Title: The Dead Romantics
Author: Ashley Poston
Date of Publication: June 28, 2022
A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
The Dead Romantics is a sweet and inspiring love story about a romance ghost writer (who just so happens to be able to see ghosts), who can no longer write about love, because she no longer believes in it.
Ashley Poston has a fun and humorous writing style. She writes such relatable and effective imagery and inserts clever asides throughout the book, which really helped me as a reader to relate to Florence Day as a character and to visualize the world that I’ve stepped into. Because of the imagery and heavy description, the story is a little slower paced, with more of a focus on setting and character development than plot.
This book deals with the theme of grief and loss in a few different avenues. Florence Day no longer believes in love, ever since her boyfriend of three years betrayed her in the worst way possible (at least, what I believe is the worst way possible, but I won’t state it here, because it’s a minor spoiler). She’s unable to write about love, and she’s dealing with the potential loss of her writing career because of it. She’s a ghostwriter for a famous romance author, and she can’t just switch genres. Florence can also see ghosts, and while she’s spent the better part of a decade ignoring them, in the past she’s helped them to move on, and suffered quite a bit in her home town from bullies and naysayers who didn’t believe in her gift. And finally, her father dies, and she’s forced to go back home and deal with the funeral, facing people she hasn’t seen in ten years, and trying to recover from the loss of the only other person in the world who could relate to her and her gift. Despite the darker theme of grief and recovering from loss, the book never feels too heavy, and it’s a perfect pick-me-up, especially for someone who’s experienced similar losses in their own life.