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The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston Book Review

Reason for Reading This Book:

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston was the spooky book for October 2023 for The Readheads Podcast Book Club. I have a history of liking the October read as last year we read Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese and I really enjoyed that book and have since recommend it to many people. I have not read a lot of books with ghosts in them but one that does come to mind is Layla by Colleen Hoover. I was a fan of that book and went into The Dead Romantics with the mindset that I would also enjoy it. 

 

Content of This Book:

Florence Day grew up helping the dead in more ways than one. For generations her family has owned the local funeral parlor. Aside for helping families to lay their loved ones to rest, Florence and her father are also able to see and speak to ghosts. They help the ghosts to resolve their unfinished business before they pass over. After struggling to fit in in her small hometown Florence found herself with a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the ghost writer for award winning romance novelist Ann Nichols. While working on the final book of the series and of her contract, Florence goes through a breakup that shatters her world. The breakup leads to writers block. A year after the breakup and coming to the end of the book deadline, Florence has still not finished the book. The death of her beloved father sends her right back to the town she ran away from ten years ago. Now she is faced with the reality of saying goodbye to her father and facing the life she left behind. While in her hometown she is visited by the ghost of her super-hot editor. Together they have to navigate her grief and solve his unresolved business so he can pass on.

 

What I Liked About This Book:

An aspect of my humor is puns. This book is littered with death puns and jokes. The titles of the chapters are memorable because they were creative and funny, but related to the content of the chapter. Some of them are so memorable that I told them to a coworker who laughed at them as well. There are very few books where something happens that totally catches me off guard because I have a talent for predicting what will be said or done next and there was plot twist in this book that I did not see coming. I am not sure if this is because I was reading this book during a very busy week or because I was not necessarily thinking about it outside of when I was actively reading it. Since I was not loving this book I was appreciative of the fact that it was an easy read with a very fluid and digestible writing style. Aside from the fact that I could not picture her father, I was able to construct a visual for each of the other characters in this book. The descriptions of the town, people, and places were very detailed and provided the reader with a whole-picture of Florence’s life growing up there and when she returned years later. Even though the plot was quite steady from beginning to end there was a sense of anticipation that something was coming that would change the direction of the plot. One last praise I will give this book is the evolution and importance that is put on relationships. This importance is not just for romantic relationships, but also for relationships with friends, siblings, parents, and coworkers. I am not sure if the author intended the lessons on romantic love to also apply to Florence’s other relationships or not but it was something that I enjoyed and was a takeaway.

What I Disliked About This Book:

As mentioned above I enjoyed the dead humor in this book, but towards the end it became annoying and predictable. At times the back and forth with the humor was unrealistic. There is no way two people could go back and forth with puns like that without hesitation or premeditation. I am not alone in this opinion, some of the Readhead hosts felt the same. The whole time I was reading this book I struggled to picture and understand Florence’s father. Each time we learned something new about him it changed how I viewed him both in his physical appearance and personality. So much was learned about him but it never felt like a whole picture where a set description could be given. A plot hole that I picked out while reading and was also discussed in the podcast episode was the lack of information about the murder case that Florence helped to solve with her ability to talk and see ghosts. This is a plot point that is brought up throughout the entire book but no real details are ever given. When it is mentioned the same thing is said each time. Going alone with repeating things, some of the same phrases were used when describing the breakup between Florence and Lee. Since it was mentioned so much the author should have come up with other ways to phrase what they were saying. It seems like recently I am reading more books where the narrator is a writer who is struggling to finish a piece or has writers block. This book cemented for me that this is not a troupe that I am a fan of and would rather not have to read about in the future. 

Would I Recommend This Book?

Even though I did not love this book, I think there are a few people or instances where I would recommend it. It is a perfect vacation, flight or car ride book. I say this because it’s not too heavy and does not require extensive concentration. I also think this book would be a good read for new readers. Overall it was not a perfect match for me, but I see why it is so beloved by other readers.


Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!


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