Title: Bad Girls Don’t Die
Author: Katie Alender
Release Date: April 21, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion Books CH
Genre: Teen, Mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.
When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. 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.
Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?
I first heard about Bad Girls Don’t Die through The Debutante Ball, which is a grog (group blog) that I read regularly. Each year, the Ball picks a select group of female debut authors. Anyone who regularly reads my reviews knows that I can’t praise the Debs highly enough – they have never led me astray, and I firmly believe they never will.
Bad Girls Don’t Die is actually a YA book, though it definitely appeals to adults as well. Alexis is a sympathetic character who is realistically written. It’s very easy to believe that Alexis is an actual teenager. She is quick to judge those around her, but I loved that she was willing to second guess those judgments when circumstances called them into question. She wasn’t afraid to ask for help or admit when she was wrong, which is key in a novel such as this. It wasn’t what I expected from her at all (I was afraid she would be a stereotypical character) and I loved it. The same can be said for many of the other characters in the book – don’t make the mistake of underestimating them.
The best part of Bad Girls Don’t Die was its delicious creepiness. It’s not scary, really, but if you get freaked out easily then this is not a book you want to be reading at night by yourself. At its core, Bad Girls Don’t Die is a ghost story. More than once, I had chills running down my spine as I endeavored to figure out exactly what was going on. If you like the wonderful creepiness of gothic mysteries, then you will love this novel.
If you are a fan of the new, edgy turn that YA fiction has taken, or enjoy mysteries/ghost stories, I can’t recommend Bad Girls Don’t Die highly enough. I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent with this novel, so much so that I read it in one sitting. I can’t wait to see what Katie Alender does next – dare I hope for a sequel to Bad Girls Don’t Die?
Thank you to the author/publisher for sending me this book to review!