From Goodreads: Jade loves the house she’s just moved into with her family. She doesn’t even mind being the new girl at the high school: It’s a fresh start, and there’s that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade’s little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade’s jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn’t.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who’s seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade’s school — until her untimely death last year. It’s up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
So, I have this quirk of mine where I like to cozy up in my bed late at night, turn out the lights, and listen to scary books on my Kindle (while the computerized voice isn’t all that scary, the fact that I am listening to potentially deadly situations unfold in the pitch dark always heightens the fear factor for me as opposed to reading in the daylight). I ended up listening to all of Harrington’s The Dead and Buried this way, and let me tell you, there were definitely some instances in which my blood ran cold.
While the beginning of the novel reads like any other YA story in which a teen moves to a new school and is struggling to make friends, the twist is the fact that Jade and her family moved into Kayla Sloane’s house, the resident mean girl who died in the very house Jade now calls home. The fact that it remains unclear whether or not Kayla was murdered makes it all the more chilling, and as Jade begins to uncover the truth about Kayla’s life, loves, friends, and death, a creepy ambiance surrounds the novel.
I loved Jade’s determination to save her family from the wrath of Kayla, and her sleuthing abilities were fun all follow along with, and so was the little romance Harrington added to the mix. However, I will say that I was able to figure out the truth surrounding Kayla’s death fairly early on due to some foreshadowing and “in passing” comments from other characters in the text. This isn’t a bad thing, by any means, but I definitely would have liked it to be more of a surprise. But, what was lacking in the surprise department was definitely made up for when it came to scaring me stiff.
In regards to Kayla, I hold absolutely no love for her, especially as she threatens Jade’s family and the truth about her thoughts and feelings unfold. She was a terrible person in life, and a terrifying entity in death, and even finding out the truth about her death didn’t make me feel sorry for her, but rather filled with anger. Once you read it, you’ll see why, but I can’t say anything else about that without giving away clues, so I’ll move onto the aspects of the novel that scared me to death. While Kayla is new to haunting people, she has no qualms about threatening the life of a five-year-old, and her new-found ability to possess Jade’s younger brother chilled me to the bone. As I laid in my bed listening to the story unfold, there were multiple instances that Kayla did something that made my hair stand on end and my entire body tingle—similar to the feeling you get when a part of your body begins to fall asleep. What was really creepy about this is that the feeling of intense evil would come over me and go from head to toe in a matter of seconds, which in turn chilled my blood and had me turning on the light to make sure I was alone and that no ghost was haunting me in my room. I don’t know that I would have been as afraid had I read this novel during the day, but I’m telling you, if you really want to be unnerved and a little bit frightened, definitely read this novel with minimal light when you’re home all alone. The plot will seriously mess with your feelings of security. Four stars.