I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan 288 pages
What happens to teenagers’ souls when they are murdered? Why they go to the Mall of America, of course! There is a special, ethereal fifth level where the teens prepare themselves to “move on,” or into the light if you’re a fan of The Ghost Whisperer.
Sarah Evans is surprised, no shocked, to find herself waking up dead, wearing the same Godawful mango chiffon bridesmaid dress that she was wearing at her father’s wedding. She is surrounded by other teens who have also been murdered. These are teens in her class that are preparing to move forward with the help of a “death coach,” Bertha. If she can’t move on, she’ll suffer a fate worse than death: she’ll become a mall walker. Think zombie.
Once sixteen-year-old Sarah figures out how she died, she is certain that her father is in grave, extremely grave danger. She believes she knows who her killer is and why that certain someone has plans to off Dad.
The story and plot are quirky. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but I didn’t find myself laughing out loud as I’d hoped when I saw the title. Ya gotta love the title. It would be ease to slip into religion, but Sheehan avoids it. Her”God” is the Boy, otherwise known as the “Boss of You.” He wasn’t well developed and came off as flat.
Sometimes languid, sometime spirited, Sarah is the most complex character in the story. I Woke Up Dead at the Mall receives 4 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.