Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Pretty Little Dead Girls

Pretty Little Dead Girls by Mercedes M. Yardley
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Please excuse all the fangirling that is about to ensue. If you knew what I know – how brilliant and utterly gorgeous Mercedes M. Yardley’s new novel is – you would not only forgive me, but you would undoubtedly join me in singing her praise. Before all else, it needs to be said that Pretty Little Dead Girls is a thought-provoking book that allows us many different readings. It can be read superficially and still be described as exceptional, but one could also spend months on allegorical interpretations, trying to find non-literal meanings and likely only partially succeeding.

In her strange, memorable but unassuming way, Yardley manages to raise some very important philosophical and existential issues. Her protagonist, Bryony, has always known that she would one day be murdered, and so did everyone around her. It is a simple fact of life, nothing to fuss about, and everyone who looks into her eyes even once knows that she will end up as someone’s victim. As Bryony waits for her destiny to be fulfilled, people around her keep dying instead. You see, fate tries and aims, and often misses by a narrow margin. So Bryony’s friends die, and she stays alive, at least for the time being.

Narrative-wise, Pretty Little Dead Girls is innovative and very postmodern. Yardley uses metafictive devices to constantly draw attention to the narrative itself. She keeps opening a direct communication between the book (or rather the omniscient narrator) and the readers by asking them to participate with their opinions. Third person omniscient point of view is also a somewhat unusual choice for contemporary literature, but for Yardley, it works extremely well. The effect of this simple choice on the story is tremendous and I dare say brilliant. It speaks volumes about Mercedes M. Yardley and all the things we can expect from her in the future.

Pretty Little Dead Girl is deeply, yet quietly romantic. There is love for Bryony, but like everything else, it comes without much fuss and it remains constant and reliable throughout. It is, I think, the most beautiful thing about this novel – the matter-of-fact approach to everything - life, love and death alike.

This is a weird, whimsical tale perfect for weird, whimsical people; artists and dreamers, creative thinkers and free spirits. Paradoxically, Yardley’s style is oddly formal and playful at the same time, which reflects the overall mood of the story perfectly. If you only take one risk this year, a single read you’re unsure of, choose this one. Even if it’s not your type of story, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty and the quality of Yardley’s writing.

I, however, revel in this type of thing, and I so rarely get a chance to read something so perfect for me. My heart is full, my mind is blown, and every book I try to read just pales in comparison.

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Reading Progress

September 23, 2014 – Started Reading
September 23, 2014 – Shelved
September 24, 2014 –
37.0% "Holy weirdness, Batman! This book is brilliant."
September 25, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Liz* Fashionably Late I can tell you're really excited about this book, Maja ^^ I'm curious about the innovative and very postmodern narrative. I'm adding it!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Definitely the best book I've read all year. I'm thoroughly impressed.

message 3: by Sunny (new) - added it

Sunny Your review is so beautiful. I have to put it on my TBR

message 5: by Ari (new) - added it

Ari Oh.. surprise, surprise, looks like I did have it on my to-read shelf. Well, I won't lose it from my sight again :D lovely review!

message 6: by Hershey (new) - added it

Hershey This sounds so good! Really looking forward to reading it!

Fantastic review!

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