Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Published: October 18th, 2011 (Del Rey)
Pages: 546
Source: bought
Gone With the Respiration #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the mores of an antique era. Sixteen-year-old Nora Dearly is far more interested in her country’s political unrest than in silly debutante balls. But the death of her beloved parents leaves Nora at the mercy of a social-climbing aunt who plans to marry off her niece for money. To Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. Now she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting a fatal virus that raises the dead. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and thoroughly deceased. But like the rest of his special undead unit, Bram has been enabled by luck and modern science to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

When this book was published almost a year ago I'd heard about it, but it sounded a bit freaky to me. A human girl falling in love with a zombie a.k.a. dead guy? Yeah... No, thank you. I wasn't blogging back then and I might have read one or two reviews, but they didn't convince me to pick it up. A couple of weeks ago I saw the sequel up on Netgalley. I was more intrigued by that synopsis and decided to request it and got approved! I bought Dearly, Departed, started reading and fell in love! This book is amazing! 
I was still a bit weirded out by the zombie romance, but if you think about it: what's better about a vampire? OK, they're really beautiful, where the zombies are losing all kind of body parts, rotting and all. But they both want to eat you, so... 

In this series there are two types of zombies, the brainless ones and the ones with a working brain. That's all got to do with the time they've been dead. Bram is one of the latter. He didn't even notice he had died, so his brain is completely intact and working. Nora's father has invented a vaccine to keep their bodies from decomposing, so Bram still looks quite alive. Apart from his skin being very cold and off color. 

This book is told from different point of views. My favorite ones were Nora and Bram. Their relationship has a slow start (which is very positive). Nora has to get used being around all those zombies. Bram locks her into his room, giving her the key. This way he wants to win her trust. And I thought it was just so sweet! They grow towards each other and in the end I wasn't surprised Nora likes Bram. He's a pretty sweet guy. 
Other fragments are told from Pamela's perspective, Nora's best friend. In the beginning I thought these parts were a bit dull, but it got better towards the ending! 

I loved Bram. I thought about zombies before reading this book, but the idea I had was luckily very wrong. Bram knows is short comings. He knows he can't get angry because that's what wakes up the 'zombie' inside him and he starts attacking people. He really cares about Nora and wants to look after her. The zombie part still freaked me out a bit, but otherwise I would've chosen him as my new book boyfriend!

The setting is 2195, but the government chose the Victorian period as an example for their society. Sometimes I was so confused. Some things felt out dated, women can't wear trousers, they can't walk alone on the street and so on. I really had to remind myself that it was a dystopian novel. Not that it really matters, because the story remains amazing! Set in the future or the past!

The story is well paced and full of tension. Lia Habel's writing style is absolutely wonderful! It has some very funny parts and that's what makes this story a very nice read. I can't wait to read Dearly, Beloved!


  1. I may have to give this one another try. I had it for 2 weeks and never got passed the beginning when she and her friend were on their way home from school.

  2. I've had this one since Christmas of last year, but still haven't gotten around to it. It just looks so.. long, that I've been afraid to pick it up, but I've put it on my TBR for this month!!


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