Thursday, May 4, 2017

Book Review: Reaper

Title: Reaper
Author: Kyra Leigh
Genre: Young Adult | Paranormal
Publisher: Paula Wiseman
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Rosie Wolf is sure when you die, you go straight to Paradise, until she wakes to discover she has died in an accident and that Paradise isn’t what she thought it would be.
Rosie Wolf was sure that when her dad died, he went to Paradise. After all, isn’t that where everyone went? But when Rosie wakes up in a strange hospital bed and finds out that she’s died in an accident, she learns things aren’t always what you think they will be.
Now her father feels further away than ever, and Rosie is left to deal with the Grim Reaper, who isn’t a man in a black cloak, but a beautiful woman with a bad attitude. The Grim Reaper tells Rosie that before she can move on to Paradise, she has to go back down to Earth and collect three souls. But Rosie quickly realizes it’s not so simple.
To complicate matters, Rosie meets Kyle, a boy who is different than anyone she’s ever known. He’s cute, smart, and funny. Rosie’s been warned to stay away from the living, but she doesn’t want to. What will happen if she doesn’t (goodreads)?


 

Reaper stretches itself too thin and struggles to tell a story. 
Plot: Rosie woke up one day to find that she was killed in a car accident. Instead of heading to the pearly gates, she learned that she must return to Earth to take the souls of three people. Basically, she had to be the grim reaper for a few months. 

Rosie dealt with a lot of heartache: her father passed away, her best friend wasn't really her friend, and her own demise caused her some trauma. Reaper attempted to explore mortality and highlight the unfairness of death, but it struggled to make a point until the very last page. It didn't help that Reaper was told in the first person present, I felt that Rosie was making general statements instead of letting the reader understand her emotional side and how she dealt with her new situation. 

Characters: Rosie was completely 'go with the flow' in her new predicament. When she woke up and met Death, sure she was taken aback at first, but I was surprised by how quickly she accepted her fate. It didn't seem natural and I felt even more removed from Rosie because of her lack of reaction. 

The synopsis really played up the love story, and I think that was deceiving. Rosie did meet a boy and they hit it off well (even in Rosie's death state), but this was not a novel that circled around the love of two star-crossed lovers. Each person that Rosie encountered her affected her personally, it wasn't fair to highlight Kyle specifically. 

Worldbuilding: The author really missed some great opportunities for worldbuilding. Rosie's "after death" location could have been a great scene, but it was barely given a paragraph of description. I think the author really struggled with helping the reader envision her world.

Short N Sweet: Reaper need more direction, but I appreciate the author's attempt to discuss grief and death. 


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