The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

SweetDeadLifeThe Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

Stoned brother, walking-ghost mother, snake venom poison, and a car crash. The mystery that Jenna’s Dad left behind is all beginning to unravel.

14 year old Jenna’s life has been falling apart since her father left a cryptic note and a coupon for dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant and disappeared 5 years earlier. Jenna’s older brother Casey gets stoned much of the time even though he holds 2 jobs to support the family. Their mother has become a virtual walking ghost, eating almost nothing and taking vitamins her former boss, a doctor, brings over. The worst part is that Jenna herself always feels sick; when she collapses at home Casey drives her to the hospital but they crash along the way. Waking up in emergency, Jenna remembers Casey covered in blood, but he’s there with her, looking all cleaned up. Her mother’s former boss, Dr. Renfroe, is caring for her. An EMT named Amber from the scene of the accident stays with them even after Jenna’s ready to leave, wanting to be sure enough tests are run to find out what’s wrong with Jenna. They learn Jenna is being poisoned with a rare snake venom. Faced with mysteries on top of more mysteries, Jenna, Casey and Amber try to find out what’s going on, even as Jenna faces confusion about puzzling questions she has about Casey and Amber.

This mystery has some supernatural elements that fit perfectly within the plot. This is the first title in what promises to be an intriguing series.

Review by Ellie Goldstein-Erickson

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