Bury My Deep by Christopher Pike

(No Series)
Young Adult

Jean is on her way to Hawaii for a week of fun in the sun. But the vacation gets off to a gruesome start. The boy sitting beside her on the plane suddenly chokes and dies. Jean tries to push the incident out of her mind when she arrives on the island, but that's impossible. Part of the reason is because Mike keeps coming back to her in her dreams. Horrible dreams filled with cold blood.
Two of Jean's friends are waiting for her in Hawaii—Mandy and Michele. They have already made friends with two young men who teach scuba diving at the hotel, Dave and Johnny. Jean and Johnny quickly become friends. But there are problems in paradise. Dave and Johnny have recently lost a partner in the ocean. No one knows how he died. No one can find his body. But then Jean finds Mike's body. It isn't where it's supposed to be, and it seems as if it's still got some life in it.

Christopher Pike has an amazing endowment for winding together complex, deep plots, especially for young adult tales. Bury Me Deep isn’t the most composite of the lot, but it still harps an intriguing tale that’s a mystery from day one. Jean gets on a plane headed for Hawaii , to meet two other teen girl friends for a week of paradise. Next to her seat is a boy, Mike, who never reaches his destination. Instead, he starts to mysteriously suffocate, and then falls away dead, in front of Jean’s horrified eyes. Not the best start to a vacation, Jean can’t shake the feeling of dread as she tries to make the best of what’s left for her on the trip.

Finding that her two friends have enrolled the three in scuba diving glasses, taught of course by two attractive men, the five is soon constantly bombarded by one terrible occurrence after another, with none of them making much sense. After being plagued by ominous dreams of the dead boy and finding a skull in an underwater cave, Jean must unravel this mystery before it gets the best of her.

The book never bores, keeping action and interest levels high. The mystery, told through only Jean’s eyes, leaves the reader unsure of what is happening, although it was a bit of a disappointment to guess the potential culprit(s) halfway through the tale. Still, reading to the end proved to be an enjoyment, even if guesses prove right, and as is usual Pike style, the words never grow stale as they work their magic upon the reader.

Characterization is strong, but still a little weaker than other Pike books. He generally writes very real type people for the teen audience, over what many of the modern authors fail to do, not creating simple innocent dolls that scream of Brady Bunch marathons. Here Jean is a bit stiff at first, but gradually warms into a full-blooded human being. Her friends are cliché to an extent, but still likable, and the men come through as more easily realistic, perhaps because Jean doesn’t know them before the story starts, not forcing Pike to do a downplay of their general personalities.

While not as darkly orientated as Whisper of Death and some other Pike pieces, it still has grim layers, bizarre parental relationships, and tragedy that’s as adult as any.

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