All My Friends Are Still Dead: 08/07/16
All My Friends Are Still Dead by Avery Monsen is the follow up to All My Friends Are Dead. The dinosaur is still dead, his friends are still dead, and he's found other still dead friends. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. That's the tl:dr version of the review.
So rather than go into a lengthy review for a short, novelty book, I'm going to reminisce — not about dead friends (though I have some, everyone who lives long enough, does). Rather, I want to think about the books and the person who gave me this one.
In 2010 when the first book came out, I was an active member of a local Bookcrossing group. One of the other members brought along this book to exchange and I took it on a lark. It was short, cute in a dark humor way, and I knew I could read it, review it, and pass it along all by next month's meeting.
I have since learned that's never the case. It's not that I can't do those things. Rather, it's that books I think are a quick, one time, lark of a read, end up becoming the absolute favorite of one or more of my family members.
In all fairness, Monsen and John's book looks like a children's picture book. Heck, Jory John has even co-authored some children's books such as The Terrible Two and The Terrible Two Get Worse. So with hindsight, it shouldn't be a surprise that the All My Friends books would appeal to children.
Both my son and daughter fell head over heels for the first book. He was eight and she was four. It's so simplistic in its vocabulary, both could read it. And read it, they did. And argue over who got to read it next. It was the hotly contested book for about a year, being included in the nightly bedtime stories.
I never did manage to release that copy. We still have it. Rather, the children still have it in their bedroom library. I had pretty much forgotten about it.
My son, it turns out, has not forgotten about it. He recently went on an end of middle school trip to Washington D.C. As a souvenir / thank you gift for letting him go and paying for his trip, he brought home All My Friends Are Still Dead. He brought it home as a representation of how important the trip was to him by giving me the sequel to his first favorite grown up book.
So to you, these books are probably just novelty books. To me, now, they are extra special. They are sentimentally special.