Published by Random House on August 26, 2014
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
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Home is where the bodies are buried.
Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.
Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:
Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.
At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).
Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?
Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!
“Please don’t go.” “I’ll be back.” “You won’t.” “I will.” His shoulders, his arms again and again holding the weight of my aching head, my sadness, my selfish, lonely heart. Two days later he is gone.”
Six Feet Over It was a book that you need to read when you’re in a certain mood. And after my “experience” of reading this book in the point-of-view of a gravedigger’s daughter who went through a ton of loss and grief after her best friend and only person who understood her died, I’d say that you’ll need to be in a mood where you won’t get so pissed-off easily. Because really, I chose to be reading this during the wrong time.
In a nutshell, this is another one of those funny-contemporaries with dark periods in between. I’ve read many of those before, and I’d have to say that this was nothing new, although there were some interesting parts that came to be. Leigh was a protagonist who you’ll end up feeling so much sympathy for, and especially for the way she was treated by everyone around her—like a piece of trash on the street that everyone loves to kick around. And the thing is… she let them kick her around. She needed to transform into somebody else.
Throughout a long period of the novel, Leigh feels as if she’s being followed around by the stroke of death. Death is supposedly at her footsteps and is around her—and in a way, you could say that it’s true. She basically lives in a graveyard. And she’s in charge of selling graves. Adding to that, more grief and unfairness shows up when she finds out that her best friend, Emily, died. Emily was the only one who understood her and her problems, and through her, she felt like she had a real family. As time goes on, Leigh still doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do (and I really don’t blame her) so some feelings between her and Dario, the little-too-old gravedigger sprout.
The basic point and idea of this book was all about Leigh trying to figure out what she wants. Her family’s crazy and dumb and don’t understand her (which gets me to feel sorry for her) and her brain’s all over the place. Sure, Dario was hot, but I couldn’t get the thought of him being a little too old for her out of my mind. And then when he left? Ugh don’t even get me started.
As this seems like an ordinary story with a not too well-thought out plot, it was good for a lot of parts. The idea may have been wacked-up, but it kept me sane and left me wanting to read on and find out who Leigh will come to be. It was believable, and I pictured all of the events coming to life just as I expected. Jennifer Longo is a very talented author who will sure stun readers in the coming days, weeks, months, millenniums, whatever you want to call time. And through this book, time was a key thing that made the story grow onto a teensy pretty flower as I see it as.
A good key thing to remember is that although the romance in unreal, it was cute. Dorio and Leigh did make a cute couple, especially when you think about the connection and strong feelings they had for each other. Their love was sparkly and firework-y, just as you’d expect a romance to be and turn into in a contemporary about finding yourself would be. I was all, “YES!”
As we come to the end, I think about the key concepts that made this book original and lacking from a 5 star rating, which it obviously wasn’t. It definitely had its negatives, but unusually coming from a book with a 3 star rating from me, it was enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong about my negativity. Sure, the protagonist needed a slap or two, but it was a story that grew on me from beginning to end. So don’t freak out if you end up getting fireworks in your heart by the time you complete this even though you’re thinking of a 3 star rating. It’s normal.
Rating: 3 out of 5