In Dead Girl Walking, by Linda Joy Singleton (my review), a wrong turn at a local cemetery almost sent Amber on her way up and out of life. But with the help of her dead grandmother, she became instead a Temp-Lifer, inhabiting the body of another girl while that one's soul got a chance to rest. In Dead Girl Dancing, she did it again--this time becoming her boyfriend's older sister. Now, in Dead Girl In Love (Flux, 2009, 282pp, YA), Amber's assignment is a person even closer to her--her best friend, Alyce. When Amber wakes up as Alyce and finds herself in a coffin (fortunately still in the funeral home display room), she starts off on a journey into Alyce's life that shows her things about the person she thought she knew so well that she had never dreamed of. Two bad dates in Alyce's life later (and what will Alyce say when she knows!), Amber realizes what it is that Alyce is really looking for--the answer to a dark family secret.
In the meantime, Amber is getting into hot water on her own accord. The Dark Lifer who was out to get her in the earlier books is back, seeking Amber's help to find redemption. But although Amber is enthralled and attracted, what about her own boyfriend?
This series is smart and funny, with the light humor of the language and its wry portrayal of the potential pitfalls of being in someone else's body enough to thoroughly entertain, while touching on genuine problems and emotional issues.
This is a excellent series for kids at the beginning of adventuring into the YA section--it's not dark, violent, or relationship obsessed, but still has tang (zest? zip?). Having said that, I want to make it clear that hardened veterans of YA fantasy (me being a case in point) should enjoy it too, as a pleasantly diverting read.
Here's one of my favorite quotes:
"Walking among rows of flowers, shrubs, and trees with a dead guy who spouted poetry and stole bodies was weird, but finding out that he wanted me to save his soul was weird squared to infinity." (Page 88)
And here's the story, at Beside the Norm, of how the Dead Girl series took twenty years to come to life. And here are other reviews, at Jen Robinson's Book Page and at Sharon Loves Books and Cats.
(finished copy of the book received from Flux)