About the book:
DEAD GIRL RUNNING, by Ann Noser
Genre: dystopian, science-fiction, action-adventure
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: October 26, 2015
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK |
Eight years ago, SILVIA WOOD’s father died in an industrial accident. After suffering through years of Psychotherapy Services and Mandated Medications for depression and multiple suicide attempts, she longs to work in Botanical Sciences. When the Occupation Exam determines she must work in Mortuary Sciences instead, she wonders if the New Order assigned her to the morgue to push her over the edge.
To appease her disappointed mother, Silvia enters the Race for Citizen Glory, in an attempt to stand out in the crowd of Equals. After she begins training with “golden boy” LIAM HARMAN, she discovers he also lost his father in the same accident that ruined her childhood. Then Silvia meets and falls for Liam’s older cousin, whose paranoid intensity makes her question what really happened to her father. As the race nears, Silvia realizes that she’s not only running for glory, she’s running for her life.
About the author:
My to-do list dictates that I try to cram 48 hours of living into a day instead of the usual 24. I’ve chosen a life filled with animals. I train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed. But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to write; I have to steal moments throughout the day. Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live within my imagination.
Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task. I work out plot holes during runs. Instead of meditating, I type madly during yoga stretches. I find inspiration in everyday things: a beautiful smile, a heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory. For example, a long drive in the dark listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my satisfaction.
I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real life with the half-written stories in my head. Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.
Warning: Some spoilers ahead!
I will start out by saying this book almost makes me want to run and I have seldom seen better chapter titles! To clarify, this book focuses a decent bit on actually running. From the muscles involved, to properly stretching, to an actual race. However, regardless of how much I did enjoy the book (so much that I actually could not put it down and cannot wait for the rest of the series), I do need to point out that no one but another runner is going to give a rat’s ass that she needs to stretch out her hoosie-whats-its – call them leg muscles. She thinks the guy is hot and fit? Great! It was distracting and a bit creepy for her to list out each individual chest and stomach muscle. Like, I gagged creepy/distracting.
It is a big part of Silvia’s character, though, so it’s not really the worst thing ever, just frustrating that she keeps doing it over and over and over. Sometimes she’s showing off that she’s smart. Other times it’s in her head and it appears she just can’t really think in anything but medically accurate terms for the body. I don’t like it, but I suppose it would be equally frustrating to have her say “hey, bro, you gotta stretch your butt muscles, yo!” Haha! I made myself giggle.
Some things in the book are pretty obvious, like the deal with the baby. Others not so much until a different character says something like “you’re a dead ringer for her if she were twenty years younger.” As this is a young adult book, I’m not all that surprised with how quickly Silvia falls for Franco, but it seems odd considering she had just professed to not being interested in anyone or any particular gender. It definitely bugs me how quick she is to snoop through his things the first time she finds herself in his apartment. And then to blame her desire to snoop on the bad advice (that she seemingly knows is bad advice) from a friend of her mother’s? Ugh… At times, Silvia is hard to like.
But then we find out that, because of her father’s death and the unimaginable treatment of Silvia by the “Suits,” she tried to kill herself. Not once, but kind of twice, although she claims that the second try was just a bluff to get her mom to stop forcing her to go to a fake therapist. Maybe she’s pretty badass after all, you know? She survived. She tried to pull her and her mom together after her father’s death and she largely succeeded. She may have been assigned to mortuary sciences (dealing with the dead) at the age of fifteen, but she loves her assigned job and is fascinated by the human body (hence all the exacting muscle talk when she’s running). She’s apparently pretty darn smart, too, and if we believe Gus, her boss in the morgue, she shouldn’t be locked in the dungeon prepping the dead but upstairs healing the living!
I’m failing to mention Liam because he annoys me. First he’s all “I’m a pretty boy and I can have anyone” and then he’s “hard core runner and team-player, we’re gonna win this thing” and then he’s just “you didn’t want it bad enough anyway, peace out, I won!” He’s important to the story, of course, because without him Silvia wouldn’t be training for the race or bringing attention to herself by training with Liam as both a team and the only ones to request permission for a special route.
So, I give this book 4.5 out of 5.0 stars because while some things annoyed me and were obvious, I truly loved this book. I got a good The Giver and 1984 vibe to start with and was pleased to see Lois Lowry mentioned as an inspiration in the acknowledgments. The world building in this book was phenomenal and I can easily see a strong series emerging. At the very least, it’s got a strong start.
Quick note, there’s a glossary of terms that those who aren’t familiar with anatomy, yoga, or running might benefit from. And while I’m not a runner (really bad knees and asthmatic), I can easily see runners loving this book. In fact, my mom runs and I can’t wait to recommend it to her. It helps that there’s no sex because she is a bit of a prude! Haha!
About Curiosity Quills Press:
Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.
Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!