The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

   The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson. Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), (9781481498579), 2019.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Very Light Sci-Fi/Fantasy – More Contemporary Magical Realism

What did you like about the book? Dino is comfortable around the dead – his family owns a successful funeral home, and the whole family is involved in the business. But comfort goes right out the window when, following the sudden death of his ex-best friend July, she wakes up in the preparation room of the funeral home. While July is both not dead and not quite alive, she and Dino realize they’re stuck with each other while they try to determine what is going on. As their time together stretches out, they’re forced to confront the reasons that their friendship fell apart, along with July’s sudden reanimation; but could these two things somehow be connected?

I really liked this book! Dino and July are typical teenagers who find themselves in a surreal situation, and while we don’t have a real understanding of what caused July’s resurrection, we do get to see how these two best friends-turned-enemies are forced to work together and work through their problems to try to set things right. We get to see how important it is to stand up for one’s self, and to communicate with family, partners, and friends. Dino learns so much from July, and July must come to understand herself through her relationship with her best friend; both of these journeys of emotional awareness are touching and move the reader to appreciate the important people in their lives. With a diverse cast of characters, I definitely enjoyed this surreal and heartwarming story of life and death.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Although an authentic teenage girl, it was really hard to like July. I can’t say that I did end up liking her at the end, but I do appreciate the character and how she ultimately cares for Dino.

To whom would you recommend this book?  I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a light emotional read.

Who should buy this book? High schools and Public Libraries

Where would you shelve it ? YA Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Emily Tricco, Goodnow Library, Sudbury MA

Date of review: 3/11/2019


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