First in the Dead Serious series
By Rose Cooper
Available now from Delacorte BFYR (Penguin Random House)
I TEXT DEAD PEOPLE looked adorable, from the title to Rose Cooper's cartoonish illustrations. The morbid cuteness reminds me of the ghostgirl series by Tonya Hurley, but for kids instead of teens. I have a cousin that I know will love this one.
Annabel Craven, known as Anna, didn't want to move to a new town. Her first day gets off to a bad start when a weird guy accosts her because he just knows she has something of his. But things start to look up as she makes friends (even though some of them want her to do their homework) and finds a cell phone. Then someone strange starts texting her.
Part of the book is told through the point of view of Lucy, who is a stalker. I TEXT DEAD PEOPLE never uses the word stalker, but that's what she's doing. I think her sections are meant to be over the top in a humorous way, but I mostly found it sad, creepy, and actionable. Unfortunately, when Lucy dies she just keeps stalking the boy - and Anna, since she can talk to her.
I TEXT THE DEAD has a good combination of fish out of water and cozy murder mystery stories. There's definitely a lot of legs for the premise in future installments in the Dead Serious series. I thought Lucy was a bum note, but she's a one-book character. Anna herself is interesting, and not stalking anyone.