Summary and book reviews of Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

Six Feet Over It

by Jennifer Longo

Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2014, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2016, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp

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About this Book

Book Summary

Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo's YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

Home is where the bodies are buried.

Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:

Pre-Need: They know what's up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.
 
At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one's unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world's been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it's time to get a life?

prologue

FOR THE BODY you go to the mortuary. A lot of people don't know this. Kids at school don't know this. They think bodies come to us. They also think we're out here at dusk with a pickax and a kerosene lantern, digging graves with a shovel, rotting, moonlit hands reaching from the upturned earth to pull us down with them. So dumb. Digging a grave really requires a backhoe, not just a shovel, and also we never see bodies, dead or undead. By the time we get them they're drained and dressed or burned, in a box and ready to be buried. It's just a cemetery. We're not living in the "Thriller" video.

What's worse is when actual customers don't get that bodies aren't our thing. It's so bad. Awful. Why doesn't anyone tell them how to do it? The logistics? All we do is graves. That's it. Well, and headstones. But they're pretty much part and parcel, so same diff.

Now the Pre-Needs, they know what's up. They bought ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Most of the story takes place within the graveyard, a rich and atmospheric place. Although the setting and the themes of death are a bit mournful, the story never feels overly depressing, primarily thanks to Leigh's slightly sarcastic voice and dark sense of humor.   (Reviewed by Sarah Tomp).

Full Review (692 words).

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Media Reviews

School Library Journal

Starred Review. An impressive debut novel - simultaneously hilarious, clever, and poignant.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Readers will find themselves rooting for Leigh as she returns to the world around her… Superb. Ages 12-16.

The Bulletin

Starred Review. A vibrant voice. . . [A] perceptive and at times deeply moving view of people in loss. Leigh’s raw deal will elicit indignant sympathy, and readers will rejoice at her triumphant reentry into the world.

VOYA

Starred Review. This was a surprisingly good read, and this reviewer recommends it whole heartedly.

Author Blurb Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times bestselling author
Darkly funny and deeply moving. An original, memorable voice.

Author Blurb Lisa Brown, New York Times bestselling author
Terrific. Longo had me at 'graveyard' and then dug me in deeper with wit, dark humor, and a splendid collection of characters.

Author Blurb Sarah McCarry, author of All Our Pretty Songs
A bighearted, wildly funny, and deeply poignant coming-of-age story about life, love, death, and everything in between.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Day of The Dead

Leigh was born on November 1. The day following Halloween is known as All Saints Day. In Mexico, where Dario, her friend the gravedigger is from, it is also known as Dias de Los Muertos — The Day of the Dead. On Leah's fifteenth birthday, and the first day they meet, Dario gives her a tiny clay skeleton, La Catrina, the patron saint of death. This iconic figure is thought to represent the willingness to laugh at death as well as the fact that regardless of social status or power, we all are eventually made equal.

Although specific customs may vary from town to town in Mexico, generally Dias de Los Muertos (which usually also includes the morning hours of November 2) is a celebration in order to remember the dead in a joyful manner...

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