There’s Not Dead and Then There’s Not-Dead (The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried)

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Published: 2019

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated N for not-dead people not dying because of unsettled teen drama.


A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up.

Dino is used to spending time around dead bodies. His family runs a funeral home, so death is the family business. In all the time he’s helped out though, he’s never had a dead body talk back to him, until now.

Dino’s ex-best friend July died suddenly, but when she awakens screaming, there’s a lot of confusion. She’s not really alive, but not really either. Even stranger, nobody else is dying either. It seems like death has come to a standstill. While Dino and July work together to figure out why this happened, they also confront why their friendship ended in the ugly way it did. As they do, they discover a lot more than they expected, changing what they knew and understood about each other.


This book was phenomenal. Spectacularly written. If ever you wondered or wished to get that closure and moment to say goodbye before losing someone then here you go. Just the right amount of wit, humor, honesty, and selfishness. This wasn’t just a paranormal YA with zombies. There were no zombies actually. In fact, it was just a lot of not-dead. The POVS alternated between Dino and July. They’re both so different, but I was hooked on them. I related to Dino the most because I’m not very good at being courageous. For others, yes. For myself, no. Their dynamic is off the wall and I can see how they were best friends, yet it surprises me because of how different they are. My bookworm senses went wild with this story. I laughed, I swooned, I was shocked, and I got my dose of the paranormal.

Scarlet Reader

The not-dead gave way to some real themes and subjects today. Personally, since I don’t know what to call something like this I’m going with para-realism because it was just that. While Dino struggled to be confident, something I think a lot of people can’t relate to, there was also his struggle to try and figure out who he is. That is so difficult, and the fact that he was feeling that kind of pressure at sixteen…wow. It’s also a reminder that no one’s perfect and no one has it figured out and THAT’S OKAY.

The Scarlet Reader

The LGBTQ of this made my stomach swim. Dino and Rafi literally ooze adorableness with the way they care so much for each other. I couldn’t get enough of this couple. This relationship not only showed those cutesy aspects but the other angles as well: the worry, and insecurity. The way they actually talked through their issues and recognized their worth and worried over whether or not they were good enough. That’s it, guys, This. Right here. Major fucking goals!

Thanks for the Trouble
My Art Forest

A heck of a good time filled with real-talk, unexpected advice that is hella useful and wisdom that seriously blew my mind. Love and Death may be the primary subjects here, but there is so much else in-between all of that. This story resonated with me deeply and I seriously recommend it. However, if you’re looking for some crazy Paranormal with the end of the world vibes, this isn’t for you. This is a book of friendship, trying to handle life, and being not-dead. Some say this is bizarre, but I think this is just what we need.



“That’s the family you were born into. We’re the family you chose.” (Rafi to Dino, p. 4)

“Love’s only gross when you’re not in it.” (Delilah to Dino, p. 13)

“We don’t get to control how people feel. The only thing we get to control is how we feel…” (Rafi, p. 127)

“Friendship with someone you love isn’t a consolation prize.” (Rafi, p. 127)

“Funerals are our last opportunity to show the world how much we cared about the person who died.” (Dino, p. 159)

“Humor can shine a light on truths that make us uncomfortable, and we all know how painful facing the truth is, but that humor doesn’t have to come from another person or group’s pain.” (Dino to July, p. 205)

“Some people deal with breakups by watching sappy movies and crying it out; I deal by watching crappy horror movies and rooting for the killers.” (Rafi to Dino, p. 234)

“Don’t ever apologize for being happy, Dino. Not to me. Not to anyone.” (July to Dino, p. 241)

“Love isn’t obvious until you’re in it. It’s not a punch in the face that leaves you reeling, Love is gradual and sneaky. It grows like weeds between the cracks of a hundred average moments.” (July, p. 243)



More to come soon…                                                                                                



P.S. Song today? Ironic by Alanis Morissette.


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