Cover Image: Funeral Songs for Dying Girls

Funeral Songs for Dying Girls

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I received a free copy of Funeral Songs for Dying Girls from Netgalley and Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.
	Winifred lives in a cemetery with her father, who works in the crematorium. She has many strange adventures in the cemetery, not the least of which is when she meets the ghost of a teen girl named Phil. 
	Love, death, and life become complicated as Winifred’s world is threatening to turn upside down and leave her and her father no choice but to leave the cemetery. And leave the spot where her mother is buried. Grief and love are main themes in this beautiful novel by Cherie Dimaline. 
	Funeral Songs for Dying Girls is a short read, but a deep and echoing one. Its beautiful in its haunting nature, and it’s no doubt the perfect read for spooky season. Queer, indigenous, and haunting, Funeral Songs for Dying Girls is sure to be beloved.
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Funeral Songs for Dying Girls is one of those books that understands what it means to be a teenage girl. 

Like many other novels by Dimaline, this story brilliantly weaves Indigenous personality into an otherwise grim story. From the first page, I loved Winifred, and her cemetery. She felt very familiar to me, and I feel like I was able to connect with the story more because of this. As the story progresses, we learn more about her and her family, and how she wants to be so many things, and can’t find ways to do them all. 

Phil is another wonderful character, and adds into the amazing Indigenous representation, as well as the history behind many missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada and the US. 

While this is a teen novel, there are a few trigger warnings to look up beforehand, but otherwise this is a phenomenal book. Thank you to NetGalley, Tundra Books and the author for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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As my fifth outing with Dimaline’s work, with unfortunately declining enjoyment of the last few, Funeral Songs for Dying Girls had a lot of pressure going in, and it did not disappoint. There’s something so fascinating about seeing the world through the eyes of a teenager written by Dimaline. There was also something innately nostalgic about this particular book for me, maybe it’s the lightly magical YA vibe had diminishing returns with over the last few years, finally connecting with me again through this hopelessly romantic but unflinching sensible protagonist, vaguely reminiscent of Blue Sargent from the Raven Cycle (extremely high praise coming from me). I loved getting to read a sapphic story from Dimaline, and hope for more from her in the future. After tackling ghosts here, witches in VenCo, and the werewolf adjacent rugaroo in Empire of Wild, my only question is, Cherie Dimaline vampire book when? Thank you to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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"Funeral Songs for Dying Girls" by Cherie Dimaline is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of life, loss, and the human experience. Dimaline's prose resonates with deep emotion and a poetic touch, enveloping readers in a world of raw feelings and introspection. The book's intricate narrative weaves together the stories of its characters, creating a tapestry of shared pain and interconnectedness. Dimaline's ability to delve into profound themes while maintaining a compelling plot is commendable. "Funeral Songs for Dying Girls" is a powerful and evocative read that lingers in the mind, reminding us of the fragile beauty and resilience that exists within the human spirit.
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I absolutely loved this book!! I couldn’t put it down.  
I just loved all the characters. I highly recommend this book.
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4.25 stars

I quite enjoyed this book. I always appreciate Cherie Dimaline’s writing, and although this wasn’t my all-time favourite of her books, I really liked the story, and it made me feel a range of emotions. It took me a while to finish, but that’s a result of my strange attention span rather than a reflection of the book. It was a good one, I’ll most likely pick up a copy for my classroom library.
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This is a part of a trend I've been noticing of characters ho are haunted by something in the past who become obsessed with a relationship with a ghost. The ghost takes all of their attention so they don't have to deal with a situation in their life. It creates an odd balance between action and emotional reflection. Plenty of unique details here if you like a more meandering, off kilter book.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Cherie Dimaline can do no wrong. I love everything this author writes and this book was just as amazing and poweful as every other
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What drew me to this title was my past experience with Dimaline's novels. I adore the Marrow Thieves and its sequel, as well as fell for the tingle-inspiring sinister notes of Empire of Wild. While each book is unique in its own right, I knew that something special would happen here and I was right.

FSFDG follows a young girl as she comes into her own while yearning for a mother she didn't get to know and fighting for the only place that she believes holds a connection to her. What will happen if she and her father are forced to move away, are forced to begin anew somewhere far from where she hopes the ghost of her mother still inhabits? All questions Wini asks even as she falls for and is ultimately hurt by her best friend. 

I have always loved how Dimaline makes her characters multi-faceted: she makes them vulnerable, naïve, strong, they make mistakes, and learn from them. This makes it all the more easier for her readers to fall for them and their story. Winifred is just like any teenage girl, falling in love easily, being disappointed, finding her strength, crying, laughing, and being scared. When a ghost story becomes reality, Wini must decide if she is going to be selfish and only wish to speak with this ghost just to make contact with her mother or will she become what Phil needs to finally finish her story?

This is a story about growing and learning, discovering more than what we can see, and finding friends and love along the way.
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Contemporary teen fiction. Coming of age story. It makes me cringe to even think of reading a book with this description; never mind finish it! Lol. But the reality is the added ghost element and a lonely motherless teen who lives on the grounds of a graveyard convinced me that I should read it. Add in that Cherie DiMaline is indigenous herself (as is her main character) and has won many awards; I figured what the heck let’s read it. 

Am I glad I read it? Yes. 
Would I recommend it? Maybe. For a struggling teen, someone trying to cope with loneliness or anyone whose just lost a loved one this could be a very comforting and cathartic read. 
For me, in my current state it was just okay. I see the allure of it and why everyone is ranting and raving about its impact. Alas the reality is that this moment in my life doesn’t need this book. But I’m glad it exists for those who do need it at any given moment. 

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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Read if you like: books on Indigenous identity, Young Adult
Winifred lives in an apartment in a cemetery, where she starts rumours that the cemetery is haunted. But then she meets a real ghost, Phil, who changes her outlook on life.
This book was amazing. Cherie Dimaline is an auto-read author and this exploration on Indigenous identity was very interesting. Winifred and Phil were both so interesting in different ways and I really enjoyed this book.
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Funeral Songs for Dying Girls was a lovely book on grief, anger, and growing up and how a teenager handles it. We get to watch Winnifred evolve throughout the book from the moment her and her father are threatened with a move to the eventually resolution of the situation. Throughout the book, there is great imagery about how Winnifred lives her life in routine, not really existing, much like she is a ghost. When she's introduced to Phil, we get to see how Phil brings out growth in Winnifred. 

Initially, Winnifred wants to utilize Phil to save her home so that her father and her can continue to live in the cemetery, but as time advances and Win and Phil get to know each other, Win has a change of heart and she must stop the ghost tours from hurting her new friend. 

I did find this book slow to start off, but around the middle point, when we get more information on Phil and her life before her death, it picked up. I thought that the way Dimaline wove Phil's story into Win's was elegant and poetic and I loved that Phil was able to help Win come to some sure conclusions of herself and give her the confidence to take the next step in her life. The way that Dimaline weaves hard moments into the story was perfect and there were moments that made me tear up and want to cry and moments that were just tender and sweet.
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I love the way Cherie Dimaline writes and Funeral Songs for Dying Girls is another gorgeous book. I particularly love her characters, lovely and flawed and broken but full of hope.
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I didn't review this on Goodreads because I wasn't wildly enthusiastic - I did like the main character, but felt distanced from her so it was hard to get too invested.
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Funeral Songs for Dying Girls is a book about grief and moving on, being able to accept change. This all starts with Winifred, whose mother died giving birth to her. She's been cast as the pariah for living in a cemetery, as her father is a cremation assistant, and she doesn't want to leave the cemetery because her mother's ashes are interred there. When the owner of the cemetery suggests that they're going to wind down operations with the crematorium, Wini jumps at the change provided by a ghost tour guide. If she can provide a real ghost for the tours, money will start rolling in, and she can stay. Then she meets a real live ghost and has to decide if it's worth casting this ghost she's getting close to as the boogeyman.

I really liked this, although it has an incredibly slow start. Winifred tends to focus on the tiniest parts of daily life, and Dimaline doesn't let us really get a sense of her relationship with her father, which would have been helpful. I was also a little shaky on the ghost's story. Otherwise the writing is beautiful and I think the book comes together nicely in the end.
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Funeral Songs for Dying Girls is a difficult book to read. Not because the writing is hard, but because the concept is hard.

Winfred lives in a cemetery, because that is where her father works. Her mother died giving birth to her, and her white father keeps her ashes in a suitcase under his bed. Sometimes Win goes out wandering in the cemetary at night, and a few times she has been mistaken for a ghost. The local ghost tour wants to make the cemetery part of his stops, but Windfred has met a real ghost, while wondering, and doesn’t want her to be exploited, even though this would bring in needed money to the cemetery.

And through this all, the ghost tells her stories of her life, and asks what she is. She has no idea. She doesn’t feel she can call herself white, but she knows nothing about her mother’s side of family other than one aunt who was kind to her.

There is a lot of soul searching, and other hard bits going on. Through it all, it makes you think. Recommended for the thinking part. But if you don’t want to think what life and love is, you might not want to dive into this book.  Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review
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Thanks to Tundra Books and Netgalley for an ARC of this book!

I’m really sad to say this was a DNF for me. I gave it lots of chances, but as I was over 100 pages in with no suggestion of a plot yet, and no characters I felt invested in, I had to let it go. 

There seemed to be a distinct drop in writing quality from Dimaline’s other novels. As the author has written one of the best books I’ve ever read (The Marrow Thieves) I was totally shocked to encounter multiple near-incoherent sentences throughout. Dimaline has numerous books coming out this year, and I can’t help but wonder if the quality of this book suffered as a result. I will definitely still be checking out Dimaline’s other books, as I hope this one was a one off mishap rather than the norm.

Maybe someday I’ll give it another go, but certainly not any time soon.
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Dimaline captures the complexity of pain beautifully.

There are so many layers to Winifred and this story allows us to experience the pain and honesty head on.

Both the content and writing are amazing.
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Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. Funeral Songs for Dying Girls tells the story of Winifred. She lives above the graveyard and crematorium where her father works and where her mother is buried. She wanders in the graveyard at night and befriends a ghost. When someone sees her, they think the graveyard is haunted. At turns very funny and heartbreaking, this book is an examination of grief and family.
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This was a beautiful and spooky little coming-of-age story.  My favorite part of the was Winnie and Phil’s relationship. Incredibly comforting to see their story of resilience and hope that grows within their connection despite their pasts. 
That being said there were issues I had with the cadence of the story-telling it took me quite some time to get into it. On top of that, there were too many fatphobic instances for a modern book. 

still thankful to have been able to read this ARC
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