5 books with dead main characters – and an #IAD giveaway!

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Happy International Authors’ Day! To celebrate, I am taking part in a special blog hop tour with many other authors, and will be hosting a giveaway, which you can read about at the end of this blog post. If you’d like to read other authors’ blogs and win some cool stuff, be sure to check out the International Authors’ Day Facebook page, or check #IAD on Facebook and Twitter to see who else is taking part.

For my blog, I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite books that are told from the point of view of someone who has died, mainly because the narrators of my books A Symphony of Cicadas and Forever Thirteen are on the other side of life. Some of these I have read, and some I hope to read. But I’m also hoping to get a few suggestions for other books with ghostly narrators or main characters from you. See details at the end of this post.

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold1. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. The movie? Not so much. But the book! Author Alice Sebold writes in such a way, it’s like the words are singing. It’s like they have this life all their own, and each one is lovingly placed in such strange and wonderful ways. She writes passages like this:
“Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort.
So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone’s hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.”
I could live in this book. Truly.

Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver2. Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
I just recently read this book when a reader suggested it to me after reading A Symphony of Cicadas. It’s about a popular girl named Samantha who dies in a car accident, but must live that one day over and over again, each time learning something new. It’s been compared as a Mean Girls meets Groundhogs Day kind of story, and I could totally see why. Samantha starts out in this clique of girls who are at the top of the school, and learns things about herself and her friends that begin to not sit well with her. It’s definitely a page turner.

Books I haven’t read, but have on my to-be-read list


Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
My daughter read this book a year or so ago, and can’t say enough good things about it. It’s about a girl who commits suicide. Then friends, enemies, and teachers each receive one of 13 tapes she recorded beforehand that explain why she did it, and how they contributed to her decision. For my daughter, the main impact of the story was seeing how the narrator viewed this girl’s death, and how he grew as he learned more about her decision.



If I Stay, by Gayle Forman4. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
I don’t know much about this, except that it sounds a little like Before I Fall. It’s about a girl who gets into a car accident, and is faced with some hard choices that will decide her fate. A definite must on my TBR list.





The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak5. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
I didn’t know this, but the book is narrated by Death himself. It already looked interesting enough to me, but that just added a whole other layer of intrigue.






Forever ThirteenWhat other books are there? Leave a comment by the end of Friday, July 18th, telling your favorite book with a dead narrator or main character – either one of these or a different one that you love – and you could win a free signed copy of my book, Forever Thirteen.

11 thoughts on “5 books with dead main characters – and an #IAD giveaway!”

  1. Peony in Love, by Lisa See, is the story of a girl in Ancient China. She is betrothed, but falls in love with a boy… She has such anguish that she stops eating. She dies, but is unable to leave until certain rites are completed. So she stays near her family…. Very beautiful, complex story!

  2. The Lovely Bones has been on my tbr list ever since it came out and you have just inspired me to go and buy it! Thanks for an interesting post!

  3. It’s been a long while since I’ve read it, but Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King has a dead main character. It was a book that stuck with me long after I finished reading.

  4. I really loved The Lovely Bones. My sister passed away years ago in a plane crash and it made me think that she was on another plane(level) watching me and what goes on. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  5. Pingback: Hair woes, “instant” success, and living in Generation NOW | Crissi Langwell ~ Author

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