Keely will do anything to forget her past. Moving to a new school, she hopes to keep a low profile by keeping her head down. However, when forced on a group camping trip to a remote location in Wales with five peers, she’ll have to find her voice and learn to rely on others again.
You Wouldn’t Catch Me Dead by Tess James-Mackey is centred around Keely, a recluse desperate to keep a low profile in a new town.
Forced to take part in a school camping trip with five of her classmates, she must learn to quickly adapt and interact with others.
Isolated in the Black Mountains in Wales, a freak accident means the tense group must work together to get help. Unfortunately, the area is remote. There is no signal, people or transport nearby.
Like her peers, Keely remains on edge in the wilderness. However, she has more than current events haunting her. In this terrifying situation, she is triggered by her past, swept away often in her grief.
As things continue to go wrong, she becomes suspicious that there’s something nefarious going on. Together, these ambitious students must get help – and quickly.
The turmoil of teenage angst and grief
The novel has a nice pacing. The flashback chapters were useful in adding depth to Keeley’s character and understanding her somewhat steely personality. In addition, the final few chapters were fast-paced, throwing you into turmoil.
The remote setting is spectacularly spooky and sinister. The scenic descriptions add to the uneasy feeling throughout.
I particularly liked the way James-Mackey explored and illustrated grief. I thought it was very realistic and poignant.
Overall a thrilling and at times sinister youth adult novel with well-developed main characters. It’s certainly worth a read in 2024.
You Wouldn’t Catch Me Dead by Tess James-Mackey will be released on January 18 2024 via Hachette Children’s Group.
I personally have read You Wouldn't Catch Me Dead. However, I did receive a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley and this post does contain affiliate links.