Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Five Parts Dead by Tim Pegler

Dan has dodged the Reaper again. If he were a cat, five of his nine lives would be gone—when his mates didn’t even get second chances. He’s still grieving their deaths when he’s dragged on a family holiday at a remote island lighthouse.
Left alone, at what feels like the end of the earth, Dan starts sensing a mysterious girl. Is she a dream? Or has he somehow hooked into the spirit world?
The lighthouse logbook helps illuminate some of the girl’s tragic story but Dan will have to dig deeper to find answers and the inspiration to embrace life again.
Tim Pegler gets inside the minds and hearts of teenagers and captures their voices—spot on.

Five Parts Dead would have to be among one of the best books for teens I have read. 
Tim Pegler is some sort of plotting genius. He has two timelines, Dan's present day holiday at the island (which also includes flashbacks to his life before the accident) and the second story of the people who lived at the light house which is unveiled through the light house log and some research at a local museum. 

The pacing is so well done that everything unfolds brilliantly, always leaving more mystery and secrets for the reader - the whole mass of story and emotions and mystery is all explored in just under 200 pages and it's incredible how much power and emotion is packed into such a short space. One of the dangers of weaving different time lines and characters together is that I often end up being more invested in one of the stories than the other. Not so here - in fact, I felt deeply immersed in all the characters and their journeys.
It's eerie. Okay, so I was reading it home alone in the middle of the night during a coastal storm. And, initially,  I felt freaked out in a goosebumpy delicious way which then changed to a complete wide-eyed horror as the story progressed. There's some gore and creepy stuff going down.
It has a very sexy, very teen love story in there.
Not only is the story stunning - both timelines, but the characters, make this book far more than just a captivating story. They're the kind of characters that feel real, that are captured in smart, succinct dialogue and individual nuances. They're characters that make you ache and laugh and it was so easy for me to visualise them and find myself caring for them immensely. 
Me and Five Parts Dead
I don't cry in books. Sometimes I call books tear jerkers because they really tug at my emotions. I was happily grinning away one page and completely invested in the story, madly flipping through pages, and then - BAM - the next minute my eyes have welled up and tears are spilling over and I felt like I had been ripped open. It's been a long time since I've bawled in a book.
Other cool cool stuff:
  • Pip (funky 17 year old girl)- reads Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, out in the sun on the island. Loved that :)
  • Dan's a twin. I love twin stuff in books. And this is cool as his twin is a sister.
  • the car crash scene is the best I have ever read, anywhere. Talk about graphic - I was wide-eyed and hit hard. Mesmerising prose. I don't think the images created in my mind will ever leave me.
  • there's some freaky haunting stuff in here. Including an exorcism scene - which is creepier as it's notated factually in the light house log book. 
  • there's some cannibalistic stuff going down. Everyone loves a bit of cannibalism, yeah :)
  • I got right inside Dan's head space - such an honest and funny and heart-felt male POV. I really love the guy. And he's having such a rough time...

Recommended: Five Parts Dead is on my favourites shelf (obviously) and I can't wait until my boys (and my girl) are old enough to read it. It's a perfect novel for all ages, that will capture the imagination of all readers - but it's especially brilliant for boys and reluctant readers. This is a book that will not only mesmerise readers, but one that will linger. And did I mention it's funny? I so love books that make me grin :)

I personally can't wait to read it again.
Five Parts Dead is available in Australia now

Five Parts Dead @ goodreads

Five Parts Dead @ The Book Gryffin "I have oft praised Melina Marchetta for her beautifully developed characters and till I read Tim Pegler, I had thought she was alone in her ability to make me long to meet her protagonists in real life. Not only did I spend a great deal of time yearning for Tim’s characters to be real, I have spent a significant amount of time thinking about them since I closed the cover on Five Parts Dead."

Snapshot of a novel Tim Pegler's written notes - his first ideas/inspiration for the novel. This is completely awesome!

Reviews of Five Parts Dead Professionals who are so more eloquent and succinct than I and who love this book as much as I do.


  1. Awesome review. Sounds like it has got at all - humour, romance and heart. Another book you have sold me on.

  2. between you and tye, i'm definitely going to read this one.

  3. Thanks E J :)

    @ Nic and Nicole. It really is so amazingly good. So brilliant you guys live in Australia and can get your hands on a copy!


  4. Fantastic review Nomes! Can't wait to read it :)

  5. Oh, great review! You always find the most intriguing books! I'll definitely have to look and see if my bookstore carries this.

  6. Another great review!I have discovered some great books through your reviews. This one sounds great too!

  7. so i'm definetly reading this one, you've made it sound so good. and it's topped off with a markus zusak mention.
    i'm not really a cryer when it comes to books either. the only book i've ever cried while reading was 7 little australians. tht was a very sad ending.

  8. I've seen this one around and was a little sceptical about reading it - but now that you've mentioned cannibalism and exorcisms, woah, am I in!

    Thanks for the lovely review - you always have me craving more books!
    How's your NaNo project(s) going?

  9. Humourous and heartbreaking..you don't really get to see much of that. Which is what makes me want to read this one.

    And as usual, your review is awesomesauce.

  10. I've seen this one before, and the cover didn't really draw me in, but I thought it sounded intersting. But after reading this review, I'm totally getting it -- I'm a sucker for multi-layered plotlines, combined with emotional resonance (btw, I love it when I have that bawling reaction to a book. Totally weird to say I enjoy crying, but I just love when I get so caught up in it, haha).

    And I agree with Bee! Your review is made of awesomesauce :D

  11. Oh man you just keep giving me more books to put on my list of must have now. If the book is a even half as good as your review, I have to have it. Going now to see when I can get my hands on it.

  12. ooooh, you are the master of the kick a** review. This sounds fabulous, and I love a male protag and a male author in YA. Cool!

  13. yep, straight to the tbr list! Ps, found a second hand copy of Brown Skin Blue last weekend at a local fete - if it wasn't for your review I would've passed straight over it. I let out a little excited woot when I saw it on the pile - the lady tending the stall thought I was a bit odd - whatever :-)

  14. Ok, this sounds incredible! I've never heard of it before, but I love the cover, and the story sounds just awesome. Thanks for the brilliant review and for bringing it to my attention! :)

  15. Nomes, you have done such an EPIC job of reviewing possibly one of my very favourite books this year!!!!
    I am SOOOOOOO glad you loved it!!!!
    What a gorgeously written review!!!
    Tye :)

    PS- How goes Nano?

  16. G'day Nomes - many thanks for the ripper review. Consider me blushing.

    Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about 5PD.

    Best wishes,


  17. Oh. My. GollyGeeGoodness!

    Nomes!!! Tim said thanks!!! Mate, that is way awesome :-)

  18. did you read 'game as ned'? i LOVED it. i haven't read this one yet, but it's way up there on the list.
    (sorry to be spamming your blog tonight! i feel like i've missed many of your posts about books i've read/wanted to read)


Thanks for the commenty love :)