Monday, January 12, 2015

REVIEW: Cooper Bartholomew is Dead by Rebecca James

Cooper Bartholomew's body is found at the foot of a cliff.


That's the official finding, that's what everyone believes.
Cooper's girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They'd been
happy, in love. Why would he take his own life?

As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply
into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and
her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal.
Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem?
Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?

A gripping new novel from the author of Beautiful Malice and Sweet Damage.

Purchase: The Book Depository 

My Thoughts:

That was the thing about people like Cooper. They were so noticeable to us, they loomed so large and bright on our social radars, and yet to them we were barely blips. We knew stuff about them, we talked about them and watched them. We dreamed of being invited to their stupid parties. But they knew nothing about us. Not our names, not even our faces. They were indifferent. They made us feel small and boring. They made us feel invisible.

I had been wanting to read a Rebecca James book for the longest time, and when I saw Cooper Bartholomew is Dead I was immediately intrigued and excited to read it. I then saw that a trusted blogger friend gave it a glowing five star review so I was even more determined that this was going to be the first delve into this authors work.

The title alone tells you that this book is not going to be one that has you laughing and feeling all kinds of happy vibes.  And once you read the synopsis, you're left in no doubt as to what the book is about. But in saying that, this book is full of mystery and intrigue. Even though I knew that Cooper was going to die, I was engrossed from start to finish.

The story is told from multiple perspectives which allows for a complete picture of what everyone is thinking and feeling. It also moves from past to present. Normally, that in itself would be daunting as you try to work your way through a story, but the author worked it perfectly. At any one stage I suspected someone of foul play or sinister motives. And when I thought that I had things all figured out, something would happen and I'd have to throw everything I thought out the window. For me, that was the best part of the story. I was constantly kept on my toes and guessing what had happened and who was involved. And that was the case right up till the very end. It was mysterious and intriguing the whole way. 

All of the characters were complex and well fleshed out. They all had issues that could have impacted on Cooper and his death. Their relationships with Cooper were all complex, and each was different. There was never any doubt how much Cooper was loved, but there was a whole lot of jealousy and anger mixed in with that. 

And though I’d read the books and seen the movies and talked about and dreamed of it endlessly, I’d never realised that love could be so intense and so magic, so completely and utterly consuming. 
I’d never realised that life could be so sweet.

The one downfall for me was the relationship between Cooper and Libby. For some reason I just wasn't completely on board with it. I'm not sure if it felt rushed, or if it was just lacking in something, or maybe it was a combination of the two. I liked them well enough. In fact they were both great characters. And there were moments when I got their connection. But those moments were unfortunately fleeting. 

This being my first Rebecca James read, I was more than impressed with her writing, and that guarantees that I will be reading many more books from this author in the future. 

The world is simply less without him in it. And for me it will always be that way. Less colourful. Less magic. Less.

4/5 Wonderfully Mysterious Stars.

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin for providing me with this review copy.


  1. Love this review Tracey! I've been eyeing this book for awhile, it sounds interesting! Might have to add it to my TBR :)

    1. Thanks so much Courtney! If you get around to reading it you'll have to let me know what you thought. :)

  2. Awesome review Tracey! I loved this book as well, I thought it was done really well even though we knew what was going to happen in the end. Rebecca James is one of my auto-buy authors.

    1. Thanks so much Jeann!! I will definitely be picking up more of her work.


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