DNF: What the Dead Want

I feel like I've read a far better version of this book somewhere ... oh yeah, it's called Shutter by Courtney Alameda.  Granted, the motivations of the characters are totally different, but if you are into ghost-hunting via cameras, definitely go with Shutter.

Or maybe I'm thinking of Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (which I really must reread), with its curious photographs that guide the narrative. Wait.  That happens here too.  How curious.

But each book must stand on its own ... pages, I suppose.  And that's not really the reason I didn't finish What the Dead Want--although it was definitely a contributing factor.

I need a book to make me care about something.  Anything.  Even if it makes me care about disliking it.  Alas, I felt very little for What the Dead Want.  The story of a rich girl from Fifth Avenue who goes to live with her Aunt in a dilapidated house in upstate New York (honestly, New England must be positively crawling with haunted houses) and ends up solving a horrendous hate crime was ... a bit odd.

Gretchen is a photographer.  Before her mother disappeared, she taught Gretchen that photographs have power.  Some people even believed that you could capture a soul with a picture.  But ha ha!  We live in the modern age!  No one believes that ... do they?

But Aunt Esther is haunted by atrocities of the past--atrocities she photographed, looking for answers.  When *SPOILER* she abruptly commits suicide in the middle of the book, Gretchen has to solve the small-town secret that is basically that all the insular white people in town are racist descendants of the KKK who, years ago, held a mass lynching and burned people to death.

The idea of the book is that the dead want justice, but it also tried (and, in my opinion, failed) to address racial issues.  All I have to do is point to the news and you know what I'm talking about.  But I honestly don't think the surprise revelation that your heroine is mixed gets you a gold star.

Perhaps I'm just dull and don't *get* this book.  That's fine.  I leave it to others to read.  I could not spend any more time with it.  I honestly feel so very little for this book that I've had you suffer through an excessively dull review, for which I apologize.

I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley.


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