Synopsis from the publisher for The Raising by Laura Kasischke (2011):
Last year Godwin Honors Hall was draped in black. The university was mourning the loss of one of its own: Nicole Werner, a blond, beautiful, straight-A sorority sister tragically killed in a car accident that left her boyfriend, who was driving, remarkably—some say suspiciously—unscathed.
Although a year has passed, as winter begins and the nights darken, obsession with Nicole and her death reignites: She was so pretty. So sweet-tempered. So innocent. Too young to die.
Unless she didn’t.
Don't be sucked into thinking this is a book about zombies or vampires or some other form of the living dead by the title and the current emphasis on the paranormal. Well, unless you want to nominate sorority girls as a category of the living dead. . . .
Since the story jumps around in terms of time and which character is providing the point of view, the reader gets a pretty interesting view of the different personalities. I can't say I particularly liked anyone in the book, though I did appreciate the way no one is exactly the way you originally think by the time you see each person through his/her own eyes and those of the other characters.
As for the actual plot, about which I don't really want to say anything specific in order to avoid spoilers, I might argue this book violates Mark Twain's premise about real life (or truth) being stranger than fiction because fiction has to be plausible (stick to possibilities). I definitely found myself thinking more than once, "Really? I don't think so."
If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts, too.
My overall personal rating of The Raising is a B-.