She Smells the Dead

She Smells the Dead (Spirit Guide #1) by E.J. Stevens
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Genre: YA Supernatural/Paranormal Fiction
Source: Author

A haunting and original novel from author E.J. Stevens. The story follows Yuki, a high school senior with an unusual talent, she smells dead people. No, they don't smell like rotting corpses, but they do smell like clues to help Yuki solve their mysterious deaths.They are lost spirits and need some resolution in their lives.

This book was pretty good. The premise had me hooked and I really expected to like it more. I felt the writing was a bit choppy. It would go from one subject or action to another without a constant flow. I was left thinking, "What happened to make that transition?". I felt like key occurances were cut out and that left me a little confused.

The story begins as a mystery. Yuki is trying to help the spirit of Jackson Green, then turns into a spiritual journey for Yuki and Calvin. There even ends up being a weird part of the book where in order to call up Calvin's spirit animal Yuki ends up doing a dance and drumming a beat. From a dream sequence Yuki has: "Focus your thoughts on what you require of him and continue to lead him with your drumming. If the situation is urgent drum the beat with your feet as you dance. " It was a little off beat with the feel of the story, misplaced I guess.

I loved Yuki's character, her relationship with Calvin was a little weird at first, very forward and sudden. But, I grew to like them as a couple. They complimented eachother well and I could see their characters grow together throughout the story.

Generally, I enjoy books with more than one supernatural element like Gena Showalter's Intertwined series, but I felt in this book it took away from Yuki's spotlight. The mystery surrounding Jackson Green's death sort of fizzled out. It confused me, and I'm still not really sure who was to blame or what really happen to his sons (I'm pretty sure I get it, but it was left to wilt away in a sense).

Overall, it was an okay read, I kept thinking back to Twilight through a lot of it. And I don't know if that's a good thing for you or a bad thing. In some ways it reminded me of that story, but done in it's own way, just some similarities. Check it out, see if you agree or disagree. I think for sure, fans of the Twilight Saga will find this story appealing.

Also, check out Bree from the Awesome Magic Attic for her review of this book and its' sequel.

Thank you to the wonderful author for the opportunity to review!


  1. Thanks for linking me! :D Have you read the sequel yet? It's definitely worth checking out.

    Am I the only one that thinks Simon and Emma would be totally cute together? Not likely, but I'll keep dreaming :P

  2. I have the sequel and I will definitely be giving it a looksies.

    Simon is way too cocky for Emma, but I don't know. All of their bickering may be pent up emotional frustration, for each other! You may be onto something there!