Book Fifty of 2014: HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS by Ann M. Noser

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Quiet college sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when cute Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home.
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a young father determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

**I got this ARC from Curiosity Quills Press for an honest review. **

When I first started it, I was unsure what I was going to find. It looked like it was going to be more of a romance at first even though the blurb makes you think more of a paranormal mystery. Actually, it’s a bit of both, but more like a coming of age and beginning to something bigger.

Emma starts off as a typical heroine, she’s opinionated, but keeps them to herself. She really just lives day to day keeping herself at arms length from everyone. It all started when she told her mother about a ghost she met as a child. After her mother’s warnings, Emma pretty much kept everyone away, including her parents. When she finally starts to open up slightly, a terrible thing happens; the boy she’s met dies.

Through her experiences of witchcraft and the spirits she brings back, Emma grows as a character. It is ironically through the dead that she begins to open up and makes friends with the living. I really liked that aspect to the book. It was coming of age and gave a basic main character something the reader could relate to. I found myself falling in love with Emma throughout the book.

Ann M. Noser, the author, adds in great humor amongst her characters. The dead seem more alive than the living at times. What is great is that this was a book introducing a character who will have a bigger job in the future. I am excited to see what Noser has in store for Emma. The girl transformed from a timid thing to someone who is finding her purpose in life. What is great is, there is a mystery left open and you can see that Emma has more growth to do as a person.

HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS is the first book in an upcoming series by Ann M. Noser. The genre would be difficult to pinpoint because there are many great elements to it. For a series, I’m thinking it’ll get darker and more paranormal mystery. For this book, though, it is a growth story about a college girl. I’m definitely going to read the sequel.

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