Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: Half Dead & Fully Broken by Kevin Craig

Title: Half Dread & Fully Broken
Author: Kevin Craig
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA/Ghosts
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: January 19th 2015
Edition: Kindle Edition, 253 pages
Source: Gifted by Publisher for Review
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

     Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren't the hottest, most popular boy in school.
     When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can't bear to look in the mirror.
     When Carter begins to see Marcus' ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it's too late.
     With Marcus' help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin - three kids fully broken by the tragedy - to save one another?


This book was really strange. I remember reading Craig's other book about a year ago, Burn Baby Burn, and enjoying it. This one as just a little too out of the box for me. I was expecting more of a story about loss and dealing with that, but what I got was something vaguely paranormal, and a lot of awkward dialog.

Carter losses his twin, Marcus, in a horrific motorcycle accident that he himself barely survives. The main problem I had with this book was, it was such a slow paced story, and I was confused as to what the plot was about through most of this book. On one hand we do have a plot line about Carter needing to see a therapist after his accident, and his family coping with losing a son, and Carter feeling like everyone is staring at him thinking they are all wishing that he were the one that had died and not their "golden boy". And then there's all the supernatural stuff, that I wont get into because it's a little spoiler-y.

Carter thinks very little of himself, to the point where he comes across as really annoying a lot of the time. I don't have a twin, so I don't know how twins think of themselves or each other. But my tiny high school had like... 6 sets of twins in it and 5 of the 6 sets were identical. And nobody, that I was aware of, really thought more or less of the other and rarely to almost never mixed them up. It seemed more that Carter was the one that thought Marcus was the better twin rather than everybody else in his life. 

The time line was another problem, as I mentioned this book moved incredibly slow. But in that time, only 2 months passed. That didn't seem to fit. Especially considering the described injuries Carter suffered from the accident. (He describes his hands looking like hamburger right after the collision). That is hardly enough time to heal physically, let alone emotionally. Yet ever few pages he's telling someone, or someone is telling him it's time to move on. People can take years to heal from losing a loved one, and forcing the process can cause some serious emotional damage.

The developing romance between Carter and his dead twin's Girl Friend was really strange. It really felt like that Melanie was trying to use Carter as a pseudo replacement while she healed. It didn't feel real and it didn't make sense. If they had at least spoken before their shared loss I might have accepted them growing close as quickly as they did.

There was just a number of small things that kept me from really enjoying this book. And the slow pace kept taking me out of the story.

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