She Smells the Deadby E.J. Stevens
Series: Spirit Guide #1
Published on September 9, 2010 by Sacred Oaks Press
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Giveaway Prize
It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television. SHE SMELLS THE DEAD. The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and annoying Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears. Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?
Let there be… vinegar: What an interesting power! Yuki, as the title suggests, can smell the dead. This isn’t your average superpower; nothing like flying, invisibility or super-strength. As a lover of the strange, I found this idea to be intriguing and it held my attention through the course of the book (especially how Yuki’s most recent otherworldly friend makes her smell vinegar. Yuck, but different nonetheless).
Natural characters: Some books that I have read had forced characters. The dialogue sounded rehearsed, the actions either predictable or totally out of character without any good reason to be. However, Stevens creates real characters. Yuki and Cal display a normal teen friendship and romance (minus the odd spirit powers). They’re not any different from any other teenager in the way they act. Yuki worries about the dance, Cal is the best friend/boyfriend, and their friend Emma is the protesting vegan. They act like teens, which is quite refreshing from the of out-of-the-ordinary or popular/total outcast roles I’ve seen being portrayed in YA novels.
Left with questions: From the beginning, I was wondering how Yuki got her unusual gift. It was never really explained in detail and I was left without knowing at the end. Although it makes me want to read the sequel, Spirit Storm, to see if I’ll find out in it, I would’ve liked to know in the first book.
Overall, a good read. As I said, still wondering, but really enjoyed it.