Earthly Things is a supernatural mystery from Julian Vaughn.
Sensitive fourteen-year-old Dexter Bestwick is at the park with his girlfriend Jamie when his father murders him for stealing something from his locked room. Still around after his death to witness the ensuing damages, he aches to protect his first, young love from being a victim. Yet he’s afraid the eternal light will grow brighter and claim him, and that Jamie will soon suffer the same fate...
Earthly Things is a touching and fast-paced supernatural mystery that will appeal to fans of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
Julian Vaughn is a pseudonym of author Lee Thompson. I'm a huge Lee Thompson fan, and although he is becoming a master of many genres, his young adult/coming of age stories are where I find him at his best. Books like Before Leonora Wakes, Within This Garden Weeping, and now Earthly Things are among my favorites.
Earthly Things begins with the (almost) coming of age story of Dexter. We find out early on that Dexter is going to die young. The first half of Earthly Things gives us a glimpse into the often heartbreaking and at times endearing life of Dexter.
Dexter does meet an untimely death (this is not really a spoiler, guys), but the first person narrative continues on in the same vein as The Lovely Bones. I loved this point of view. This is not the first time Thompson has tackled a complicated point of view. It is apparently one of his many talents.
Earthly Things is a brutal book at times. It's heartwrenching, but it's also a great mystery and just a really great read. Even though I couldn't relate to the characters because their reality was so far from my own, I still felt connected to them and emotionally invested in them which I attribute to some really great writing.
9/10: Highly Recommended