Drop Dead Gorgeous
Grade : B

My bookshelf has a baker’s dozen of Rachel Gibson’s 2000s-era contemporaries, which are all lighthearted, sexy fluff. When her novels began to take a more chick-lit slant, I drifted on to other contemporary authors and the romantic suspense genre, and she fell off my radar. I was pumped to remedy that with her newest book, Drop Dead Gorgeous. I mean, it’s described as a fish-out-of-water tale and those are always so satisfying, plus the bright cover is so pretty! But I should’ve read the description more closely because the main character is a ghost, and this is a paranormal story. It just didn’t resonate with me. It wasn’t bad, it was just … not what I was expecting.

Modern cinema is dotted with these ‘dying and coming back in somebody else’s body’ tropes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Heaven Can Wait and Freaky? Both great. Heart Condition? Not so much.

Small town Texas girl Brittany Lynn Snider is breaking convention by heading for a Tinder hookup after singing in church. As a small-town southern gal, myself, I can say this is probably where Brittany’s karma zapped her, because nothing good ever comes from getting your freak on after getting your church on. LOL. A fatal car accident nips that date in the bud, and she soon finds herself in Limbo, where it’s just as laden with drama queens as real life. Queueing is not for the faint of heart, and it certainly isn’t the place to be nice, because Brittany soon finds herself left behind in the body of the bitchy, wealthy socialite (Edie) who snakd her spot in Heaven. Now Brittany must learn to live in this new body, as the women who departed it.

The balance of the story is Brittany’s learning to live in her new life, as Edie . Her lack of familiarity with everything is explained away as amnesia, when it’s obviously because Brittany doesn’t know anything about Edie’s life. She picks up with Edie’s former flame, Oliver, a nice guy who notices the change in her but would never imagine the real reason for it in a million years because who switches bodies, right?

I can get behind the fiction piece of transferring the brain's consciousness from one person to another, and Gibson spends a good amount of time addressing many of the funny quirks of becoming someone else … but I wanted to see a little more development of Edie on her own, as opposed to the current life of Edie being a foil to the former life of Brittany.

Rachel Gibson is a bona fide good writer. I love her character development and her humor, and the sentence structure and pacing are smart and satisfying. It’s the story itself that left me feeling a little ambivalent this time. Perhaps it’s the time in which we’re living, what with COVID casting a shadow over any potential lightheartedness in a story dealing with death, but I didn’t get my typical Gibson happy tingles.

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Reviewed by Dolly Sickles
Grade : B

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : May 2, 2022

Publication Date: 04/2022

Review Tags: paranormal

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