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I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  2,462 ratings  ·  517 reviews
When Sarah wakes up  dead at the Mall of America, she learns that not only was she murdered,  her killer is still on the loose.   
When you’re sixteen, you have your whole life ahead of you. Unless you’re Sarah. Not to give anything away, but . . . she’s dead. Murdered, in fact. Sarah’s murder is shocking because she couldn’t  be  any more average. No enemies. No risky beha
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by Delacorte Press
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Judy Sheehan About 65,000. All of them chosen very carefully and lovingly. :-D
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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Bonnie Shores
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, ghosts
Upon seeing this title, I thought I Woke Up Dead at the Mall would be a silly read that would be "entertaining enough". Boy, was I surprised! 😲


First of all, I thought the premise was unique. Instead of Sarah becoming a zombie or a vampire, which is what I thought was going to happen, she's a ghost—dressed in the same mango chiffon bridesmaid gown she was wearing when she died. Oh, and she's at the Mall of America, the place, she learns, where all murdered New Yorkers end up. Before they can move
Nov 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one

1.5 Stars

Picked this up because I wanted something more lightweight before starting reading my next book... and I sure got it. -_-
The writing is juvenile. The characters are undeveloped clichés. Nothing is properly developed, not even the cheesy teen romance.
By now some of you are probably saying, "oh, you're being too harsh just because this isn't for you."
Thing is, I would never in a million years give this book to a middle grader, or even a teen. And that is because this is one of those book
Janet McNally
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a lot of fun. Vivid and believable narrative voice, great premise, and a fantastic sense of humor throughout. I do not personally want to end up in a Mall of America afterlife (though I guess there are worse places, ha), but I so enjoyed following Sarah's journey and the cast of (dead) characters she met. There's a dash of zany murder mystery here, which adds to the fun, and an interesting examination of how we humans deal with dying. Highly recommended. ...more
Kristina Horner
May 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, ghosts
This book started strong and I really loved the premise, but then the instalove and totally bland storyline really ruined it for me. I did not get a sense that the main character was "special" in any way, but she broke rules of the afterlife over and over again. Disappointing. ...more
This was a cute book.. but the narrator sometimes annoyed me.

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall was a pretty fun zombie book. In it, you will meet Sarah who realizes that she is dead. As to why she is dead - no idea. Where she wakes up dead - the mall. Weird place.. but I'll go with it. Now this mall, is kind of like a purgatory for murdered teens. This whole place made me feel sad because there's a lot of teens in this mall.

Along the way, Sarah ends up meeting some pretty cool people. They end up goin
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This review is based of an ARC that I found at a goodwill.

It was a 3.5 book that I rounded down. I did really enjoy it. There was nothing new or profound and I never really felt worried for any of the characters. It was light, simple, and fun.

Nick and Sarah's relationship wasn't 100% believable with how "in love" they were supposed to be, but it was cute. Nick, though adorable, was a bit (in my opinion) skeezy in how fast he moved on to Sarah.

There are a couple of things that bothered me - ster
MA Beggs
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I Woke Up Dead at the Mall is a fun, creative, and very engaging read. With the opening sentence I was drawn into this world, or should I say "Mall," of the living dead. Not only is the plot/storyline intriguing, the living dead need to attend to the unfinished business of their lives, but I loved the characters that Judy created to tell this story. They became real "living" people to me because they are so thoughtfully developed. There is humor, drama, mystery and philosophical elements found i ...more
Domini  Phillips-Perkins
I woke up dead at the mall is a totally new approach to the ten ghost genre. It's cute, sweet, heartfelt and has an ending that makes you feel complete and satisfied. A quick and enjoyable read. ...more
The title describes this book perfectly! And the cover is exactly right, too. Sarah does just what it promises, awaking in the mango bridesmaid's dress she was wearing at her father's wedding, only to be informed that she is, sadly, very dead. However, dead teens get to spend a few days at the Mall of America, adjusting to their new status, attending their own funeral, and reliving one day of their lives of their choice.

This was a very fast-paced blend of mystery, romance, and teen movie, as Sa
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book!!! It had the perfect balance between comedy and drama... But more on the comedy! Judy Sheehan will make you stay up until the crack of dawn reading!
May 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paxton Cockrell
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
So this was a nice, light, teen read with some fun and interesting ideas on the afterlife. The lead character Sarah was mildly annoying at times, primarily because she was written quite well and often acted like a real 16 year old would probably act. Ugh, youths.

Also, there was a decent message in the book about not wasting your time or letting life pass you by which I can totally get behind.
Jennifer Fountain
Witty and funny. Pub recommended it since I enjoyed Denton Little's Death Date. Great read for my first of 2016! ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Funny, snarky, sweet. A bit silly, but still fun.
What a fun little book.

Favorite laugh-out-loud quotes:

"Get ready for your funeral"

"Hey, did you know that Mexican words and Spanish words sound a lot alike? I wonder how they tell them apart"

I recommend: The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, arc, 2015
16 year old Sarah wakes up dead. At the Mall of America. She must take steps to let go of her mortal life so she can move on. Once she tackles her unfinished business she can be free from the mall, and her own sadness.

Despite the title and the topic, there is so much joy in this book. I loved this particular line: "So it turns out the at when dead people sleep, they sleep reeeeeeeeeeally deep. That first night at the mall I slept like someone had drugged me, then clubbed me, then made me watch
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, ya
I was underwhelmed by some things, but pulled through by things I wasn't expecting.

I picked this up thinking it might be a good readalike for the show "The Good Place," which is trending in my friend-group. I'm not sure how many teens, much less middle schoolers, are into that show, but it fits in the snarky niche of my middle school booktalk lineup.

The title/cover doesn't lie - Sarah wakes up dead in the mall. In a giant bridesmaid's dress.
I was looking forward to enjoying exploring the mall-a
Lilly Noonan
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the most creative and interesting books I have ever read. It wasn't your normal go right to heaven when you die type of book. This book has a different view on that, if your murdered you go to a mall, and if you’re a New Yorker you go to the Mall of America. At the mall you have to forget about your past life to be able to go on to your next life. Which Sarah has a hard time doing.

Sarah was sixteen years old when she was murdered. She woke up at the mall of America in her ma
Starry-Eyed Jen
I thought this would be a funny, sarcastic look at life after death - and it was - but it was also equal parts poignant and uplifting. And even though that's not what I was expecting or even looking for with this book, I found it endearing. ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A really good mix of funny and poignant, and the ending was wonderful.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
If I had to sum this up in a line, I would say it's cute and clever. In I Woke Up Dead at the Mall, Sarah wakes up dead. In a mall. The Mall of America acts as a sort of purgatory for teens in NYC who have been murdered. While they're there, they can eat at the ghosts' only cafeteria, shop the specialty stores, and attend group therapy sessions to help them move on.

They get to choose one day of their life to "re-live" and they get to attend their funeral. But Sarah's murderer is trying to kill
[Shai] Bibliophage
This is one of the best books of I've read so far this year. I love the characters, setting and the phasing of the story. This book also made me ponder if there's a truth on life after death. Or if we will also have a chance to choose whether we want to reborn again or to protect once we are ready to move on, just like what happened to the characters in this book.

I really enjoyed reading this and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves light reading and a fast phasing story. If you are looking
Nov 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was a really poorly written book. It's as if the author just watched the movie "clueless" and decided that that is how "the young people talk". Really hard to get through and the ending was completely unsatisfying. ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library_books, ebooks
This one had been on my TBR pile for a bit, until one day I decided to try something different - beyond my usual fare of nonfiction and murder mystery. I'm a fan of well-done YA, which fits here, mostly.

I put this one on my library ebook watch list as I really liked another title with a dead-teen-in-the-afterlife plot Elsewhere. I confess I liked that one a bit more, probably as I found it less . . . distracting. My loyal fans know of my dislike of plot re-hashing, so here's a basic plot summary
Samantha (WLABB)
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, audiobooks, paranormal
What an interesting look at the afterlife. This was fun and funny, but also touching and sweet. I really enjoyed getting to meet all these dead teens and was rooting for them to figure out their unfinished business and move on. I was also pleasantly surprised by a few things Sheehan wrote into the ending. These things made me very happy, and one of them was worthy of a few tears.

Jammin Jenny
This book was okay and I really enjoyed parts of the story. The BOY (Boss of You) was actually in the personage of a boy BOY and a girl BOY so that was a bit put-offing in the audible version (the boy boy and the girl boy said blah). I might have liked the written version better, but all in all a pretty good book.
May 31, 2022 rated it did not like it

I've seen a few people who left a one-star review because they DNFed this book, and I was so close to doing the same, but I stuck it out with the audiobook and finished. The lady who was doing the audiobook made it worse but better at the same time. I could get through the book faster than when I was just reading (barely a chapter a night). I would never have known that Barbra has a Scottish accent which was never established in the book… I also LOVE when I hear the awful dialog, ESPEC
Vi (like the letter)
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, 4-stars
The synopsis to this book sounded so interesting, despite the cover not being all that appealing, I just had to give this one a try. I’m so glad I did. I Woke Up Dead surprised me with how entertaining, funny, and relatable it is. I easily connected with all the characters, loved the aferlife world that Sheehan created, and I definitely wanted to see Sarah get her justice and find peace. Right away, Sheehan captured my attention with her engaging main character, Sarah, and I just loved being ins ...more
Novel Novice
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
An irreverent and compellingly unique story about death, grieving, and moving on, I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan successfully mixes the macabre and morose with a lighthearted twist on the afterlife.

Most books that deal with death and grieving tend to be on the dark, serious side. I Woke Up Dead at the Mall is a unique — and quite frankly, brilliant — combination of that dark, serious side with an uplifting, lighthearted twist. The result is an optimistic outlook on this macabre theme
Brittany S.
Initial Impressions 8/8/18: 2.5 stars
This wasn't a BAD book but it really could have been so much better in so many ways, so that's where my feelings and review end up. I was hoping for dark comedy, black humor, ghostly sort of story. It turned out to be a little too cheesy, a little too immature, and I didn't like the ending. It just felt very typical YA and too tropey.

All of the main characters in this book ended up at the Mall of America after their death, all came from New York. But... why?
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