Sunday, March 27, 2011

She Smells The Dead by E.J. Stevens

She Smells the Dead (Spirit Guide, #1)

It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television.


The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and annoying Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears. Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

E. J. Steven's novel is a combination of paranormal romance and mystery with a good bit of humor thrown in.  The main character Yuki isn't really named that, but chose that nickname over her real name Vanessa.  You'll have to read the book to see what the nicknames she's been through to see why she chose a nickname.  The novel takes place in high school in a small Maine town where Yuki's best friends are Calvin and Emma.  Calvin is a huge meat eater, but into meditation and spiritual matters.  Yuki is a vegetarian and Emma is completely Vegan.  It makes for fun and interesting fodder at the lunch table.

The mystery begins when Yuki is overpowered with the smell of vinegar.  Both Calvin and Emma know about her strange "talent" and help her in her sleuthing to find the ghost that is connected to the smell.  She can't see him or talk to him.  She only has a smell to go by.  Her parents don't know about her talent so she works around that.  And she has to rely on her friends for rides as she doesn't have her driver's license yet, afraid a scent will overtake her and she'll pass out while driving.

She has the hots for the bad boy in school Garrett Hamlin but suddenly finds herself attracted to Calvin.  She soon finds out why and things get really strange from there.  And that's saying a lot since she can smell dead people.

This is an easy to finish in one night book.  The writing flows quickly, there are no gaps in the story that need explaining except maybe how Yuki came to have her talent.  But the story builds momentum leading to the next novel.  There are no cliffhangers.  It ends with a good conclusion but you know there is more to come.  I loved the story between Cal (vin) and Yuki.  They'd obviously been friends a long time and they are so opposite it is hard to believe they are friends.  She's as goth as they come  and he's as outdoorsy as they come, yet they are perfect for each other.  He calls her his "Princess Dung Beetle" which she sometimes likes.  You'll have to read to see how that came about.  There are no betrayals in this book, everyone is a good down to earth loyal friend.  The story is told from Yuki's perspective, first person narrative so we get a chance to see inside her head.  Her observations, especially in high school are funny.

I really loved this story.  The romance was just enough.  The paranormal was definitely something new and it wasn't just the smelling dead people.  I left out a big part so I don't spoil it for you.  And the strong friendships were nice to see.  The biggest villain at high school this time was a "jock" and not a girl.  So yay for the girls we aren't as bitchy as we're portrayed to be!!  At least not in this novel.

This novel is G rated.  Anyone that likes paranormal romance/mystery should enjoy this quick read.

Heather in Sandwich

Look for my review of the second book in this series in a few days

This came in my Spirit Storm Prize Pack and it was everything it promised to be!


  1. I liked She Smells the Dead but I don't think it lived up to what was promised. The ending was especially disopointing because it's like the story gets cut short and your expected to wait for the next book to find out what happens next. The plot is built up well...but there is ultimatley not much of a climax to the story.

    Glad you enjoyed it though :)

  2. This is an excellent story and Yuki ranks right up there with Lisbeth Sandler of the Millenium Trilogy as two of the most unique and enjoyable female characters I've read.
    Mike Draper

    PS Stop over at my blog and see my book giveaway.

  3. No you're right there isn't really a climax in this book. It's building to the next book and setting us up for what's to come. I still enjoyed every bit of it. I'm sorry you were disappointed. I didn't feel a bit let down. Mystery was solved and questions were answered. Powers explored. Plenty to keep me interested.


  4. Definite yay for no cliffhanger! I love the uniqueness of this premise and it seems like the characters are well developed and interesting which is always the element that attracts me to a book the most. Really nice review Heather!

  5. Great review Heather. I love the cover of this book. I like the plot of falling for her best guy friend a lot. :)


  6. This book sounds so interesting to me. It's on my wish list and I keep watching the amazon price. I might just have to get it from inter library loan-reviews seem mixed on it.....

  7. Sounds like a well rounded book. I hope I enjoy this book just as much as you have!

    Such a lovely review!

    Please do stop by for a crumpet, find out about a new MeMe & to check out my newest giveaway :)

    Mad Scientist
    Steampunkery & Book Reviews
    Forbidden Steam  Adult- even the Mad Scientist gets naughty!

  8. Oh this book sounds interesting - my heroine can tune into the dead too. And that cover is beautiful!! Great review here Heather as always. Shah /.x

  9. I'm downloading this to my kindle today! Love the reveiw...and the comments have me intrigued....


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