The Life and Death Parade

256p. Disney-Hyperion. Jun. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484732526.
Gr 9 Up—In a rarefied British world of castles and garden parties, three teens become entangled with a band of psychics, mystics, and charlatans called the Life and Death Parade. Kitty is an orphaned teen who lives with the Bramley family in their crumbling estate and is in love with their son Nikki. After Nikki is told by a psychic that he has no future, he seems to descend into madness as he obsesses about his fate, ultimately leading to a gruesome death. Kitty and the family grieve and no one is able to move on from the tragedy until Kitty brings a member of the LADP back to the castle to help the family contact Nikki in the afterworld. This story is dark and completely entwined with different mystical theories and philosophies, with several unexpected twists and turns. However, the plot misses several opportunities to delve deeply into any one area and skims and hops from one thing to another, often leaving readers behind. With section breaks featuring poems about multiple deaths written by the author's famously twice-deceased musician husband, this book is possibly an option for readers interested in exploring the area between life and death, and whether or not it is possible to ever truly come back to those who loved them.
VERDICT An additional purchase.

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