Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Experience Death for Beginners” as Want to Read:
How to Experience Death for Beginners
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Experience Death for Beginners

2.87  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Casey Darling can enter the minds of people when they die. After receiving romantic advances from the enigmatic new guy at school, a serial killer invades her small town. Local police grow suspicious as she appears at crime scenes, but an FBI agent believes in her psychic powers. Will Casey fall in love or help take down a psychopath? Maybe both.

[Trigger Warning: This book
Paperback, 330 pages
Published February 14th 2019 by Charlie's Port-FRINGE
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Experience Death for Beginners, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Experience Death for Beginners

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-49
Average rating 2.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  38 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Experience Death for Beginners
Kat Dietrich
3.5 stars

How to Experience Death for Beginners by Jessica Branton is Paranormal Mystery aimed at the YA crowd.

First, let me thank Edelweiss, Rebecca Kelley at Mind Buck Media for requesting my review, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
A serial killer is loose in the small town of Cartersville, Alabama. No one is safe from his knife. The police call in the FBI, but there is no real progress.
Melanie (mells_view)
This is a good YA Paranormal lite with some thriller aspects. Casey is a clairvoyant who feels pretty much alone in her world. She hides her “curse” from almost everyone. The ones knowing being her mother and her sister. Who have both been closed off and different in their own ways since she first experienced her “curse”.

In this book we mostly follow Casey navigating her power or “curse” as she feels. It’s like a paranormal coming of age with some surprising and dangerous aspects thrown in along
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Our clairvoyant main character encounters someone in her life who engages in self-harm and while her concern for him results in her wanting to help, all she really does it make him promise not to do it again. I thought this portrayal both of his and her reactions were poorly written for teens. Our MC looks at the act of self harm, but not the causes and doesn't really encourage he
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: January 26th 2019

"I experienced death when I was seven years old. Ten years later, I found myself wondering if I would ever stop."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
Ryan Burke
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The following review contains no spoilers! :)

I started reading Jessica Branton's debut novel How To Experience Death for Beginners with no idea what the story was to be about, or where it might be headed, but I was pleasantly surprised with the direction it did take. Branton gives us a charming cast of teens living in small town Georgia and is careful to let each character define themselves by their own action (and inaction) rather than entirely letting Casey alone shape our perceptions of the r
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I was provided an ARC of this book by the publisher, which is the only reason I'm writing this review. I don't usually write reviews for books I didn't enjoy.

The promotional materials that accompanied this novel boasted that the book was written by the author when she was 14 years old, and boy howdy, does this book read like it was written by a 14-year-old. Despite the witty title, intriguing description, and professional cover art, the book is chock full of flat characters, dull dialogue, gram
review originally posted on my blog /

2.5 stars out of 5.

How to Experience Death for Beginners is a debut YA thriller which focuses on the psychic power of Casey Darling who is gifted (or cursed?) with the ability to witness and experience the deaths of those around her. When Casey begins to experience the horrifying and grisly deaths of people within her community, all murdered by the same person, she begins to suspect the existence of a serial killer. What follows is a disturbin
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I was intrigued with the synopsis but I felt that there is something missing. This book has a lot of potential.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Now I don't like scary movies or even most thrillers, but I read this with "screenplay" running through my thoughts and the unedited version showing at the back of my mind. Although I fell it was slightly simplified to reflect that, I really enjoyed this, liked the characters, and though the idea was sound. It says she has several more novels in the works, I look froward to them ;) ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Got a DRC of this book from Edelweiss! I saw the synopsis and I was really intrigued.

Reading this was frustrating for me. Don't get me wrong, I found the synopsis very interesting, and the story, despite being easy to predict, was also entertaining at the very least. What frustrated me is the execution of the story. The plot was all over the place and the writing style didn't communicate with me as a reader in any way. The characters were not gripping, they didn't pull the story forward for me.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got an advanced review copy for my granddaughter and could not believe how good this book was. I do not read this genre, but I used to read adult thrillers and this was better than some of those. Definitely recommend for kids in high school. Very scary.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Blog | YouTube | Instagram

This book sounded absolutely fascinating. The premise of it – the main character being able to enter the minds of someone before they’re killed or before they die. Then suddenly her small town has a serial killer and now the FBI is getting involved. Now, she needs to somehow convince them why she’s at the crime scene but not the murderer. There are definitely elements to this book that I absolutely enjoyed but the biggest issue for me was the choppy and immature writing
Jessica Brown
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written by the author when they were a teenager, I was fully prepared for it to be mediocre. But this book is incredibly well written for her age. The story is captivating, funny, heartbreaking, suspenseful and relevant, and the characters are well fleshed out and interesting. There’s a lot of realllyyy good quotable moments such as ‘I will not stand for this!’ ‘Then sit down.’
The book handles some sensitive topics, like self-harm, mental health, loss, and even homophobia in the Deep South reall
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This book could have definitely used another proof or two (or 20); there's grammar mistakes all over the place. It's kind of a hot mess, and not in a good way. There's just not enough substance to sustain it (or, to be completely honest, my attention). Also, naming three of your protagonists with names that begin with 'C' was kind of a mistake. Definitely could not keep them all straight.
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
3 1/2 stars

I received a copy of How to Experience Death for Beginners in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Jessica Branton is one of those authors where you just can’t help but be impressed by her age. She wrote How to Experience Death for Beginners when she was fourteen, though the novel is only getting published now.
How to Experience Death for Beginners follows a teenager named Casey. Like many teenagers she frequently feels overwhelmed with everything going on in her life. Unlike most
Warnings: self-harm and suicide attempts, mention of domestic abuse, description of automobile accidents, physical assault, homophobia

How to Experience Death for Beginners was a different novel than I had imagined based on the blurb. It is, as promised, a mystery with a serial killer element, but it is more about a teen girl coming to a greater understanding of her clairvoyant powers. Casey can see and experience the moment when a person is dying, and since a decade, she has seen every kind of d
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This young adult novel about a girl named Casey who is is cursed with being a clairvoyant. Although I did enjoy this one I think that it would have made more sense for this one to be classified as a middle-grade novel vs. ya. It does touch on subjects such as abuse and suicide and I do have to say that the author did well with these topics. I think that the main character should have gone one step further than just telling the other character to promise not to do it again. Suicide and self-harm ...more
Avery (Book Deviant)
I tried to read this book, but I just really couldn't stand it. It was a very stereotypical YA read, and the amount of stereotypes it feel into was just too much to deal with. ("I let go a breath I didn't know I was holding" was said twice within 3 pages...) I really couldn't stand the protagonist, and the love interest was also not well developed--he was just shoved in and you were basically told "he's the love interest". The "experiencing death" visions were not explained at all either, and yo ...more
Susan Mesler-Evans
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
NOTE: This book has not yet been released. I was given an advance reading copy by MindBuck Media in exchange for an honest review. This book will be out February 14, 2019. If you wish to send me an ARC, check out this page.

I really thought I would love this book. If you follow my reviews, then you know that I am all about thrillers and mysteries, and come on -- just look at that title! Unfortunately, though, this book was kind of a mess. The characters were unlikable and the mystery wasn't well-
Susan W
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
The YA crowd will love this. High schoolers in a small town and there is a killer on the loose. Casey has long been able to feel the last moments of the victims life, their joys, sorrows and regrets, which she has kept hidden from her friends and family. When sorrow gets too close to home, the police become interested in her, and life begins to spiral out of control. Thank you edelweiss for the advance copy.
♥ Kym
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Looking at the blurb I thought the heroine possess #girlpower (figuratively), a badass, a lady boss who is the answer to all the unresolved cases of police enforcement, but then it’s not.


I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from Edelweiss+ and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest book review.

I picked this book thinking it’s a romcom but when I get to read it, it’s actually dark and talks about a lot of death. The author was able to portray how flashbacks work –
Donna Huber
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review
I probably would have loved this story when I was a teenager, but as an adult I thought there was too much angst. I would have liked the plot to have been more focused, streamlined. The characters were interesting. Full review soon.
Ryley (Ryley Reads)
I'm not entirely sure what I expected when I picked this book up, but I'm not sure it was what I got. I know that sounds vague, and it is, but hear me out.

Thanks so much to Mindbuck Media and Edelweiss for providing me with an e-ARC for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

**Please be aware of TRIGGER WARNINGS for cutting, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts as well as domestic abuse in this book. I will try to avoid discussing them in this review but please proceed with caution if
Kayla Whitter
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
*Original review posted at

(I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are totally my own.)

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book about someone with a superpower

TW: Serial killer, light gore

Jessica Branton was only 14 when she wrote How To Experience Death for Beginners, and for a 14 year old, the book is strong. However after somewhere around 10 years, I would have presumed meticulous editing would have taken place to update the novel
Mar 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF at 27%
I typically give books about 25% to hook me, and while the premise of this book definitely still intrigues me should it be done well, this rendition unfortunately did not deliver.
I was shocked at how young the writing sounded until I found out that the author wrote this book at 14 years old. While totally commendable to write a book at 14, it should've gotten a huge re-write prior to publication.
A 14 year old writing a 17 year old just made everyth
Miko Wollner
May 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
I chose to read this book purely from its name, which is a mistake I wholeheartedly regret. I acknowledge that my lack of enjoyment is mostly due to my fault, but there is also a reason this book isn't top-rated. It's chock full of flat characters, dull dialogue, and every cliche in the book. I later learned that it was written when the author was 14 and although that should sound impressive, this book should have seen the light of day. Every character acts like their 14, and most don't even hav ...more
Becky Price
Feb 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I had SO many problems with this book. My biggest problem with the book was that I felt like it helps perpetuate that idea that unhealthy relationships are ok. We also have quite a few characters who are dealing with some mental health struggles and this book never mentions getting them the help they need. I felt like all the issues were glossed over and just accepted as the norm when these characters needed help. I feel like the author had a pretty big opportunity to smash negative stereotypes ...more
rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2019
Ryan Abigail
marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2018
Lisa Mandina
marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2018
Sarah Grill
marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2018
Kathleen Kelly
marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2018
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2018
Jeanne Gotkowski
is currently reading it
Nov 12, 2018
Jessica Williamson
marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2018
Jha (NINE)
marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2018
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Romanov
  • Little Darlings
  • Swipe Right for Murder
  • We Told Six Lies
  • Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1)
  • More Than Bones
  • You Are Here
  • Your Life Is Mine
  • Perfect Crime (D.I. Callanach, #5)
  • The Vanishing Season (Ellery Hathaway, #1)
  • The Homecoming
  • The One That Got Away
  • The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray #1)
  • Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific
  • The Unpassing
  • Till Death Do Us Part
  • Everlasting Nora
  • The Bone Keeper
See similar books…
Hello all! I am currently a graduate student at Georgia Southern, but before that I attended the University of Georgia. I love writing and have a book coming out February 14, 2019. I wrote that book, titled How to Experience Death for Beginners, when I was 14. I love writing and I hope you all enjoy what I have to offer.

Related Articles

Angeline Boulley set out over a decade ago to write the story she wanted to read as a young Ojibwe teenager. The result is Firekeeper's Daughter,...
2 likes · 0 comments