So today’s review is courtesy of my Sekrit Squirrels Helper (or SSH, for short) guest YA reviewer, who is not only impartial, but also in the novel’s target demographic. If you like her review, please say so in the comments, so I can inveigle her into doing more!
Willow Cartwright: D-Lister by choice.
She’s about to find out what lies beneath the
tans and tinsel of the A-list, in a wickedly funny story
of blackmail, scams – and swoonworthy crushes.
In Dead Actually, Kaz Delaney follows Willow Cartwright, a teen from the Gold Coast whose life has recently fallen into a shambles. Her family is completely dysfunctional, her adopted brother is a creepy liar out to steal her parents’ money, she has a huge crush on her best friend’s (Macey Pentecost) older brother, (Seth) and to top it all off, the dead Queen Bee of Ruth Throsby High, who happened to see Willow last before dying, is haunting her bedroom.
Dead Actually is a story full of delightful twists and turns, with more red herrings than a fish pond full of red dye. The stolen phone of Jo-Jo the ghost seems to be running it’s own blackmail racket, and it is all being very cleverly pinned on Willow. The plot is more complicated than a melodrama, and it all has to be worked out in just 297 pages, leading to some hilarious situations.
The way Kaz has written Dead Actually, I was rolling on the floor with laughter and biting my nails with suspense by turns, and sometimes both at once! A mischievously funny story that kept me guessing to the end. I had to be surgically removed from it to go to school, and I got back to it at every opportunity.
An excellent read that I would recommend to anyone over 12, as younger children might not understand it. This novel was written by Kaz Delaney and first published in a paperback edition by Allen & Unwin in March 2012.