Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
Published May 24, 2011
Summary on Goodreads
I haven’t read a coming of age novel in a while and now I remember why – because I usually don’t really like them.  It has nothing to do with the character development either because obviously the characters are going to be well-developed and will grow throughout the book hence coming of age but somehow the plot is always a bit dry for me.  I think it’s because other than Donna growing up and realizing what death was, there was no other real story going on.  There was no action, barely any romance and definitely no mystery or deep dark secret.  So for me, it was just blah.

It was actually a little difficult for me to finish the book and if it wasn’t for the fact that I had this book specifically for my lunch hours at work where I just want a quiet read, I would have given this up a long time ago.  I couldn’t connect to Donna at all and her issues with her father and her family wasn’t something I could fully comprehend.  The story also felt that it dragged a lot especially since there weren’t any real action going on.  It was mostly about Donna going through the motions after her father passed away and getting this fascination with death itself and how much it changed her.  There were the occasional issue with Donna and her family but it was all very secondary.

The relationship between Donna and Tim was also very bizarre.  I’m not really sure what the attraction was between the two.  There was literally no spark – it was as if the two of them were simply using the other to kill some time.  Maybe that was it – they just wanted to kill some time and didn’t have anyone else better to be with.  The whole thing with Charlie was also really strange.  The relationship with Charlie was significantly better because one of them actually had feelings for the other but the other…I’m not so sure.  It just felt strange and forced as if the author wanted to add another element to the already dry plot to entice it a little.

Overall, I really can’t imagine recommending this book to anyone.  The characters were quite dull and the plot was most definitely dry and very slow.  I should know myself better now – that I just simply don’t appreciate coming of age novels.  But I had really hoped that this one would be different.



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