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Book Recommendation: The Death Catchers

For today’s entry in Random Acts of Publicity Week, I’m recommending another book I picked up at the Texas Library Association conference, the young adult novel The Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler.

The Death Catchers book coverInitially, I must admit, I wasn’t too interested in the book. The cover looked to me like the novel was a Hunger Games clone, and although I love Hunger Games, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read another one just like it.

But something on the back cover caught my eye: “One part Arthurian legend, one part paranormal and one part quirky literary novel, this unique adventure has something for every reader.” That intrigued me, and I’m glad it did.

The book is written in first-person. In fact, the story is told through a paper written by our heroine Lizzy Mortimer to her English teacher, Mrs. Tweedy (more on that later). And it’s the voice of Lizzy that sucked me in and didn’t let go. Light, fun and with lots of spunk, Lizzy’s voice is strong from the first sentence to the last, and it serves the story well.

The other characters are great too, from Lizzy’s eccentric grandmother Bizzy who gets around on a walker-stool called Dixie, her mother who’s determined to find the right book to make everyone a reader, and her best friend Jodi who wears bizarre clothes and shortens every phrase.

Interestingly for writers, the book could also be considered part writing course. As it’s Lizzy’s writing project, every chapter heading is about some aspect of writing — conflict, transitions, etc. — and Lizzy quickly tells us how that applies to her story.

The story mixes teenage insecurity, first love and magic in a well blended flow that keeps readers interested. If you haven’t picked it up yet, give The Death Catchers a try.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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