Fart, Fudge and Popcorn!
...As soon as I heard about this book, I wanted it. Badly. My love for all things morbid knows no
bounds. What I unexpectedly got was a Tim Burton-esque YA novel that I love to no ends.
If you liked Beetle Juice… you’ll certainly enjoy being dropped in an afterlife school with no cellphone reception and no access to make up. The horror. However, on the upside you have the mysterious and very sexy Mars and his ‘slightly terrifying, but really a nice guy’ best friend Wyatt.
There is a lot of morbid humor, a darkly compelling and very twisted plot all surrounding a love and true love story. And I must say that [Dead Rules] is certainly a unique work and there isn’t anything else like this out there on the market! ”- Jennifer, June 15 2011, Novel Thoughts
“ Not your usual paranormal romance.
Romeo and Juliet meets Daniel Waters in folklorist Randy Russell's wry teen debut. After a deadly freak bowling accident on a double date, high-school junior Jana Webster (of Webster and Haynes, regional champions in Duet Acting, as she's quick to mention) finds herself in Dead School, right in her hometown of Asheville, N.C.
As in real high school, rules and cliques govern Dead School. Jana, a Riser (with a promising placement after graduation), is supposed to avoid Sliders (whose fates are on a downward spiral). Since Sliders still have an attachment to Earth, she asks Slider Mars to help her communicate with her boyfriend and love of her life, Michael Haynes. While Jana plots to kill Michael so they can be together forever, Mars believes Dead School is a chance to learn how to change their destinies.
The pacing intensifies as Jana discovers the truth about her death, and the real star-crossed lovers emerge. Sarcastic quips and double entendres drive the story's humor, but it's the sensitivity of the supporting characters (like Beatrice, who after inviting her crush to her church picnic and sneaking off to the woods with him so he can feel her up, dies when a stray lawn dart strikes her head) that allows Jana (and readers) to see laughter within tragedy
Wickedly clever. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up) ”- Starred Review May 15 2011.
Kirkus Reviews, The World's Toughest Book Critics
“ It's humiliating to die in a bowling accident, especially when it means going through the afterlife in a pair of bowling shoes. Even more serious for high school junior Jana Webster is the separation from her one true love, Michael. So although Jana is a "Riser" at the Dead School, on the fast track for salvation, she gravitates toward Mars, a "Slider" headed the other way, because he has the knowledge she needs to slip into the living world and affect things there. Michael must die for the lovers to spend eternity together, and that's worth any price--even if Jana has to be the one to kill him. Despite the Southern gothic humor that runs throughout adult author Russell's first YA novel, he takes Jana's dilemma, and Mars's reaction to it, seriously. Jana's devotion to the idea of eternal love may be over the top, but it's a realistic form of excess, and Mars never scoffs. Laughter, for Russell, is not an act of mockery or ironic distance, but rather a marker for empathy with his very human characters. ”- Review May 9 2011 Publishers Weekly
...(Dead Rules is) Absolutely brilliant!! When Jana Webster dies in a freak bowling accident she finds herself in Dead School.
She quickly plots to bring her boyfriend over to the other side, completely unprepared for the challenges that will bring. I was fortunate to get an ARC of Dead Rules and once I began reading I couldn't put it down.
I devoured the book in one sitting and didn't want it to end. And now I can't stop telling people about it.
Randy Russell has created the ultimate paranormal romance but has also infused a dark comedic element that sets the novel apart from others in the genre. If you enjoyed Twilight, you will love Dead Rules! Jana and Mars show Edward and Bella how it's done. In addition, the cast of supporting characters is so strong they each deserve a novel of their own. (I want a Beatrice doll!) I know I'm gushing about this book, but I truly loved it! ”- Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray
| A High School reader:
I picked up (Dead Rules) , curious just to know a little of what was going on. So I checked out the first page. And then I found myself on page fifty. I couldn't stop.
The storyline of this book was really good. It was completely original and it was a whole new take on the Paranormal Romance genre. This story was very entertaining and I love the originality!
The writing was great. The story flowed really well and I never found myself going back to reread anything. I also really liked the occasional shift in the point of view.
I loved the characters in this book. Some of them you start out hating and end up loving, and some you start out loving but end up hating. But that's a good thing! I really liked all the dead kids that Jana becomes friends with, and I loved hearing about each of their stories. It was like you were with them…
I couldn't put the book down. So, put this on your to-be-read list, because it is not to be overlooked!
- Kreag, at Kreags YA Chronicles
| BOOKLIST, May 15 2011:
In this interesting twist on the paranormal-romance genre, Jana has just died (in a freak bowling accident) and ended up at Dead School. Because she and her boyfriend, Michael, were “the” couple, she is sure he will be so heartbroken by her death that he will commit suicide to follow her into the afterlife à la Romeo.
When he does not, Jana sets out to find a way to get kicked out of Dead School in order to confront him. To do this, Jana needs the help of mysterious loser Mars, who is keeping a secret from Jana having to do with the events surrounding her death and her not-so-perfect relationship with Michael.
This is a dark, macabre tale, filled with quirky characters… The events surrounding the deaths of the friends Jana meets in Dead School are interspersed throughout the novel and are highlights of the book. Older fans of the genre looking for something darker than usual will appreciate this title.
— Shauna Yusko