The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A fearless and brutal look at friendships...you will laugh, rage, and mourn its loss when it's over." (Justina Ireland, New York Times best-selling author of Dread Nation)

"Simultaneously hilarious and moving, weird and wonderful." (Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King) 

Six Feet Under meets Pushing Daisies in this quirky, heartfelt story about two teens who are granted extra time to resolve what was left unfinished after one of them suddenly dies.

A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up.

Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly - and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow, July is not quite alive and not quite dead.

As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.

Critically acclaimed author Shaun Hutchinson delivers another wholly unique novel blending the real and surreal while reminding all of us what it is to love someone through and around our faults.

©2019 Shaun David Hutchinson (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

“A fearless and brutal look at friendships and the emotional autopsies we all do when they die. Like a real relationship you will laugh, rage, and mourn its loss when it’s over.” (Justina Ireland, New York Times best-selling author of Dread Nation)

“Simultaneously hilarious and moving, weird and wonderful. Have you been looking for a zombie book that will make you laugh and cry? Look no further.” (Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King)

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Fantastic Listen!

I loves the story and the narration is fantastic. One of my favorite treats is an audiobook with multiple narrators done right.

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  • Christer Saimon Perez
  • 04-19-20

My bestfriend got zombified? Why not?!

"We claim this type of forced categorization provides us the ability to define our place in the world, and that, paradoxically, it’s what’s on the inside that truly counts. But once we stuff someone into a box, what’s on the inside no longer matters. The boxes that are supposed to help us understand one another ultimately wedge us further apart. Even worse is that we rage against the artificial divisions the boxes create, claim that we’re more complex and complicated than how we’re defined by others, and then turn around and stuff the next person we meet into one and tape the lid shut.
And then, as if the indignity of life isn’t enough, when a person dies, we cram what’s left of them into one final box for eternity."

Okay, we're back with another Shaun David Hutchinson and this time, the author did not try to end the world in this one.

Yep, but the distinct storyline is still present with The Past and Other things that Should Stay Buried.

Dino DeLuca is son of Palm Shore's resident mortician who owns DeLuca & Sons Funeral Services and being an embalmer runs in their blood. This means that the expectation for Dino to be the heir who will inherit their family business is too much having a talent in making up dead bodies before being buried.

But when his dead then-bestfriend, July Cooper, suddenly woke up the day before her funeral service with only Dino as the witness, his world turned upside down as a sudden adventure to find out what happened with July and if his former BFF is the reason why death on earth was suspended. Will they be able to find the root cause of this anomaly? Or will they end up falling apart just like what happened in high school?

Shaun David Hutchinson is well-known for creating iconic characters with Henry Denton from We are the Ants as my top favorite from the Hutchinverse. Dino and July are both remarkable characters depicting teenage angst and young adult problems at their finest. Rafi Merza is also a lovable side character; he did a great job being Dino's boyfriend.

The storyline is a bit eccentric as it is about the topic of death and what happened if you suddenly came back breathing with life but you are not certain whether you are alive, just not-dead, or a traditional zombie. But the ruined friendhip plot is what bring this book back to must-read table.

The idea of hearing the news of the death of his then-bestfriend made Dino thought twice on why their friendship fell out but when July sat up after he finished making his face up was an idea I could never fathom without my mind blowing off. Another out-of-this-world idea? Yes! A second chance to make things right? Maybe. But this plot surely made me finish this book overnight.

However, one thing that is an authentic YA cliche that made this book an average read in my own opinion is the fact that if only Dino and June became honest to each other and communicate what is what they want to really say, then their friendship will not be ruin in the first place. Classic honesty issue.

Overall, the audiobook experience was great. It's just that I was waiting for something big to happen before July died again but I was left hanging until the end.

RATING: 3stars