|Now||2019||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio||Artwork||WIP|
Three Quarters Dead: 05/24/19
Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck is a YA horror that builds its narrative around elements of the road narrative spectrum. Kerry has never been a cool kid until high school when the three most popular girls invite her to join their clique. It's a year of wild abandon until Kerry misses a text and ends up being the only survivor of the four.
Weeks later, after the funerals, as Kerry is trying to get on with her life, she receives a text from them. The message says that they are at an aunt's penthouse in the city and she should join them.
Although she knows they are dead, there is something about the text that can't be ignored. Kerry can't help but heed their invitation. Like a moth to a flame, she's drawn to the penthouse party.
In my October 2018 essay on the orphan uhoria blue highway piece of the road narrative spectrum, I argued that Three Quarters Dead is a modern retelling of The Sentinel by Jeffrey Kovitz (1974). The Catholic church has been replaced with the hierarchy of high school cliques.
Looking just at Three Quarters Dead we find Kerry as the sole survivor of the popular girl clique. She is the surviving quarter. For the road narrative spectrum, that makes her an orphan traveler (FF) and gives her access to orphan magic. That magic will be her means of partying one last time with her clique.
As this is a horror novel, the destination isn't the city, nor is it home (the penthouse). Instead, it is uhoria (CC) — a place out of time. In this case, the time element is rendered through the return of the "three quarters dead." Are they ghosts? Zombies? Ghouls? Whatever they are is never fully established. What is, is their desire to have that last party and this time include Kerry from party through disastrous car crash death; the event she missed by ignoring her texts that weekend.
The route is the blue highway (33). It is the winding country road where the three quarters died. This is the place Kerry is ultimately being lured to. It is the place she has fight going to in order to survive and return to the present.