Review: The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore

From Goodreads:

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.

While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.

Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.

My Thoughts:

***Note: I was the Acquiring Editor for this book***
Sixteen year old Lyla, is the daughter of the town mortician, and the family has been morticians for generations. When their cosmetologist quits and leaves her resignation painted in lipstick on a body, Lyla rushes in to fix it before all the guests arrive and see it.

But that night, the body vanishes. Everyone thinks it’s stolen, and since Lyla is already a social outcast, the mockery at school intensifies.

She has one friend, Cassie, who stands up for her. She is also close to her older brother, Ben, who she sees as her protector. He, in contrast to her, is a cool, popular, lead singer of a band.

Then, the body reappears… reanimated!

A new band member soon appears in her brother’s group. Eric seems disinterested in Lyla at first, but when she finds herself confronted with the walking body again, he saves her, and a friendship starts. Lyla even starts to develop feels for this mysterious new band member.

Talk about a great read! This is a fabulous YA read about a girl struggling with self-identity with everyone tearing her down, and things only getting worse as she discovers new things about herself and Eric. But she struggles on, despite the people she cares most about turning against her.

It’s rather gripping, and the descriptions of the walking corpses are creepy and gross. I found myself wanting to keep reading, despite needing to sleep and live.

Katie Teller

Katie Teller is a writer of NA fiction. Her debut, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, has sold more than 50,000 copies. You can find out more about Katie, the Kiya trilogy, and her other books on twitterfacebook, instagram or at her own blog.

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