This unforgettable new voice in contemporary YA is perfect for fans of John Green, Libba Bray, and Jennifer Niven.
“Like nothing you’ve read before.” —Bustle.com
No one is more surprised than Leigh when her father buys a graveyard. Less shocking is the fact that he’s too lazy to look farther than the dinner table for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she becomes great at predicting headstone choice (mostly granite) and taking notes with one hand while offering Kleenex with the other.
Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to quit this stupid after-school job. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her gravedigger. Can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?
Funny and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl surrounded by death will change the way you look at friendship, love, and life.
More Praise for Six Feet Over It:
A Washington State Book Award Finalist
A VOYA Perfect Tens 2014 Pick
An Indies Introduce New Voices Pick
“Equal parts poignant and humorous. . . . Superb.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“A vibrant voice. . . . Readers will rejoice.” —The Bulletin, Starred
“A unique book for unique teens.” —Booklist
“Darkly funny and deeply moving. An original, memorable voice.” —Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times bestselling author
“A wildly funny coming-of-age story about life, love, death, and everything in between.” —Sarah McCarry, author of All Our Pretty Songs
“Terrific. Longo had me at ‘graveyard’ and then dug me in deeper with wit, dark humor, and splendid characters.” —Lisa Brown, New York Times bestselling author
“A strong heroine, multicultural cast, and eclectic contemporary setting make Longo’s story stand out.” —Publishers Weekly
“Stands out for its unusual setting and also the sarcasm and caustic humor of its protagonist.” —The Horn Book Review
“Hilarious, clever, and poignant.” —SLJ
About the Author
JENNIFER LONGO holds an MFA in Writing for Theater from Humboldt State University. She credits her lifelong flair for drama to parents who did things like buy the town graveyard and put their kids to work in it—because how hilarious would that be? Turns out, pretty hilarious. Jennifer lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and daughter and writes about writing at jenlongo.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Leigh spends three days a week working for her father at the cemetery. No, not a mortuary but a cemetery which is totally different but still not a happy place to be working when you’re fourteen-years old. It was her father’s idea to pack up and leave the beach behind and live among the dead. Leigh doesn’t seem to fit in at school and work, although she dreads it, is her only escape. Time alone, she catches up on homework and reminisces about her best friend Emily and how much she misses her. When customers arrive, Leigh tries to quickly assess their needs based on their appearance, as their desires will change the course of the exchange. Such an interesting concept that I never really thought about it until I read this book. The whole concept of pre-need vs. at need was something I never really thought much about. People who buy ahead vs. people who buy because of an unexpected loss then add in all the notions that go with these individual plans. It really got me thinking, not about my own death but how people deal with loss. Leigh has it all down and with her supply of York Patties for when it just gets too hard inside the small office, she does a great job. Elanor, who helps deliver flowers to the cemetery, tries to befriend Leigh but Leigh cannot let go of her past. I felt helpless as Elanor tried to work her way into Leigh’s world as Leigh shuts the door on her. Leigh feels too responsible to let go of things she has no control over and yet she’s so alone. Leigh’s reaction when her dad hires Dario was not what I expected. Dario is from Mexico, but he was not what Leigh expected. Leigh feels as if her world is surrounded by heartache yet it is only the burdens that she carries on her back that will not allow her to see the world as it is. I loved the story of Leigh and Kai’s summer at their gramma and grandpa’s in Pixley. I was totally cracking up as she talking about her backseat gramma, the nightly prayers and carrying the wood. I remember spending summers with my grandparents and the chores they would give me and my cousins, thinking it would be fun, yeah free child-labor but oh, the memories of those visits now. The sarcasm and the details that the author described, it really made me relive those memories again. Leigh learned about herself in this book and she learned about people in general. I learned about myself while reading this too and how I viewed the world. I enjoyed the honesty of the characters as they didn’t know all the answers but they felt with their hearts and they moved forward, when they could.
Jennifer Longo has quite the flair to making you think and feel things that you don't want to. In SIX FEET OVER IT, we encounter loss and death, depression and sadness, new and unusual friendships - a coming-of-age story of a girl who learns that its okay to let go, move on... to live life and be happy. Leigh, pronounced like Lee, has had quite the tumultuous childhood. We get to see reminisce about her childhood on their much beloved beach house with a cool older sister, hippie-artist mom and fun dad. She also dwells on how their lives fell apart when her sister Kai was diagnosed with cancer. On how her parents are unable to deal with it, and they start to neglect the girls. And then Leigh is left to try to keep what little is left of her life together by going to school, ignore the bullying that happens, and then coming straight home from school everyday to be with Kai. Leigh tried her best, but there is only so much a tween, now a teen, can do. Especially after the loss of her best friend. And then her father, Wade, uproots the family and moves them to a cemetery where he has big plans, but then proceeds to make Leigh do all the office work and hires Dario to do all of the landscaping and handiwork. Wade hasn't a clue on what he's doing and puts high expectations on Leigh to handle the emotional side of it without a second thought. All while Leigh's mother hides in their home, depressed, painting beach landscapes. And Kai, in remission, goes back to school, takes up running and leads a normal teen life. Leigh is lost. She believes that she is cursed, that bad things and death follow her and that she must keep herself from anything good in order to avoid bad things happening. She doesn't think twice about how her sister is moving on, but is hurt when her sister doesn't share the details with her. She wishes she could smack her parents on the side of their heads to get them to realize that things are bad, not normal, but, she's afraid of the fallout and then having more responsibilities. She pushes away potential friends, because she doesn't want her bad luck to interfere... but when she finally lets someone in, just a little bit, and sees that there is some potential, even in her current state, she's confused about being hopeful... will Leigh dare to stand up for herself? Be happy? Dream of a better life? Filled with insightful moments, sarcastic humor and great prose with memorable characters.... Leigh's story will make you think about how we deal with loss and hope. And will make you reevaluate how we treat ourselves, and not to be so abrupt with our decisions and loved ones. And that even in the most dire times, redemption and hope can be found. *A hardcover book was sent from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
3.5 Stars 'Six Feet Over It' is a witty and fun look at the very real and terrible subject of death. The book follows our heroine, Leigh, who has been uprooted from her life in California - only to be moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere. To make matters even worse - her father, Wade, sells graves and headstones - and Leigh's house is basically inside the cemetery. Forced to work at the business's office after school, Leigh learns inevitable truths about people and death. She tries to keep her spirits up and maintain a witty demeanor, but Leigh can only stay strong for so long until she breaks. I have to admit that this book was nothing like what I was expecting when I picked it up. I figured it would be a regular contemporary YA novel where the main character had some growth, realizations, and romance. What I got instead was a witty and charming novel that deals with some of the deepest issues in life - grieving, friendship, love, and death. It sounds almost conflicting to describe a book in this way, but somehow the author managed to pull it off. And it's a debut - that was a huge surprise for me when I found out! Leigh is a strong main character for the book. She's smart, sarcastic, and a fantastic example of a normal teenage girl today. I loved her witty inner dialogues and musings, although at times it felt a bit over the top. Maybe because I'm not a teenager and I couldn't fully relate to it all. I did get annoyed with Leigh a few times throughout the book, but that made her realistic to me - because, honestly, we all get irritated with other people now and again. The author did a fantastic job of demonstrating all the dysfunction in Leigh's life - from her family to living and working at a cemetery - and everything in between. There is a bit of romance in the book, which helped to alleviate the heaviness of the topics being discussed. I thought that was a great way to help balance things out for Leigh's character. The writing was phenomenally done with a natural pace and a conversational tone that made it a breeze to read. It did take a little longer than usual for me to connect with Leigh and immerse myself into the story. This is probably due to the issues I mentioned before about her sometimes over the top inner dialogue and attitude. Once I slipped into the story, I found it to be an easy and quirky book that somehow manages to talk about death and all the heavy details that go along with it, and yet still have an overall upbeat and fun attitude. This book won't be for everyone, but I definitely recommend it for fans of contemporary YA fiction and those looking for an original and unique story. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Such a sweet, sad, beautiful book. I don't usually like narrators this young (14) in YA, but Leigh is obviously someone who's experienced life in a way that realistically makes her feel older and wiser. The secondary characters bring so much to the table (there will be several points throughout in which you will be super sad Elanor is not a real person, I assure you), and I really loved the uniqueness of the cemetery setting and Leigh's somewhat involuntary career. Beautiful writing, beautiful details, beautiful characters, and beautiful themes. A really gorgeous debut.