Published May 24th 2011 by Hyperion Books
In the spring of her senior year, Donna Parisi finds new life in an unexpected place: a coffin.
Since her father’s death four years ago, Donna has gone through the motions of living: her friendships are empty, she’s clueless about what to do after high school graduation, and her grief keeps her isolated, cut off even from the one parent she has left. That is until she’s standing in front of the dead body of a classmate at Brighton Brothers’ Funeral Home. At that moment, Donna realizes what might just give her life purpose is comforting others in death. That maybe who she really wants to be is a mortician.
This discovery sets in motion a life Donna never imagined was possible. She befriends a charismatic new student, Liz, notices a boy, Charlie, and realizes that maybe he's been noticing her, too, and finds herself trying things she hadn’t dreamed of trying before. By taking risks, Donna comes into her own, diving into her mortuary studies with a passion and skill she didn’t know she had in her. And she finally understands that moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting someone you love.
Jen Violi’s heartfelt and funny debut novel is a story of transformation—how one girl learns to grieve and say goodbye, turn loss into a gift, and let herself be exceptional...at loving, applying lipstick to corpses, and finding life in the wake of death.
First Line(s):Lila Cardoza is dead and wearing my earrings.
Review: At first glance, Putting Makeup on Dead People is a book about a teenage girl who wants to attend mortuary school and become a mortician. But the real story of this book is about a girl learning to deal with her father's death, her awkward persona, and her mother's need to reclaim her life after loosing and grieving for a husband she loved.
I found myself drawn to Donna Parisi because she was SO awkward and I felt sorry for her that she was not able to see how strong she really was. Donna's not perfect ( alright who is), makes a ton of mistakes, but she is still able to grow throughout the book .
Putting Makeup on Dead People was a tad hard to get through only because I felt it dragged in many parts. If your looking for a new and different book on coming to age, this is the book for you!