John Belushi is Dead
Author: Kathy Charles
Genre: Young Adult
Date Published: August 24th 2010
IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK.
Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.
What can I say about John Belushi is Dead? Maybe that it is a dark read, and sometimes uncomfortable to continue reading.
Hilda has a morbid interest in death, especially the deaths of the famous. After her parents both die in a car accident she moves in with her aunt, and befriends Benji, who is just as fascinated with death. We are introduced to Hilda’s and Benji’s weird attraction to the deaths of celebrities from the very beginning during their trips to visit the sites of some of the killings/overdoses(whatever killed them). One particular excursion leads them to an apartment of an older man, Hank who lives in the apartment that a down and out actor killed himself many years before.
I really don’t know why I bought this book, because I can’t even relate to any of it. I am so not into the whole death thing, not even curious, but I am glad I read it. Even with it being out of my comfort zone I was enthralled of the whole thing. How can someone be interested in this kind of stuff, it’s depressing.
As the book progresses you sense Hilda is changing. I love when by the end of the book the main protagonist learns something about herself, and grows. Benji freaked me out. Seriously! At first I really didn’t understand the connection between Hilda and Hank but as you read you begin to understand. It’s all part of Hilda’s growth, in my opinion.
After reading John Belushi is Dead I had to pick up something light and fluffy. Weirdly, I actually liked this book..I liked it a lot.