Dearly, Beloved (Gone With The Respiration, #2)

First Lines: When I got to the top of the hill, the zombie caught me.  I dropped my parasol and leather-bound digital diary in shock.  He pulled me to his body from behind, imprisoned my tiny hands in his so I couldn’t fight back, and parted his cold lips at the nape of my neck.

A special thanks to the lovely people at Netgalley who hooked me up with an ARC of this!

So, if you’ve read my review of Dearly, Departed, you know I’m a huge fan of this series.  I thought Departed was seriously amazing.  When I had the opportunity to read this early, I jumped at the chance…even though it means I have to wait even longer than you before the next book comes out.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

In Nora Dearly’s world, coexisting with zombies is nothing new.  Well, it is, but not since the disease known as “The Laz” became so widespread.  Zombies like Bram Griswold and his friends are some of Nora’s closest friends, and she likes it that way.  But not everyone wants to live with zombies so close by.  Tensions are rising between pro- and anti-zombie factions.  It’s dangerous for zombies that are out after dark–and dangerous for the living who support them.  Bram is determined to keep the peace in New London and keep radical groups like The Changed and The Murder from causing too much trouble.  But what happens when Nora ends up in the crosshairs, the one to take down?  How far will Bram and the others go to keep her safe?  How long will Nora let them protect her?

With classes starting this week, I got a little scatter-brained when it came to reading this.  I just didn’t have time, on top of all of my classwork.  But I got through it and really enjoyed it.

I love this series simply for its unique genre blend.  It’s got zombies, Victorian-era values and morals, futuristic elements, love components, and a lot of drama.  But I particularly dig the blend of Victorian-era stuff and futuristic elements.  Because of that, it does have similarities to steampunk without actually being steampunk.

Ugh…did I just say that I dig this?  Yikes.  What era is my slang coming from today?

Anyway, I also really enjoy seeing Nora and Bram.  They are some of my favorite characters in YA lit right now, probably mostly because of their personality similarities to Rose and Dimitri of Vampire Academy.  Nora is impulsive, but smart and caring.  Bram is level-headed and reasonable while being 100% devoted to keeping safe those he loves.  It’s the kind of couple that makes me melt into a puddle under my chair as I read because they are just so friggin’ cute.

That said, there were some things that I have issues with.  Nothing major, but it’s kind of a rehash of what I didn’t so much enjoy about the last book.  By my count, there are 6 different narrators in this story.  Six.  Now, I realize that this book is nearly 500 pages and it manages to pull this off beautifully, but it’s just distracting how the story keeps switching characters every chapter.  And there are just some characters I don’t like, so I don’t want to see the story through their eyes.

Also, while the ending was fabulous and suspenseful, there wasn’t a whole lot of suspense before that.  The “mystery” that Bram and Nora are trying to figure out is solved for us before they even know it’s something they need to worry about.  Does that make sense?  We know what’s going on way before they do.  So what could have been even more suspenseful was just kind of exciting.  It could have been a lot more super.

Overall, though, it’s definitely worth a look.  I very much love this series.

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