Hi All! It’s Becky, again. I loved Shaun David Hutchinson’s books We Are the Ants and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley however I didn’t enjoy The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza or At the Edge of the Universe as much (you can watch our review below) so I wasn’t sure what expect from The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried. Here are my thoughts:
Title: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Note: I listened to the audio book.
Summary: Dino hasn’t spoke to his ex-best friend July in almost a year. The two had a falling out that neither of them wants to forget however Dino must deal with his feelings for July when she dies suddenly and is brought to his family’s funeral home. Dino needs to get over July’s death and move on with his new life but his plans are derailed when, on her first night at the funeral home, July wakes up and demands Dino’s attention.
What’s Good: Hutchinson is a master at creating realistic characters with all the fragility and complexity that makes them feel so human. Dino and July perfectly illustrate Hutchinson’s skill especially Dino who is dealing with changes in family and in his relationship. I want to know more about these characters because they feel so realistic. Plus, I think we need more books about male/female non-romantic relationships. The publishing industry has gotten into the habit of turning all relationships into a romance so I appreciate any story which keeps friends as “just friends”.
What’s Not So Good: The actual story of the July rising from the dead didn’t quite work for me. Hutchinson has moved from realistic fiction into fantasy/sci-fi and I haven’t enjoyed those books as much. Also, Dino relationship with his boyfriend was complicated and sweet and, in my humble opinion, worthy of its own book so I was slightly disappointed that we saw so little of the two of them together.
Bottom Line: Fans of the author recent books will enjoy The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried for its honest portrayal of friendship and loss mixed with fantasy however this book is definitely an acquired taste and other readers who want a more traditional book about mourning my want to look elsewhere.