Mortal Remains

Sterling. Feb. 2021. 368p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781454939481.
Gr 9 Up–Lily McCrae feels more comfortable with the dead than the living. She’s been doing hair and makeup for the clients of her father’s mortuary for years, making her the target of bullies in her small town. When the Lassiter house mysteriously explodes and authorities find a body inside, she’s reminded of a boy named Adam who once lived there, and she’s terrified it’s him who has died. When she was young, she fell out of a tree while playing with him and broke her pelvis. He saved her, but she hasn’t seen him since. Her desire for answers leads her to explore the burnt remains of the house, where she finds a boy, hungry and trapped in an old fallout shelter. He says he is Adam Lassiter, but he doesn’t seem to remember Lily, or the time they spent together. When it’s determined that the body found on the property belongs to Adam’s father, Lily’s family takes in the boy, but there’s something very odd about Adam. The more time Lily spends with him, the more the mystery deepens, as do her growing romantic feelings towards him. An overabundance of one-dimensional characters and a meandering plot make this story hard to follow. The strange supernatural twist feels a bit incongruent to the rest of the plot, shoe-horned in to make everything make sense.
VERDICT While the book has an interesting and somewhat original idea, the execution makes this hard to recommend for anything but large collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing