Wade, uproots the family and moves them to a cemetery where he has big plans, but then proceeds to make Leigh do all the office work and hires Dario to do all of the landscaping and handiwork. Wade hasn't a clue on what he's doing and puts high expectations on Leigh to handle the emotional side of it without a second thought. All while Leigh's mother hides in their home, depressed, painting beach landscapes. And Kai, in remission, goes back to school, takes up running and leads a normal teen life.

Leigh is lost. She believes that she is cursed, that bad things and death follow her and that she must keep herself from anything good in order to avoid bad things happening. She doesn't think twice about how her sister is moving on, but is hurt when her sister doesn't share the details with her. She wishes she could smack her parents on the side of their heads to get them to realize that things are bad, not normal, but, she's afraid of the fallout and then having more responsibilities. She pushes away potential friends, because she doesn't want her bad luck to interfere...
but when she finally lets someone in, just a little bit, and sees that there is some potential, even in her current state, she's confused about being hopeful... will Leigh dare to stand up for herself? Be happy? Dream of a better life?

Filled with insightful moments, sarcastic humor and great prose with memorable characters.... Leigh's story will make you think about how we deal with loss and hope. And will make you reevaluate how we treat ourselves, and not to be so abrupt with our decisions and loved ones. And that even in the most dire times, redemption and hope can be found.


*A hardcover book was sent from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Bri.
179 reviews2 followers
February 17, 2015
One of the perks of working in a library is that sometimes publishers send us ARCs in the hopes we'll rec them to patrons down the road. We keep a shelf in the staff room to peruse at our leisure and this one happened to appear just as I was returning to work after the recent death of my father. Needless to say, the title immediately caught my eye.

What I most appreciated about this book was probably its humor. Even its darkest moments had a tone of humor that kept the book from being too gloomy. I might've picked up the book because of its title, but the prologue had me chuckling so much I just had to keep reading.

I liked Leigh a lot. She felt like a believable teenager, with all the crazy emotionalness that comes with that. There were moments where I worried she was going to annoy me, but it always seemed to even out (kinda how I remember myself at that age...). I wasn't really sure how I felt about Kai through most of the book, but I kinda feel like maybe that's because Leigh wasn't so sure how she felt about her either? That also felt like a believable sibling relationship to me. (I'm all about believable relationships.)

I really appreciated how the Dario/Leigh relationship was handled.

I wouldn't go so far (or as dramatic) to say that this book helped me move past my dad's death, but I will say that it was a good choice for this particular point in my life. The change in perspective of what death's like for those who handle the business end of it was interesting. And though the discussions on what happens in the afterlife weren't excessive, the discussions that did exist made me feel a little better about my own beliefs/lack thereof (especially Elanor's "everything will be the way it's supposed to be"). Watching Leigh work through her grief was cathartic in a lot of ways. I can see this book being a good choice for a teenager who may be dealing with their own grief.
Profile Image for Renata.
2,451 reviews329 followers
September 9, 2014
I'm just such a sucker for a book with a spooky pun title.

This book... every chapter I was just barely interested enough to keep reading instead of DNFing it. I think it just had a little too much going on? Here's how much stuff it has going on:

- Leigh's older sister is in remission from cancer
- In the meantime, her dad impulse bought a graveyard and makes Leigh work in it afterschool because he can't handle selling graves to people
- Leigh seems to have some sort of eating disorder that's not really addressed, but she explicitly says she only eats toast and York Peppermint patties because that's what her sister could eat when she was going through chemo?? so like every chapter she talks about needing to buy more Yorks and all the other characters tell her how skinny she is but nothing really comes of it
- Leigh's mentor is the undocumented Mexican worker her dad hired to dig graves and they have this whole coyote plotline going on
- Leigh is bullied at school for being poor, although she isn't exactly poor, she just refuses to spend money to buy new clothes?
- Leigh has some other unresolved grief in a way that she's both extremely aware of but also extremely unaware of?
- Leigh's mom seems to... have something going on, in that she spends 80% of her time visiting friends in Menocino, where the family used to live? Basically her parents seem CRAZY neglectful, and I get that they went through some stuff when her sister had cancer and they're not bouncing back from it, but as depicted it really seems to have reached the level where someone from the school should be intervening??

and yet with ALL THAT GOING ON there are still chapters where like nothing happens??

idk man, idk

Will probably still appeal to tweens/younger teens who like sad books/books about unjust parents. Content-wise, it's pretty clean (of sex/drugs etc).
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,298 followers
August 12, 2014
Such a sweet, sad, beautiful book. I don't usually like narrators this young (14) in YA, but Leigh is obviously someone who's experienced life in a way that realistically makes her feel older and wiser. The secondary characters bring so much to the table (there will be several points throughout in which you will be super sad Elanor is not a real person, I assure you), and I really loved the uniqueness of the cemetery setting and Leigh's somewhat involuntary career. Beautiful writing, beautiful details, beautiful characters, and beautiful themes. A really gorgeous debut.
Profile Image for Piepie | The Napping Bibliophile.
1,880 reviews139 followers
April 25, 2017
I've always been interested in cemeteries ... and so this cover/synopsis drew me in. However, I only "liked" the book, I didn't "love" it. It is definitely dark and sad. You really can't blame Leigh for being all depressed and hardly eating (I think she eats her weight in York peppermint patties in this book)! She is getting over her best friend's death while basically being the only adult in her family - herself, parents, and older sister. Leigh's dad, Wade, has her work after school in the cemetery he just purchased, sight unseen; her mother, Meredith, doesn't seem to do anything but paint and flit around, leaving her family for days at a time, and *not* parent. Kai seemed sweet, and after battling cancer now finds her niche in running competitively. She wasn't made to work all the time like Leigh was (???).

The ending scenes - driving to pick up Dario/Disneyland - just didn't make sense to me and seemed to come out of left field. I'd be scared as anything to drive an 8+ hours road trip shortly after passing my driver's ed test.

I did like Leigh's grandparents and their little dog, Rene, and I wish they had been given more "screen time."

If you want a "darkly funny" coming-of-age book, then this YA novel is for you. If you want chick lit with romance and drama, then this is definitely not for you.
Profile Image for Debbie Gascoyne.
566 reviews20 followers
January 23, 2022
It probably wasn't entirely fair to read this, her first novel, immediately after reading and very much enjoying the author's third, which was much more accomplished. There was a lot to like in this one, though - a collection of interesting characters, all a little flawed (as are we all), and strong family and friend relationships. One thing I particularly appreciated was that YA tropes were acknowledged but not necessarily dealt with in predictable ways. I felt the ending was a little rushed and the overall resolution a little easy, and there was a climactic scene that I honestly did not find believable. However, I did enjoy this quite a bit overall - Longo seems to be doing interesting and original work and is an author to watch out for.
Profile Image for Lindsey.
1,031 reviews
October 20, 2017
I was really enjoying this at the beginning and then it just started to make no sense. And it was definitely not what I thought it was going to be. Oh well.
Profile Image for Lynette.
508 reviews
April 3, 2019
I needed a book I could sink my teeth into and just read. This was perfect.
Profile Image for Meredith .
251 reviews148 followers
October 21, 2014
Six Feet Over It was a quirky, if not slightly morbid, book about a young girl growing up – and learning important life lessons – in a cemetery. Surrounded by death all day, everyday, Leigh has to learn to cope with life’s many challenges, shocks and surprises (both pleasant and unpleasant).

Leigh was an odd character and it took me awhile to get inside her head, though I never completely did. She’s slightly younger than I realized when I first started reading – just 14-years-old at the start of the book, 16-years-old by the end. Leigh starts out sounding and feeling very young. She takes what life gives her and goes through the motions of day-to-day chores and activities. Leigh has little to no character development for the majority of the book. Then, suddenly, she wakes up one day and – BAM! Her whole outlook on life has changed. She makes things right with everyone, standing up to her father and apologizing to those she wronged. It was a little jarring, if not desperately needed.

I really didn’t connect with Dario. Though his relationship with Leigh was completely platonic (at least in his mind.. She may have thought otherwise at some moments..), it was still a bit odd to see their interactions, with him being five years older than her. He taught her a lot about life and death, though, and helped her cope with so many things. He encourages her to stand up to her parents, to embrace new friendships. In the long run, he helped her learn some valuable lessons. But what he asked of her in the end? It was stupid and dangerous and he never should have asked that of a young girl.

I couldn’t stand Kai. I know she went through a lot. I feel bad about that. But all she does is whine, sigh and cry until she gets her way. Her attitude, on several occasions, resulted in Wade and Meredith (aka mom and dad) forcing more responsibility upon Leigh, responsibility she shouldn’t havet had to bear the weight of alone. Kai was the big sister, but she never acted the part.

I really, really loved Elanor. There was something about her that made me want to root for her. She was brave and strong, kind in ways Leigh was not in the beginning. She reminded me of a girl I knew in elementary school – one I had a falling out with, something I still regret after all these years. Despite Elanor’s odd upbringing, she was more sure of herself and more confident than Leigh. She knew how to stand up for herself and I admired her for that. I’m really happy with the way her story ended.

I couldn’t stand Wade and Meredith. If there’s a Worst Parent of the Year Award, it would be a tie between these two. Though if push came to shove, Wade would win it. Meredith kind of redeemed herself a little bit in the end. Wade was never fair to Leigh. He saddled her with so much responsibility, forced her to handle certain situations that she should NOT have had to handle. Wade, as the adult – as the one who decided to buy the cemetery – should have done more than he did.

A big issue I had with this book was the writing style. It took me awhile to get used to it. It was very choppy, with short, jerky sentences and incomplete thoughts. I didn’t like it at first, though I got used to it after awhile. It slowly blended with Leigh’s voice and character. Another thing I had an issue with is the timeline. The timeline moved freakishly fast and with little to no logic. One second it was fall and Leigh’s birthday, then suddenly it was summer then, out of nowhere, winter. Then summer again, then fall and back to Leigh’s birthday. I will say that this allowed the book to come full circle, which allowed for more closure. But it wasn’t a logical jump and it really threw me off.

Though Leigh’s character development was late in the story and very abrupt, she still did learn some important lessons that allowed her to see the error of her ways and mature in the end. The plot was unique and intriguing. It allows the reader to process the idea of death and change in a safe, comfortable way. It teaches the reader that death doesn’t have to be the end, change doesn’t have to be scary and life does go on after the loss of a loved one.

Overall, though Six Feet Over It didn’t wow me as I’d hoped it would, it was still an enjoyable book, flaws and all. I definitely recommend it to the 13-16 age group, though older readers might also appreciate it. I think it’s safe to say that we can expect great things from Jennifer Longo and I’m still definitely excited for her next book, whatever it may be about.


You can also find more from me on my blog: Pandora's Books
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews567 followers
November 22, 2014
Fourteen-year old Leigh has had quite enough of death. Her older sister, in cancer remission, is focused on living life to the fullest, but Leigh feels like death is constantly lurking around the corner. Reeling from the recent loss of her best friend, the last place she wants to spend her days is a graveyard, but that's exactly where she ends up. After her father makes the ridiculous decision to purchase a graveyard, he proceeds to move the whole family from the ocean to their new home, in the graveyard. Leigh is stuck selling graves, where customers are either pre-need or at need, both pretty depressing. The only person who makes things bearable is Dario, the illegal, slightly older gravedigger who challenges Leigh to rejoin the land of the living.

Wow. The story hidden beneath this cover will knock your socks off. I was completely unprepared for how deep and emotionally powerful this novel would be. The cover and title, though fitting, seem to convey a lighter tone and, while Six Feet Over It is filled with dark humor and snarky banter, it isn't fluffy.

There are lots of big, often difficult, questions addressed in this novel. Questions about death, about how we react to death, how we honor those we've lost, how we move on... These questions are hard to anyone to answer, but we all, at some point in our lives, will find ourselves considering them. Leigh, having nearly lost her sister and having actually lost her best friend, is consumed by her need to find meaning in death - to understand how she is supposed to keep living each day like death isn't waiting to descend.

Leigh is right at that age where she is starting to realize that her parents are, at their core, just people. People who make mistakes and aren't always the parents they should be. People who are hypocritical and sometimes weak. Leigh knows that they aren't horrible people, but she can't help but want more from them... for them to open their eyes and see how she's struggling. Her parents do redeem themselves slightly by the novel's end, but I really appreciated the realistic, imperfect parents presented in Six Feet Over It. Leigh loves them, despite (and, in ways, because of) their shortcomings.

Though Six Feet Over it is technically YA, it's a good pick to bridge the gap between MG and YA. The themes and content are appropriate for younger readers (there is a budding romance between secondary characters, but no sexual content) and the actual writing will prove challenging enough for those 11 and 12-year old readers who find MG too easy. Very sensitive readers might shy away from the discussion of death, but those who could handle MG realistic fiction that tackle death (like The Secret Hum of a Daisy) will be fine.
Profile Image for Angie.
2,326 reviews228 followers
July 6, 2015
Leigh is surrounded by death. She was born three months premature, died, but was revived. Her older sister nearly died from cancer. Her best friend in middle school died while Leigh was cooped up at her grandparents' for the Summer. Her birthday is on the Day of the Dead. And now, her father has purchased a cemetery where Leigh works in the office selling graves. Despite all of that death, Six Feet Over It is actually a pretty cute and fun read. Leigh takes all of this in stride, and after hiring a new grave digger, learns to live.

Six Feet Over It was so weird. It was not at all what I was expecting. The blurb makes it sound like her friend dies during the story and that she strikes up a romance with Dario, the grave digger. Well, neither of those things are true. Leigh's friend died right before her family moved, and if it weren't for her parents seeing the article in the newspaper, Leigh would never have known what happened to her best friend. At least until she spots her headstone in her father's newly acquired graveyard. Spooky.

A lot of Six Feet Over It is Leigh not doing anything. She doesn't want to work at the cemetery, but she won't tell her dad so. She doesn't want the money he's paying her, but she won't spend it. She wants to go places, but won't learn to drive. She wants to have friends, but she won't let go of Emily. She's just stuck until she meets Elanor, a girl who looks uncannily like Emily, and won't stop talking. She also gets to know Dario, helps him with his English, while he helps her with her Spanish and encourages her to live with stories about death celebrations from his home. It's all very over the place, but I liked it.

The plot of Six Feet Over It It kind of takes a super random turn, but once you put the hints together it's not all that random at all. I won't give it away, but let's just say Leigh needs to learn to drive for an unexpected road trip because of reasons. It's something I have never read about before, even though it's happening all of the time, especially where I live. It was interesting. But I will say that there's a pit stop in Disneyland! Only in fiction can you ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and the Teacups in three hours. In real life, you'd be in line for Space Mountain for three and a half!

Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.
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