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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Writer's Wednesday: Bad Girls Don't Die Book Review

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
Publisher: Hyperion (June 22, 2010)
Paperback: 346 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased

When Alexis’s little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks nothing of it. Kasey is a weird kid. Period. Alexis is considered weird, too, by the kids in her high school, by her parents, even by her own Goth friends. Things get weirder, though, when the old house they live in starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green and she speaks in old-fashioned language, then forgets chunks of time.
Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey’s shoulder. The formerly gentle, doll-loving child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?

REVIEW: I have to admit I bought this book simply because I’m shallow. ☺ A friend of mine picked up this book and showed it to me. It was completely creepy—which apparently I’m into lately—and so I flipped to the back cover to see what it was all about it. And I didn’t read any further than the first sentence. It was about DOLLS! Probably a creepy doll. So, I bought it, set it in my TBR pile and promised myself it would be the first book I read when I finished first round edits on my dystopian.

Which I did!

I started the book the day after Thanksgiving, while I drove around waiting for my husband to do some of his shopping and, to be completely honest, I wasn’t really all that impressed. To me it started off slow, but it quickly picked up pace –within that first chapter—and I couldn’t put it down.

I had really only one expectation going into it and that was it needed to be creepy. I was not disappointed. Almost from the beginning we’re treated to a scene where the heroine—Alexis, or Lexi as she’s sometimes called--is outside her house in the middle of the night and taking pictures of her house, when a strange light appears out of nowhere. She takes a few photographs of it, then walks into her house, so as not to spook her kid sister. The light follows and ends up finding her room by “sitting” outside her window in a tree.
Then is a bit of a boring part, but it really couldn’t be helped and really helped develop Alexis to the reader. We’re shown that she’s a loner and that she hates the cheerleaders, especially a girl named Pepper (but really who wouldn’t hate a girl named Pepper. LOL. Except Pepper Pots from Iron Man, that is. Can’t hate her. :D) who was instrumental in forcing her best friend to leave the state because she was teased so much because of her weight.

We’re also introduced to the “hero,” Carter when he smacks Lexi in the head with a door—accidentally, of course.

After all the introductions to the secondary characters (Pepper, Kasey, Carter, and another cheerleader named Megan) and some whining about her parents, the story really takes off and it was almost impossible to put down.

From creepy dreams, to doors that open for themselves, and even a possession or two it was perfectly hair-raising and sinister. And for the most part kept me on the edge of my seat asking, “What the heck is going on here?!”

Even the ending—which I will NOT spoil for you here—was superb. I usually find myself slightly disappointed with how an author chooses to end a book, but this time I was only disappointed it was over!

Characters: Alexis is the perfect teenage girl. Riddled with angst, but not in a way that makes you groan because it’s clichéd. She has a love/hate relationship with her parents and sister, as is normal for girls that age, and something any teenager—or young in heart—can relate to. She’s tough and doesn’t let anyone boss her around, and while she’s a rule breaker, she does so on her own terms. Not to fit in. In fact, she could care less about fitting in. She just wants to be left alone by everybody. Carter on the other hand, is practically perfect in every way, and completely the opposite of Alexis. It makes for some great conflict. And while this book wasn’t a romance, the romantic elements were awesome because of the chemistry between these two characters. Kasey is also really well developed. I found myself vacillating between feeling sorry and worried for her and angry at her. Not a comfortable spot to be in, considering, but one of the elements that really drove this story forward.

Cover: As I mentioned before this was the main reason I purchased this book. It was exceptionally creepy, yet beautiful at the same time. Honestly I’d love to have the picture blown up and framed, so I can place this in my home, I love it that much.

If you’re looking for a creepy thriller that will make you sleep with the lights on and the covers over your head, this is the book for you. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next two books.

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