Books & More from the Teen Scene

Book reviews and other reflections from one of Oregon's young adult librarians

“Putting Makeup on Dead People” by Jen Violi April 29, 2012

Filed under: Fiction,Realistic,Young Adult — hilariouslibrarian @ 8:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Putting Makeup on Dead People cover

Images courtesy of

The Facts

336 pages; published May 2011

The Basics

Donna Parisi has been living in slow motion since her father died four years ago. Now a senior in high school, she finds herself strangely drawn to a career as a mortician. She is pulled into unexpected friendships, new challenges, and finally finds the courage to take risks and face her grief.


A lot of authors have a good idea for a story, but it is a rare talent to tell that story so skillfully that that reader becomes fully engulfed in the world of the characters. Violi has written a funny, sad, hopeful, frustrating, invigorating story. I both wanted desperately to see how it would turn out, and felt sad as I approached the final pages because I already knew I would miss them.


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