Book Review: Reaper by L.S. Murphy

ReaperTitle: Reaper

Author: L.S. Murphy

Series: Standalone

Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing

Release Date: January 7th, 2013


Book Summary:

There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

All in all, I enjoyed the read. The high school environment is highly believable, which helped ground the book. The relationship between Quincy and Ben is sweet and authentic. Actually, all of Quincy’s relationships feel real and nothing about the world seems off. It does read more like a contemporary than a paranormal book. I was frustrated by the supernatural aspects. I didn’t mind that everything is really vague until the end, when the truth is revealed – this added to the suspense and helped us feel for Quincy. I just wish that once we figured out what’s going on at the end, we could have had a better fleshing out and wrap-up of these aspects. I get the whole “death is supposed to be mysterious” thing, yes, but I just wasn’t satisfied in the end. Towards the end of the book, Quincy says something along the lines of “We live only to die. No matter what, we break someone’s heart in the end. What’s the point?” and sadly, that’s how I felt when I finished the book. I doubt that was intentional, and I think if the supernatural aspects had been a bit better explained, I might not have felt that way.

Quincy’s best friend Jordan had a nice character arc, even though it was kind of negated at the end. She was the one, in many ways, pushing Quincy to strive for popularity above all else, and the several times through out the book when Quincy wonders why she’s even friends with Jordan, you’re mentally screaming at her “seriously!”. Then Jordan gets into some trouble and Quincy tries to help her, and you start to feel for Jordan, UNTIL of course Quincy does something that Jordan really didn’t deserve, considering how badly it impacts so many other people. So you end up really resentful of Jordan instead of proud of her character development. So frustrating.

Ben was a great character. He wasn’t depicted as the typical perfect YA guy, which was refreshing – he felt like an authentic human being, with flaws, but at that the same time, you couldn’t help but like him. Unfortunately, the decisions he makes in the last couple chapters darkened my opinion of him, (even if he behaved much better than most men would in the situation and certainly held out longer than most), and he did end up doing the right thing in the end. The ending wasn’t as sweet for me because of his actions, and that makes me sad.

Quincy’s transformation is great to watch. She starts out very shallow and her character development is satisfying and believable. But given the ending, I have to wonder whether or not she really grasped the concept of selfishness. She does something that I think is supposed to be seen as a selfless act, but she does it to make herself feel better, and though it does benefit some characters, it harms far more and she spares barely a thought for that, especially the person she supposedly loves over everyone else. For this reason the end is rather baffling. I guess the “message” just wasn’t convincing to me.

Oh well. Ben and Quincy both hurt each other immensely doing what society tells you is what you’re supposed to do, but they get it right in the end, thank God, so I guess I have to blame society, and not them. I still kind of feel like chucking the book at the wall. Even though I liked it. At least I can’t say the author didn’t make me care.

Rating: 3.5 Stars – Good Book

Content: Mild violence, but integral to the plot. Otherwise clean.

Source: Blog Giveaway

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