Mortal Remains

Mary Ann Fraser. Sterling, $18.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4549-3948-1
Lily McCrae, 18, would much rather talk to the cadavers she prepares at her family’s financially struggling funeral home than to her living peers, many of whom have mocked and bullied her all her life. When an explosion levels the nearby Lassiter house, the residence of “the boy at the heart of [her] darkest secret,” Lily is shocked to discover that Adam, the boy, survived by being trapped in a mysterious underground shelter. Though Adam, who speaks only in “carefully measured” truths, doesn’t remember her, Lily feels both a connection and an obligation, taking him in and helping him reacclimate. But when evidence surfaces to suggest that the real Adam is dead and this one is an imposter, the duo must get to the heart of an alchemical enigma that could change the world, or at least save the funeral home. Picture book creator Fraser (Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than-Bigmouth Bass) centers the growing romance between Lily and Adam, but this YA debut’s real strength rests in Lily’s self-confidence, respect for her deceased clients and their loved ones, and familial drive. Adam’s underlying nature provides plenty of storytelling fuel to bring this eerie, Jewish mythology–inspired tale to a satisfying conclusion. Ages 12–up. Agent: Abi Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 02/04/2021
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4549-4408-9
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