Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Samantha D’angelo thinks about death quite a lot, but it’s mostly because her summer job is writing obituaries at her local newspaper. Life at the newspaper keeps her busy. Although her best friend wants Sam to be spending her time going to parties and beaches, Sam discovers that she prefers to spend time with the people at the paper, especially another intern, AJ, and Michael, whose story on the mayor stirs her curiosity. Sam learns to do some investigative research on her own to learn about what the mayor is hiding while she’s dealing with how she feels about some of the boys at the paper and learning why obituary writing is more important than she originally thought. By spending her time writing obituaries, Sam learns what it means to live.
Unlike a lot of other YA novels, this romantic comedy book focuses mainly on Sam’s job. While there is some time spent with friends and going to parties or her interaction with her family, the majority of Sam’s life readers learn about is working at the paper. She still does deal with some teenage problems, like how to balance her job with spending time with her best friend, her parents not wanting her to work so much, and how to react to boys. There is some mention of underage drinking, but the main character doesn’t like to drink and this fact is repeatedly mentioned. The book isn’t particularly deep, but it’s light, fun nature will please many readers.
*Contains mild language.