29 December 2011

Review: Bad Girls Don't Die

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Publication Date: April 21, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence: dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy, thirteen year old sister, Kasey; and even her own antisocial, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family argument results in tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunctional to dangerous. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green; she uses odd, old-fashioned language - and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her weird 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 for the girls to see their breath.

Alexis wants to believe it's all in her head, until these seemingly harmless occurrences become life-threatening - to her, to her family, and to her budding relationship with the student council vice 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 love ghosts. I love revengeful ghosts. I hate dolls, especially haunted ones, but I love books about haunted dolls. Stories about possession are pretty cool too and Bad Girls Don't Die starts out with the scare factor and doesn't stop until the end. Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down. A ghostly light that runs after you and climbs trees, a ghost that breaks your air conditioner and boils your water for you, this all makes for some creepy crap. It's not the scariest book I've ever read, but it definitely has its many moments.

Alexis is an entertaining narrator and I enjoyed her sarcastic quips and her views of high school. The supporting characters are initially all introduced as stereotypes, but a lot of them eventually become more as Alexis talks to them and gets to know them. I liked this because we get to discover who is really inside that bitchy head cheerleader at the same time as Alexis does. I see what you did there, Katie Alender.

Bad Girls Don't Die is a squeaky clean YA novel. There's one kiss between Alexis and Carter and that's it. No language or sexual content. If you're looking for a scary book with hot, crazy make-out sex (I just coined this term right now. I don't even know what that would be) then this isn't for you. I found the relationship between Alexis and Carter cute and endearing and I'm hoping for more of them in the second book which is waiting for me at the library. Ultimately, Bad Girls Don't Die is a fun, quick, and creepy read.  My late maternal grandmother left me her porcelain doll collection and they have stayed in their boxes for years because of my fear of dolls. Unfortunately for them and because of this book, they will not be coming out any time soon in the near future.

P.S. If you want more scary doll books, check out The Dollhouse Murders. It's an elementary read, but that book could scare the pants off of an adult. 

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