Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BLOG TOUR: How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M Noser

I'm a fan of Curiosity Quills Press - they've been very generous with review copies and so when I decided I was ready to branch out beyond my normal routine here on the blog, signing up for one of their blog tours was a no-brainer.

Released on July 14th, 2014, How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser is a new adult, urban fantasy novel that has a lighter touch than traditional urban fantasy.

The Basics:
How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser
Curiosity Quills Press
Book One in the Under the Blood Moon series
New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published July 14, 2014
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. Barnes & Nobles

Book Blurb:

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters. 

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn't the only one. 

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite
the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

My Thoughts:

When I started reading How to Date Dead Guys, my brain was not in the right mode. You see, I was expecting something serious and dark and more typical of the urban fantasy genre. As I read, I cringed at some of Emma's thoughts and antics. She didn't fit with my preconceptions of urban fantasy heroines at all! Where was her ability to kick-ass? Her magical powers? The inner strength to take a beating and keep ticking?  No, instead, we have Emma, who's a loner but because she's awkward and perhaps overly prim and proper. She has a hard time fitting in not because of any lingering trauma from her past but instead because she's conservative, shy, naive and innocent.

Once I gave up trying to see how this book fit into what I expected from an urban fantasy novel, I realized that it was pretty darn funny! One of the things I love about so many urban fantasy heroes is the sarcasm that seems pretty common to them all. There's often a very dry, witty sense of humour that threads through these books, providing some light in the face of pretty grim, gritty circumstances. How to Date Dead Guys takes it all a step farther by never taking itself too seriously. I would happily compare it to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series - it has that same kind of swinging-for-the-fences, over-the-top sense of humour wherein our heroine often gets the short end of the stick but still manages to muddle through.

I loved the character growth in this book. Emma starts off as quite the downer. Lacking confidence, she's quite the pushover. I had a hard time understanding how she and her roommate Chrissy, who is very pushy and outgoing, got along at all. They seemed so mismatched right from the start! As the story progresses, Emma finds her footing and her spine and that development felt very organic to me.

On the plus side, Emma's had experiences with ghosts in the past so when she starts delving into magic, I found her willingness to roll with it believable. There was, I'll admit, a spit-take moment for me when Emma shrugs off the appearance of a dead man by insisting she needs to get to her classes - I thought that was hilariously nonchalant though I suppose ignoring the problem was a valid coping mechanism!

Overall, this is an entertaining, wildly not-serious take on urban fantasy. Ghosts, magic and screwball comedy abound!

Bottom Line:

If you're expecting something serious, do not pick up this book. If you want something that melds comedy and magic, then I think you'll find this book an entertaining read. 

4 stars
For fans of Stephanie Plum, humour

As part of the blog tour, there are a few opportunities for you to win copies of How to Date Dead Guys. The first is via Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

How To Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

How To Date Dead Guys

by Ann M. Noser

Giveaway ends August 14, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
And don't miss this Rafflecopter opportunity:


  1. Thanks for the great review!
    And I LOVE the Stephanie Plum series! :)

    1. My pleasure! I quite enjoyed the book!
      I love the Plum series too - though I do wish that Ms. Plum would settle with (the obviously superior) Ranger and transition into new kinds of adventures with his company. ;)

  2. Do they make Team Ranger t-shirts?