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Posted February 6, 2011
John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles
You know from the (amazing) cover and title that this story isn't going to be all rainbows and unicorns. And it isn't. Not at all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Hilda and Benji aren't like other teenagers. Instead of going to the mall and hanging out with friends, they spend their time visiting the death cites of celebirties. You could say they have an obsession with dead celebirties, particularly the ones who have committed suicide or have died a gruesome death.They spend most of their money on artifacts from these sites, which leads them to meet Hank. Hank is a cranky, old, lonely man who is wary of the two, but Hilda sees something in him. When Benji starts acting strange, it is his apartment she escapes to.
Soon, Hilda meets Jake: Hank's neighbor, a screenwriter, and a high school dropout. Although they are pretty much completely unlike each other, they start spending more and more time together. Then everything seems to crumble. Hank is hiding some kind of secret and Benji is acting so creepy that Hilda doesn't feel comfortable around him anymore.
The beginning felt kind of slow, but by the end I was left with an amazing feeling. John Belushi is Dead is so different from any other novels I've read. It was full of unpredictable twists and unique characters. Each character was well thought out and displayed, so I knew enough of each one's personality enough that they weren't a mystery to me. At the start, I didn't feel very fond of Benji and Hilda, but they grew on me and by the second chapter I was hooked.
John Belushi is Dead isn't for everyone. Its pretty gruesome and creepy; however, I still suggest it for those of you who like these types of books.
Posted September 9, 2010
John Belushi is Dead
Hilda and Benji are two bored teenagers that find thrills in visiting the sites of celebrity deaths. That is until Hilda befriends an old man and begins to spend more time with him than Benji. John Belushi is Dead is the story of two outsiders that have this weird connection until they drift apart and learn that each have their own demons that need to be worked out. I found this book to be much more than I had expected. I could relate to the characters and the emptiness each felt and trying to (I wouldn't say fit in) but to live a meaningful life worth something other than the void.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 26, 2010
Strong Hollywood Ending
Hilda and Benji are not your average LA teenagers. Instead of hanging out at the beach or various Hollywood hot spots in hopes of a celebrity sighting, the pair are content to spend their summer vacation visiting celebrity murder or suicide sites. While in search of the apartment of a lesser known silent film star who stabbed himself to death while at home, Hilda and Benji stumble upon the old and reclusive Hank, now living in the infamous apartment. Hank is cranky and wary of the pair but Hilda sees something unique and is worried about the paranoid old man who won't leave his stifling hot apartment. Soon Hilda is doing everything she can to escape the attention of Benji (who is becoming more creepy and sadistic daily) while finding any excuse to watch old movies or discuss the past with Hank.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Thinking she is the only one who cares about Hank, Hilda is surprised to find Hank's apartment empty one day except for Hank's handsome downstairs neighbor, a 19 year-old screenwriter named Jake. Jake couldn't be more unlike Hilda - successful, driven, fashion conscious - but she still finds herself wanting to spend more time with him even as he is convinced that Hank is hiding some terrible, sinister secret. A secret Hilda suspects but one she can't decide if she wants to know or not.
John Belushi is Dead is a singularly unique and at times almost disturbing dark novel. Kathy Charles has crafted a truly compelling book with many unpredictable twists - and some you can guess right away, but are still powerless to stop. What really makes this book a stand-out are the starkly real characters. Hilda is confused and intent on shutting off the rest of the world until Hank (and Jake) force her to open her eyes to life happening all around her. And then Benji - one scary dude - whose obsession with death seems so darkly real yet utterly separate from Hilda's resigned fascination with the same subject. Not to mention the cantankerous and paranoid Hank, who has countless stories of old Hollywood to tell. I cannot express to you how thrilled I was to see an old man featured in a YA novel (at least one that wasn't overly sugar-sweet) and he plays his role beautifully. The emotions and dialogue are fresh and even if the constant stories of murder are at times a little much, they definitely added to the story in terms of mood and ambiance. Hilda's quiet yet forceful voice ensnares you from page one and her constant observations of friends, family, and death are irresistibly appealing. John Belushi is Dead is an edgy book with a unique voice and an outstanding cover. It's one you won't want to miss.
Posted June 8, 2011
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Posted September 8, 2010
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