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“I’d always written how grief was hollow. How it was a vast cavern of nothing.
But I was wrong. Grief was the exact opposite. It was full and heavy and drowning because it wasn’t the absence of everything you lost – it was the combination of it all, your love, your happiness, your bittersweets, wound tight like a knotted ball of yarn.

Hello, again dear reader or listener, I hope you are well and weathering the heat as best you can. I’m actually a fan so I don’t overly mind it, but, if you’re looking for a comfortable summer read that’ll distract you from your woes, I have the treat that’s right for you!
The Dead Romantics is an adult paranormal romance (mature language and topics, with very mild sexual content that’s barely explicit) but it can easily be read by YA readers as well.
It’s also mostly a comedy even though it deals with grief and loss of loved ones, be it in the final sense or from relationships breaking apart. And it is also about relearning who you are after those losses. About self worth and how it is a pesky little gremlin of a creature that lives within most of us, telling us that we’re either not good enough or that the wrongful behaviors/actions of others against us is – deep down – our own fault. (It’s not, by the way, and I loved the way that it’s showcased here, in different ways for different people because we all need to realize it on our own).
Protagonist Florence is a fun disaster of a character who is struggling with crippling self doubt, going through different kinds of grief, and very much not having a good time. She maintains a certain sass I always approve of and even though she does seem to wallow in her pain and struggles for most of the book, it’s all very understandable and frankly a good lesson in what it may look like having to go through those emotions and the need to cut yourself some slack, because they can be messy and not make sense.
Ben, the male lead, is a charming cinnamon roll of a ghost and I felt for him throughout the book for many a reason. Obvious silly clichés as to his perfect looks and tall dreamy broadness aside that is. I could’ve done with a little less of that but that’s pretty minor and to be expected.
Plot wise this book is fairly simple and, in this context, that ease worked well for what this story wanted to tell. It was mostly character work after all, trying to unravel all those odd ways our minds take us through whenever we deal with big and difficult times. That said, there was one reveal I didn’t see coming and it was another hit to the feels, but in a good way.
Poston’s prose is flowing and atmospheric when needed, but she’s also a modern author with playful lines and fourth wall breaking winks at people who know a little more of what goes on under the surface in the book publishing world. Moreover she has planted a ton of Eastereggs for her readers, be they literary, meme culture, Disney, or Fall Out Boy songs, and it was delightful.
I kept feeling like the Captain America, I understood that reference, gif.
Ultimately though this is a book about the different facets/types of love as well. And what people leave behind for their loved ones, even when their departures may be unexpected.
Maybe I enjoyed this book so much because I found a lot of the “lessons”/realizations in it to be very closely aligned to how I personally go about life/experience certain things. But I also think it’s good to read about broken characters who help each other heal gradually and by keeping the other company while they go through some things on their own.
So dear reader/listener, in short, this is the perfect kind of summer read! It’s funny, if not hilarious at times, heartfelt and with a good dose of letting you know it’s ok to feel the things you feel and work through them at your own pace. But also teaching you to not forget that the people who love you are there for you if only you reach out.
Also, did I mention the puns? There are so. many. puns. about death and ghosts, and gallows humor in general. It’s utterly delightful and it makes soft moments adorable and tougher moments endearing.
8.5/10
Until next time,
Eleni A. E.

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

the dead romantics

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