Dead Rules

Dead Rules

4.4 16
by Randy Russell
     
 

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Till death

Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever.

Do

But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch.

Us

Michael and Jana were

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Overview

Till death

Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever.

Do

But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch.

Us

Michael and Jana were incomplete without each other. There was no room for Mars in Jana's life—or death—story. Jana was sure Michael would rush to her side soon.

Part

But things aren't going according to Jana's plan. So Jana decides to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true—no matter what rules she has to break.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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. Ages 12–up. (July)
Booklist
“A dark, macabre tale peopled with quirky characters.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The world of Dead Rules is a well-developed, engagingly odd place. The mystery of Jana’s true cause of death sustains the tension, and the wealth of dryly macabre details gives this debut novel plenty of personality.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The world of Dead Rules is a well-developed, engagingly odd place. The mystery of Jana’s true cause of death sustains the tension, and the wealth of dryly macabre details gives this debut novel plenty of personality."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The world of Dead Rules is a well-developed, engagingly odd place. The mystery of Jana’s true cause of death sustains the tension, and the wealth of dryly macabre details gives this debut novel plenty of personality.”
School Library Journal
Gr 8–11—Jana's first day at her new school is unsettling. Not only does she have to try to fit in and figure out all the rules, but she also has to deal with the fact that she is dead. A freak bowling accident was the cause, and now she's riding the bus to Dead School. Her biggest issue with her current state is that she's left behind the Romeo to her Juliet, Michael. So she does what any theatrical girl would do to get her man back-she decides to kill him so that he too can attend Dead School. There's a hitch, though, and Michael may not be the Romeo she thinks he is. Just as in real school, there are cliques and nicknames, good kids (Risers) and bad kids (Sliders). Humor and wry wordplay make this ghostly romance stand out from the pack. Russell's storytelling is engaging, and his integration of place and creation of the Dead School work together for an entertaining read. Recommend it to fans of Tonya Hurley's Ghostgirl (2008) or Lisi Harrison's Monster High (2010, both Little, Brown).—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Kirkus Reviews

Not your usual paranormal romance.

Romeo and Juliet meets Daniel Waters in folklorist 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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062084446
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/21/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

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