Customer Reviews for

Putting Makeup on Dead People

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012


    Sweet, funny, not to mention sexy, and altogether a really good book about a girl about to graduate from high school, exploring all the neccesarys ( wink, wink ;) ) and discovering a job she loves

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very original!

    I really didn¿t know what to expect when I started reading Putting Makeup on Dead People, Jen Violi¿s debut young adult novel. Given the subject line, I was worried this book was going to be a bit grim. It wasn¿t. The book is very original, I can¿t say that I have read anything quite like it up to this point.

    The main character, Donna, is very well written. Although she¿s grieving and sad, she still has a humorous side. She¿s pretty much an introvert, and I can totally relate to that. I was a little worried in the beginning that she was going to be a whiney character, but she definitely grew throughout the book. She knew what she wanted to do with her future, and she went after it, even when it¿s not the future her mother wants for her. I admire that. The secondary characters were ok, but were not as in-depth as Donna. I like Charlie, and wish we could have known more about her friend Liz. Kudos to the mom, we really see her grow throughout the book.

    The pacing in the book is a bit slow, but I still managed to read the book pretty quickly. The storyline is unique and believable. I would probably recommend this book to the older YA crowd, because it does have some talk of sex in it. There is also some religious talk in the book. I know some people are bothered by that, but it didn¿t bother me at all.

    Overall, this is a quick, and very unique read that I really enjoyed!

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it

    Putting Makeup On Dead People is too remarkable for me to properly express what a great time I had with this book. I love the message behind this book. I love how much it stands out among everything else I have been reading as far as contemporary YA goes.

    Putting Makeup On Dead People is a quiet and quirky book. No teenaged craziness of popularity schemes, crushes and break-ups, partying til the break of the dawn. Just an introverted girl who wants to find her purpose in life and finds it at a funeral home to the dismay of her mother. The life that Donna steps into is fascinating and unexpected. Who knew that being a mortician is both science and art? That it takes a special person to know what to say to the grieving at such an emotional time? To appreciate, to console, to understand, and simply to be there for that person or family?

    Of course, there's more to the real life than death - and Donna also has to adjust to the transition from high school to "real world" and college. She envies the new girl Liz who wins everyone over with her positive energy. She remains clueless about Charlie's interest to be more than friends, but falls somehow into a lackluster relationship with someone else.

    As Donna tries to balance life and death into a happy medium, she learns to cultivate her own sense of self as an adult who can handle herself and no longer a child who needs a mother's hand to hold.

    Putting Makeup On Dead People is a special book that I want to have on hand when I feel lost and need a way to find myself - or at least, a friendly book to tell me that things will be all right.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    Donna Parisi has been going through the motions of life since her father passed away four years ago. She has friends, but the friendships seem to be lacking. She has shut herself off from her mother, and she's not very excited about going to the same college most of her friends will be attending, mainly because she has no idea what she wants to do with her life.

    One day all of that changes when she finds herself at the funeral of a deceased classmate. While standing in the funeral home, she feels a strange sense of comfort there. After speaking with the funeral home directors, she decides to apply to become a mortician, against her mothers wishes. This decision finally gives Donna a sense of direction, and opens her up to new friends, new experiences and her first love.

    I really enjoyed this book. It is told primarily from Donna's point of view. The writing is very fluid and clever. I especially enjoyed the "funeral notes" that are wedged between each chapter and are based on Donna's witty observations. The characters felt real, and there is a nice balance of drama and wit that carries the book forward. Though many might consider a book about a girl working in a funeral home a bit morbid, I never once felt depressed or that the book was morbid at all. In fact, I felt it was a nice departure from many of the cliche's found in a lot of contemporary YA novels. There are a couple of intimate moments that are described pretty vividly (though not gratuitously), so it is probably better for older teens.

    (Review based on an Advanced Readers Copy from NetGalley)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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