Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Blog Tour: Review - Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo
Publisher: Random House
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: August 26th, 2014
Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers: Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them. At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite). Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?
Six Feet Over It is an unusual book that looks at life, death and everything inbetween. It's well-written and executed, and is full of memorable characters that come alive on the page. It's also sad, hopeful, and really a celebration of life and all the obstacles that come with living.
Fourteen-year-old Leigh has had to deal with a lot in her young life, including her older sister Kai surviving cancer and her family buying a cemetery. She struggles with selling graves to grieving customers on a daily basis, but she knows she can do the job and make their loss that little bit easier. Leigh herself is mourning the loss of her best friend, and she's also got a crush on Dario, the new, older gravedigger in town. Her whole life is surrounded by death and what comes after, and it's slowly sucking the life out of her.
I really liked Leigh and how she handled everything thrown at her. She never have up on anyone, she tried her best to help complete strangers in their time of need and she was loyal to a fault. Even though working at the cemetery was doing her no good in the long run, she stayed there and kept going for her family. She supported Kai, loved her parents and was a constant confidante for Dario. She was also sarcastic and amusing - the two qualities she used to deflect reality.
Six Feet Over It has many references to The Lord of the Rings, which pleased me greatly. Hurrah for Tolkien lovers! It's a very strange book when you look at it though, but somehow it works. It's realistic until the end, an ending which I admit I wasn't a huge fan of, and is a vault of information when it comes to cemeteries and the role of funeral directors. Jennifer Longo has written a truly immersive book with Six Feet Over It, and I hope she has another gem hidden up her sleeve.