Heather's Reviews > She Smells the Dead

She Smells the Dead by E.J. Stevens
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's review
Mar 12, 2011

it was amazing
Read in March, 2011 — I own a copy

E. J. Steven's novel is a combination of paranormal romance and mystery with a good bit of humor thrown in. The main character Yuki isn't really named that, but chose that nickname over her real name Vanessa. You'll have to read the book to see what the nicknames she's been through to see why she chose a nickname. The novel takes place in high school in a small Maine town where Yuki's best friends are Calvin and Emma. Calvin is a huge meat eater, but into meditation and spiritual matters. Yuki is a vegetarian and Emma is completely Vegan. It makes for fun and interesting fodder at the lunch table.

The mystery begins when Yuki is overpowered with the smell of vinegar. Both Calvin and Emma know about her strange "talent" and help her in her sleuthing to find the ghost that is connected to the smell. She can't see him or talk to him. She only has a smell to go by. Her parents don't know about her talent so she works around that. And she has to rely on her friends for rides as she doesn't have her driver's license yet, afraid a scent will overtake her and she'll pass out while driving.

She has the hots for the bad boy in school Garrett Hamlin but suddenly finds herself attracted to Calvin. She soon finds out why and things get really strange from there. And that's saying a lot since she can smell dead people.

This is an easy to finish in one night book. The writing flows quickly, there are no gaps in the story that need explaining except maybe how Yuki came to have her talent. But the story builds momentum leading to the next novel. There are no cliffhangers. It ends with a good conclusion but you know there is more to come. I loved the story between Cal (vin) and Yuki. They'd obviously been friends a long time and they are so opposite it is hard to believe they are friends. She's as goth as they come and he's as outdoorsy as they come, yet they are perfect for each other. He calls her his "Princess Dung Beetle" which she sometimes likes. You'll have to read to see how that came about. There are no betrayals in this book, everyone is a good down to earth loyal friend. The story is told from Yuki's perspective, first person narrative so we get a chance to see inside her head. Her observations, especially in high school are funny.

I really loved this story. The romance was just enough. The paranormal was definitely something new and it wasn't just the smelling dead people. I left out a big part so I don't spoil it for you. And the strong friendships were nice to see. The biggest villain at high school this time was a "jock" and not a girl. So yay for the girls we aren't as bitchy as we're portrayed to be!! At least not in this novel.

This novel is G rated. Anyone that likes paranormal romance/mystery should enjoy this quick read.

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