This was by all means, dark and satisfying. Even for a middle grade book, this was one which did truly explore the depths of being exploited and alone. With no one to stand up for them.
A tale of a lonely girl and the way that many take advantage of her, when she does something that is so necessary. A thankless job but none of them take her seriously.
I greatly enjoyed this, because of the way that it was told and Laylee’s plight was highlighted. Through her thoughts that she simply moves on without care, even when they often mistreated her.
That what she does is so important yet often ignored. That the dead were simply left on her doorstep to deal with. And she wasn’t even paid enough. I say that I enjoyed this because of the way this issue was so clearly explored, the kind of hopelessness she faced. The situation she was stuck in.
Like many children who are still doing child labour, because if they did not do it, they will never get fed. I appreciate what this story is telling, as much as Laylee doesn’t have a choice.
And the emotions she felt, all the time were so incredibly well done. I felt for her, I understood her. She simply did what she thought was best, she accepted her situation because trying to fight it was hard. Very hard. That there was little way that she could have won.
And Alice and Oliver, although I didn’t read the previous book I liked them. They truly were of aid to Laylee as much as Benyamin was to her. They were her friends, and grew to be.
As for the magic here, the ideas are well explored and developed. Such as how the dead rises, and how they need to be washed. Otherwise they will never move on, and if waited too long they will linger on the earth.
As such, I say that this is a book that should exist. It is relevant, it talks about something that should have been done. Such as the emotions that Laylee bottles up from years of exploitation, mistreatment. That when it comes up, it is scary. In this case, it is so.
But Laylee is still a better person than they were at the end of the day, she simply wanted to be respected and paid for her work. Nothing more, and well isn’t that all we wish for too?
Rating: 5 out of 5