The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (ARC Review)

The cover image of the book "The Dead Romantics" by Ashley Poston, showing two figures lying horizontally on the letters of the title, both reading a book. Also, the description for the book: A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.  Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.   When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won't give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.   For ten years, she's run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.   Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.   Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 368
Release Date: June 28, 2022

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: loss of a loved one

The Dead Romantics has been on my radar, and frankly on my “most anticipated releases of 2022”-list, for the longest time now – so, when I was presented with the opportunity to read an advanced copy, I jumped at the chance! The official release is still a month away, but I just couldn’t stop myself from reading it and now you will all have to contend with me screaming about my love for it for eternity.

Sometimes, books just find you at the exact right moment in your life and I would say that The Dead Romantics is a prime example of exactly that happening. I’ve had the most fun with a romance in a while, but at the same time, there were instances where I just bawled my eyes out. This isn’t simply a story about love, but also grief and family and we all know I’m drawn to grief-books like moths to light. But at the same time, nothing about this book left me sad. I’d even go so far as to argue and say that it brought me hope, all the warm feelings inside and a whimsical smile on my face once I turned the last page.

THE CHARACTERS 

Florence Day – our narrator throughout the story – is the typical small bean but mighty and messy tornado of a person that I think many of us can relate to. She’s into fan fiction, buying books despite having a massive TBR already and she loves a good love story. In fact, she used to believe in the big love, in finding that one person who might be the exception to the rule, until she got disappointed in the worst ways. And you just understand her reluctance, her despair, and then life just knocks her down some more.
Enter – Benji Andor! He’s meticulous and tall as a tree (one would like to climb) and seemingly stoic, while actually being very kind and considerate once you get to know him a little bit and he definitely wants a happy ending for Florence. I loved him as a counterpart for Florence, although I would have loved it even more if we had gotten to spend some more time with him. I feel like, we, the readers, didn’t get to know him that much, but even Florence acknowledges that several times throughout the story. Their connection is based more on vibes and actions rather than exchanging hobbies and favorite songs, which is fine, but I just enjoyed his character and would have loved to learn even more about him. It really seemed like he had quite the story of his own.

Lee Pace entering the room with one hand on the door frame looking tall and sexy while doing absolutely nothing.
This is Benji Andor for me and I have a feeling Ashley Poston would be okay with that.

Aside from our two leads, there was an array of formidable side characters, many of which were also part of the LGBT+ community. We had supportive best friends, authentic sibling relationships and the despicable ex. A stand-out for me was Florence’s dad though, because his presence could be felt on nearly every page and that stuck with me. It very much reminded me of someone I lost and how sometimes a whole town can show up for that person and their family, when things get tough.

THE SETTING

First things first, I loved the supernatural twist to it all. It never felt forced or out of place, but just like something that naturally fit the story.

But the settings in general were so special and intriguing. On the one hand, you have the funeral home and something that usually holds a lot of sadness for people filled with so much life. A thing of beauty really! And then there’s just something so fun about reading a book that takes place within the publishing industry. I don’t know how accurate it is, but it felt like an inside look and gave way to a lot of references to real life publications, which I loved.
Parts of it are in the big city, parts of it are in a small town and it all just made sense?

VERDICT

I don’t know why writing reviews for books I absolutely adore is the hardest thing ever. It might be, because I just want to do a key smash and thrust the book into people’s hands for them to read it, but that wouldn’t be very informative now, would it? I hope this gave you a bit of a clearer idea of just how charming yet quirky I found The Dead Romantics! I genuinely hope that many people will pick it up, because it filled my heart to the brink and I would without a doubt just read sequels where they help different ghosts together. I’m greedy and just want more, please!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! There’s something so incredibly satisfying when an anticipated read turns out as amazing as you had hoped.


My other reviews of Ashley Poston’s work:


Do you plan on reading The Dead Romantics? Let’s talk about that!

Geekerella by Ashley Poston (eArc Review)

Publishing: April 4, 2017
Publisher
: Quirk Books
Page Count
: 320

**I was provided with an eArc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am a huge fan of the Cinderella Story movies. The first one is one of my all time favourite chick flicks. Also, I am a massive geek. My ability to annoy people with the same topic (mostly a TV show/movie/actor/actress I can’t stop thinking about) is one of my best developed skills. That very same thing is also the reason I wasn’t very popular at school. Everything pop culture was always my jam, but unfortunately my fellow peers got very bored with my ramblings after a while. No one was ever truly mean to me, they all thought I was a nice girl, but we all know that “nice” can be an insult as well. It took me forever to come to terms with who I was and that I was awesome in my own right, I just had to find the right people to make my true geek-colors shine. This book just embodied all of that for me – that journey, the finding to one self, the friendships that can be found in fandoms and to be brave enough to stand up for what you believe in.

Elle is such a relatable girl to me. She’s passionate about a TV show, even if it hasn’t been on air for years, and she’s a blogger (SHE’S ONE OF US!). Generally she seemed like a good person and she didn’t deserve the treatment from her stepmonster/-sister. All she wanted was to cherish the memories of her parents and she wasn’t even allowed to do that. There were so many moments that made me really emotional. I was so glad when she finally stood up for herself, because she was so isolated and there’s only so much a person can take. I don’t know why I ever keep hoping for better reactions from the villains, but I guess I just don’t want to give up hope on them. Anyway, I was so happy when she found a great friend and unexpected allies along the way. Go Elle!

Darien was such a sweetheart even when he could be a silly dork sometimes. I liked that he was one of the biggest up and coming stars, but felt so utterly grounded most of the time. He just wanted to be a teenager and I think, he too, still needed to figure himself out (because sometimes he was acting immature). He is of Indian descent, but I didn’t feel like he was anywhere near as connected to that culture as he was to geekdom. Just like Elle, he struggled with his sense of family and I liked the idea of sometimes choosing your own family in the people you surround yourself with.

Everything just fit together perfectly in this book! The atmosphere felt authentically fangirlish and it was fun to have settings such as a convention and a movie set (although, as a film student, I know better than to believe that a big budget movie can be shot in 23 days. It takes 4-6 weeks minimum). The only reason that this isn’t a 5-star-book for me is because I found everything a bit predictable. It’s fairy tale re-telling, so that was to be expected and it didn’t take away anything from my enjoyment of the story. However, I also didn’t feel like it was something completely groundbreaking, so yeah, that’s why. I would still highly recommend it!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Lovely and fun geekish retelling!

Would you read this book? Do you think Geekerella will warm your heart as it did mine?