Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
Series: A Lowcountry Ghost Story #1
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Paranormal
A broken engagement sends Graciela Harper crawling back to Heron Creek with her tail between her legs, but finds the sleepy little town too changed to set her life right. Not even her budding drinking problem can obscure her Gramps‚Äôs failing health, or erase the mental picture of her first love happily married to her childhood best friend. To top it all off, she‚Äôs having a heck of time convincing the town‚Äôs dashing young mayor of her unfit-for-dating status.
When the ghost of 18th century lady pirate Anne Bonny starts insisting on a near daily audience, Graciela has to confront something else she never expected‚ÄĒbeing certifiably nuts at twenty-five years old.
Her brand new "I don't give a crap" attitude makes it easy to dismiss the mysterious threats that seem to be tied to her search for more information on the long dead pirate, but when her family becomes a target, Gracie knows she needs to find out why the ghost insists on being a constant, reeking companion.¬†
If Graciela can put aside her prejudice against people without a pulse, she may discover that Anne Bonny‚Äôs problems are intricately linked with her own. The past harbors answers could help the cantankerous spirit find closure, but she is, after all, already dead. If Graciela doesn‚Äôt move fast, she might find herself doing the haunting, instead of the other way around.
Im always looking forwards to reading different sub-genres in New Adult, and as I had previously read a couple of novels by Lyla Payne, I was excited for Not Quite Dead.¬†With a stubborn ghost and a mystery, what more could I ask for?
When Graciela Harper returns home after several years away, she expects to spend her days caring after her grandfather and drinking her sorrows away. Graciela didnt leave Heron Creek on the best of terms, and as much as shed like to hide away, there are certain people and relationships to be fixed. Add in the charming mayor who keeps popping up, and Graciela has more than enough to deal with. What she doesnt expect is to find an 18th century ghost following her around. Regardless, Anne Bonnys ghost wont go away, and soon Graciela becomes invested in the mystery surrounding Anne Bonny.
I have to admit: I wasnt sure what to expect from Not Quite Dead. To be totally honest, I havent been having the best of luck when it comes to sub-genres in New Adult. Nevertheless, I was determined to try out this book, and while it wasnt a five-star, amazing read for me, it was entertaining. The story itself is solid, with a strong plot, a good pace, and some well-developed characters. However, I failed to become completely and totally invested. There were parts that I liked about Graciela, such as the¬†fierce loyalty she has for her family, friends and loved ones. But there were also things I disliked, such as her whining in the beginning of the novel. Thankfully, the mystery of it all takes away from that, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the book.
Im not much of a history buff, but I do enjoy a book incorporated with a good history element, and Not Quite Dead was just so. The mystery surrounding Anne Bonny is revealed slowly, but theres enough in the way of Gracies actual life, that the mystery aspect¬†doesnt feel like its lacking. While I guessed certain plot twists, I enjoyed the way everything was nicely executed towards the end. Furthermore, Payne did a really good job with her secondary charactersfrom Will to Mel to Millie to Beau. They each had something to bring to the table and they all complimented Grace in their own way.
As this is the first book in a series, there were¬†some loose ends left in the book, but that just makes me all the more curious. Without giving anything away, Im super¬†intrigued about the whole Leo-Beau dilemma, as well as the revelations that come to pass in the first book. Not Quite Dead was a surprise in many¬†ways, but it was pleasant all the same. While this is a New Adult book, the romance takes a backseat without affecting anything important, and the mystery is what keeps you turning the pages. One thing is for sure: you wont be able to sit still until you know the truth.