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Summer: Beautiful Dead    by Eden Maguire order for
by Eden Maguire
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2011 (2011)

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Eden Maguire's latest Beautiful Dead tale, Summer, takes her unique spin on zombies to a new level. This time, the suspense is amped up a notch and the focus shifts more to the mystery than the angst-filled teen romance.

Still mourning Phoenix's death, Darina draws more into herself as she waits for the Beautiful Dead to summon her to help solve Summer's seemingly random murder. The idea of putting on a concert of Summer's music to celebrate her life is the only thing that can get Darina to school, which helps keep her mind off the fact that Hunter, Overlord of the Beautiful Dead, is trying to keep her away as much as possible. Only when Darina comes across a strong lead is she allowed to visit the homestead in Foxton, but her ideas about Summer's killer do not jive with those of the new Beautiful Dead guy, Dean, a former police officer. And unlike what happened for Jonas's and Arizona's deaths, Darina is going to have to solve the whole thing herself because Summer is fading fast. To add to all this stress, a very unexpected death makes her question her relationship with Phoenix.

Summer was a pure page-turner from start to finish. As her death seemed so random, Darina had no real starting place, so she had to spend more time hunting down clues, which heightened the mystery aspect. What Darina found as she started to look at multiple suspects, coupled with a twist out of left field, kept the suspense at a intense pace. And as Darina focused more on Summer's murder and the recent drama in her own life, she had less time to pine over Phoenix as the story progressed, which made her more likeable and let the plot move at the speed it should. With Summer, Eden Maguire has made the Beautiful Dead quartet the series it should be. Everything needed for a great YA dark fantasy/mystery is here, and the further the reader gets into the book, the faster the pages will flip. Just like Darina, realizing this is number three makes the reader sad that time with the Beautiful Dead is almost at an end.

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