Author: Jen Violi
Release Date: May 2011
Published By: Hyperion Books
Goodreads Rating: 3.70 stars
Review: Donna has only gone through the motions of living following her father's death, isolated from everyone else. But everything changes when she finds a new life in the most unexpected place - a coffin. She decides she wants to be someone who comforts others in the wake of death, a mortician. With this choice comes a new friend, a boy, and a passion she never knew she had within her. But as she throws herself into her mortuary studies, she begins to learn that moving on and forgetting aren't the same thing.
This book hooked me in right from the start with Donna's distinctive voice. I appreciated how even though she was struggling with things as hard as death and she definitely was experiencing grief, she never became overly mopey or sulky. In fact, she could be funny and there were several laugh-out-loud moments throughout PUTTING MAKEUP ON DEAD PEOPLE. She was quirky and unique, and I found the rest of the characters to be as real and complex as she was.
As you can gather from the book summary, this isn't your typical overcoming-grief or coming-of-age book. I really liked the premise, what with Donna wanting to become a mortician, because it makes this book stand out among many. Despite the unique idea, the execution didn't completely follow through. While I still definitely enjoyed reading this, I did think a few areas of the book (not going to be specific since I want to avoid spoilers) could have been developed more.
All in all, this is the perfect novel for when you want to read something a little quirky or different. It has a unique concept as well as a cast of three-dimensional characters that make it a true pleasure to read. The only complain I have is a lack of development when it comes to certain parts of the book, but other than that, I greatly enjoyed PUTTING MAKEUP ON DEAD PEOPLE and would recommend it to anyone.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. This is no way affected my review or opinion of this book.