indefinite hiatus; i may not come back to the blog, but I'll leave it up anyway if anyone wants to take a look at any old posts etc. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

Title: John Belushi is Dead
Author: Kathy Charles
Publisher: MTV Books
Pub. Date: August 24, 2010
Length: 320 pages
Summary (from goodreads.com):
Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life. 
My Thoughts: You know from the (amazing) cover and title that this story isn't going to be all rainbows and unicorns. And it isn't. Not at all.
 Hilda and Benji aren't like other teenagers. Instead of going to the mall and hanging out with friends, they spend their time visiting the death cites of celebirties. You could say they have an obsession with dead celebirties, particularly the ones who have committed suicide or have died a gruesome death.They spend most of their money on artifacts from these sites, which leads them to meet Hank. Hank is a cranky, old, lonely man who is wary of the two, but Hilda sees something in him. When Benji starts acting strange, it is his apartment she escapes to. 
Soon, Hilda meets Jake: Hank's neighbor, a screenwriter, and a high school dropout. Although they are pretty much completely unlike each other, they start spending more and more time together. Then everything seems to crumble. Hank is  hiding some kind of secret and Benji is acting so creepy that Hilda doesn't feel comfortable around him anymore.
The beginning felt kind of slow, but by the end I was left with an amazing feeling. John Belushi is Dead is so different from any other novels I've read. It was full of unpredictable twists and unique characters. Each character was well thought out and displayed, so I knew enough of each one's personality enough that they weren't a mystery to me. At the start, I didn't feel very fond of Benji and Hilda, but they grew on me and  by the second chapter I was hooked.
John Belushi is Dead isn't for everyone. Its pretty gruesome and creepy; however, I still suggest it for those of you who like these types of books.

4 Moons

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