Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let Me Tell You How I Died by Sinclair Smith

Published June, 1994.

Delia can't stop reading the old diary she's found. She's becoming more and more like the girl whose words she reads - seeing the world through her eyes - even having her memories. Soon she believes she was the girl who wrote the diary - in a past life.

So does her killer.

The terror is alive once more. For the girl who wrote the diary was murdered. And whoever killed her the first time . . . is after her again. (book back blurb)

I grabbed this one not too long after I featured it in one of my Freaky Friday posts a while back and it definitely stands out from the other YA horror cheese of yore. I love it even more because of that.

The premise itself is actually really great. A past life and a current one clash when the past life becomes conscious. It points it out in the book that it's like Delia almost has a split personality, which she pretty much does. So not only is it a bit ghosty type of horror but is throws in some psychological horror in there as well and it wasn't all that cheesy, believe it or not.

I had a hard time guessing who the actual killer was. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I pretty much suck at picking up the subtle nuances that would denote something like that but that's besides the point. Every guess I made was wrong and there were quite a few red herrings to throw you off. Pretty awesome.

I think it's a bit better than some of the other cheese I've read simple because it's crafted a little better. It doesn't try too hard with the teenspeak, it doesn't go super crazy with the horror. The story just is and I really like that. It's freaky watching Delia transform into someone else against her will but it's not overdone. It's not subtle either but it's not wacky.

LET ME TELL YOU HOW I DIED is definitely one of the better works of YA horror from way back when so if you had to read any of them, I'd highly recommend this one. It's still got some cheese about it but it's pretty good about it.

Ban Factor: Medium - Despite the title, there's relatively little going on between the pages. There's some slight ghosty, beyond the grave stuff but it's pretty dim. Still, some could still review it as godless.
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