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Picture the Dead

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,526 ratings  ·  334 reviews
A ghost will find his way home.

Jennie Lovell's life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiancé falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone. Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,526 ratings  ·  334 reviews

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Sep 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: form-illustrated
The more I reflect on this book, the more I dislike it. I was going to go for a three star rating, then dropped down to two, and then dropped down to one. It isn't that Picture the Dead is precisely a bad book, it's that it just could be so much better.

Griffin's writing is beautiful, and Brown's illustrations are unique and polished. They just don't ... really work together in this particular narrative. This is a problem I seem to be running into a lot with illustrated books, which might have so
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! So you may start seeing me review books with illustrations, being illustrator by career myself. This book is told in a combo of text, pictures, and letters. Here are some of the lovely illustrations that I took some jank pictures of with my phone:

The illustrations are interspersed before every chapter, meant to represent the main character's scrapbook. There are many chapters, and therefore a lot of illustrations!

The genre I believe is young adult, though the text is a little big as it
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This creepy historical ghost story had a surprising twist at the end. I think the scariest part was how awfully Jennie's aunt and uncle treated her! The quirky illustrations really added to the story. My only complaint is that in reading it as an ebook I couldn't see the details of the illustrations especially the writing. I feel like I missed out and would recommend reading this one as a physical book instead.
Small Review
Love the pretty

This is a goooood book. Really. I wasn’t especially grabbed by the cover photo, but when I got the book through inter-library loan I was delighted by the heft and detail put into its construction. The publishers and illustrator Lisa Brown really went all out in designing a book that is visually attractive and replicates the feel of a scrapbook (something that plays an important role in the story). The combined package serves to create a reading experience rich in atmosphere that p
Lauren Stoolfire
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and illustrated by Lisa Brown is a good paranormal mystery set during the Civil War, if a bit predictable. Personally, I was hoping for a little bit more outright horror and a bit of a faster pace. However, though, I love that this story is practically dripping with atmosphere and those eerie illustrations definitely helped set the tone.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was not my favorite book.
Margo Tanenbaum
Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown have written a unique illustrated young adult novel that is difficult to categorize. It's carefully researched historical fiction but also a ghost story and a mystery with graphic novel elements as well. With illustrations that mimic the look of a Civil War scrapbook kept by our heroine, our story is told in the first person by orphan Jennie Lovell, who together with her twin brother has been raised for the last four years by her aunt a
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, young-adult
Set during the American Civil War, Jennie Lovell is orphaned and living with her Aunt and Uncle -- who are anything but kind. She has lost her brother and now her fiance on the battlefields. With both the men gone Jennie feels lost. When she becomes friends with a spirit photographer she learns secrets that are almost too hard to bare.

An interesting story about war, spirits and death. I've always found stories of the civil war captivating, especially hauntings or ghost stories. I found Jenny's j
Kat Heckenbach
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
The voice and writing in this book are strong, and I did find myself connecting quite well to the main character, Jennie. However, the other characters never really came to life for me. I found the story interesting, though, and loved the ghostly elements.

There are illustrations--I happen to be someone who finds illustrations distracting, but I can see why these were included. It does add to the historical feel of the novel, and reinforces Jennie's obsession with her scrapbook.

Overall a good re
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Picture the Dead is one of those books that I was actually really excited to read. It had a lot of things going for it: Historical Fictional, Civil War Era, non-traditional set-up, and a Gothic tale of Spiritualism. Normally one of those is enough for me to snag a book, but all of them together and I'm there. Sadly, something in Picture the Dead fell a bit short for me. It was just one thing that really bothered, but small things throughout the book.

At the start I was pulled into the book. No pu
Nov 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Four Stars: An intriguing ghost story told with the aid of pictures.

The carriage wheels rattle up to the house in the dead of night. The entire household is quickly aroused from their slumber. Master Quinn has arrived home from the war, injured but alive. Jennie takes one look in his eyes and sees the terrible truth: Will, his brother and her fiancé, is not coming home. Jennie's world comes crashing down. Without Will, her position in the house becomes precarious. She was taken in by her aunt a
Eden Voelker
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
***Originally posted to: Bookish Blog as a part of the blog tour.

I am currently hosting a giveaway for a paperback copy of this book. US/Canada, ends: March 15th

Picture the Dead is more than a ghost story. It's a truly masterful, original, and jaw-dropping creation - a work of art. There's a touch of romance, beautifully described historical setting, goose-bumpy atmosphere, and a thrilling mystery. Above all, there's a skillfully executed, bone-chilling plot line, emotionally engaging first-p
Holly Ryanne
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.
I'm very conflicted about rating this and collecting my thoughts and opinions. I don't believe the synopsis is even an accurate description of what happens. Here, let me try to explain.

In Picture the Dead,a young woman is faced with the aftermath of losing almost everyone dear to her. We start out with the return of her cousin (from war), Quinn. When she doesn't see her fiance Will, she is immediately struck with grief. If being looked down upon by those you live with and those who ru
Mar 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. I love reading about our past- the people, clothes, customs, etc. The Civil War, surprisingly, is a time period I’ve rarely read about. I’m so glad I had an opportunity to read Picture the Dead.

Jennie was a well developed and likable main character. She had a strong head on her shoulders and knew what she wanted with life. Jennie had faced a lot of death in her short life; both her parents, her twin brother, and her fiancé. Her parent
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love ghost stories. They are something new to me and so they are still unique. I haven't read very many but Picture The Dead ranks high among the ones that I have read and makes me very interested in reading more.

Jennie Lovell does not have an easy life. After being orphaned, she and her twin, Toby, are forced to live with their Aunt Clara and Uncle Henry. Things aren't too terrible though because Will and Quinn are there. Things get even better when Jennie falls in love with Will and he ask h
Yin Chien 인첸
Picture The Dead is a charming gothic ghost story which incorporates elements of suspense, mystery and paranormal. Each chapter is ended with detailed illustrations which reflects the bits and pieces of Jennie's scrapbook. The overall design of the book is very eye-catching and special. However, I don't feel particularly spooked or frightened by the story.

Jennie is a likeable heroine. She has just lost her beloved Will in a battlefield, and her heart aches for him, but be that as it may, she is
Katieb (MundieMoms)
I absolutely loved that Adele Griffin wove a haunting love story around historical fiction. I am such a sucker for history and really enjoyed this YA paranormal book. It's a haunting read, with a dark and twisty plot that had me devouring the pages. While it's not a shake in the seat of your pants haunting, it's a vivid and real life haunting. I like that through out the book, there are vivid illustrated pages with pictures from Jennie's scrapbook. The illustrations are of pictures, letters and ...more
Haley Mathiot
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
When Jennie's fiancé dies in war and only his brother, Quinn, comes home, Jennie is heartbroken. She soon learns there is more to Will's death than she thought. She is haunted by his ghost, and by the mysteries left unanswered. Piece by piece she begins to uncover his secrets… and at the same time starts to fall in love with Quinn. But there is always more to a story when there are ghosts involved.

Picture the Dead had a lot of thought put into it. The mysteries presented and the way they were un
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Summary: After Jennie Lovell's fiancé, Will, is killed during the Civil War, she forms an alliance with a spirit photographer and uses her ability to talk to the dead to investigate the secrets Will was hiding and how he really died.

Considering this is written much like a traditional Gothic ghost story, I didn't find myself at all creeped out. I figured out the "mystery" way too quickly in the story. I also found Jennie, the main character who tells the story, to be pretty silly. I think I only
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Did this get more attention when it was published and I just missed it? Super enjoyable, and I didn't expect the ending; I kept expecting that some of the people who seemed dead would be not dead and so on; but the book kept surprising me. I was puzzled by what seemed like a couple of very obvious copy-editing mistakes and wondered if they were somehow part of the mystery, but it seems not. (I think the date on the photo of the twins is wrong, and either the birthdate of the dead sister or the i ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Jennie has lost her brother and her fiance Will to the Civil War. Her place in her aunt and uncle's home is questionable until Quinn arrives wounded. Jennie decides to take care of him, slowing the process of being shoved out of her aunt's house. But Quinn isn't the only one haunted. Jennie has a feeling Will is still around, trying to take her with him into death. Or is he warning her about other treachery?

An interesting historical story with illustrations and pictures. It all wraps up in the
Michelle ⚔ Fantasy Fanatic ⚔

This is a gothic ghost story without too much emphasis on the ghost part; more like nightmares and foreboding with a hint at the supernatural.

It's an easy read and written well, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting from the description.

This novel also features illustrated segments from the MC's "scrapbook" at the start of every chapter, and "her" handwriting is often hard to read; so, neat idea there, but poor execution.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
vistorian style writing, interspersed with letters, photos referenced in the story. too bad they weren't more authentic-looking, but rather juvenile drawings. good story, though.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. It was a mystery, ghost story and historical novel. This was a very good read, also had good illustrations.
Amirah I.
Pretty good, actually. I think it'll capture younger audience more.
Sonia Gensler
I'm a big fan of historical ghost stories involving spirit photography. The visual concept alone made this book quite a page turner.
Courtney Gendreau
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally review posted at:

Honestly, I did not expect to like Picture the Dead as much as I did. This, for me, was one of those books that sits on your shelf for years and you just keep telling yourself that you will get to it someday. In my normal reading style, I probably would never have ended up reading it, but recently I have been in a major reading slump and have had to rethink the way I choose what to read. To try and break myself out of said slump, I have been rea
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: cya-ya
I both liked, and disliked, this novel. It is aimed at young adults, and it has illustrations throughout by Lisa Brown that bookend each chapter. It has a really compelling setting and plot. Set during the American Civil War, Jennie's cousin and fiance, Will, is killed in action. Her cousin and Will's brother, Quinn, returns from the war injured. Jennie is left to cope living in a lonely house with her unfriendly aunt and uncle, and her emotionally distant cousin as he recovers from the war. But ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
One sentence sum-up: an absorbing Gothic mystery that immerses you in its pages.

My reaction: I really enjoyed Picture the Dead. I'd been having a bit of a reading slump and this book made me go, "Yes! This is the kind of writing and thoughtful plotting I've been looking for!"

The heart of this book is not a romance, it's a mystery. Now, I was reading extremely carefully and actively trying to solve it (which included flipping back to previous pages and double-checking, I am not a
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