Thorn is having a little trouble adjusting to her new school in Nevada. As the goth daughter of the town’s woman preacher, people give her strange looks and make a lot of assumptions about her. What none of them know is that Thorn has a psychic ability that helps her find things. When she finds a locket left on the stage after her school’s talent show tryouts, it introduces a mystery to her, perhaps involving murder. Thorn feels compelled to find out what the locket means and who lost it, all while attempting to find her place within school and her family.
I’m not remotely goth, although I am into creepy things and Halloween. We had plenty of goth kids at my high school, and I never really interacted with them. After reading Buried, maybe I should have tried. Thorn and her friends shun all that is mainstream and love to paint themselves with Halloween makeup and wear Hot Topic-type clothing, but Thorn still has trouble because of how everybody else views her. She wants the ability to be herself, and to dress how she wants, but that same style colors the perception of those around her. Good things we have this story, told in first-person perspective, to draw us into Thorn’s life and outlook.
There are a few red herrings thrown into the mystery, but I felt it was pretty obvious from the beginning who is involved; the test was to see how exactly. There were two major subplots that fleshed out the book nicely. The first was the tension with Thorn’s parents, especially her dad. He can’t understand why she chooses to dress the way she does, and says hurtful things because of it. The second subplot was somebody called the Grin Reaper. This mystery person doles out payback to the bullies at school, all while leaving a calling card of a smiley face.
While Buried didn’t blow my mind, I really enjoyed spending time with it. I’d be happy to continue reading the series as it progresses to see what new mysteries Thorn will solve.