Tuesday, August 24, 2010

[Review] Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Title: Bad Girls Don't Die
Author: Katie Alender [debut novel!]
Publication: April 2009
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Copy: Hardcover, bought
Pages: 350
My Rating:

Goodreads description:  
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?
 My thoughts: What can I say about Bad Girls Don't Die? Okay, I'll begun with the easy things. The cover is brilliantly designed, the photo intricate, different, spooky and very very suiting for this story. The title is also interesting and definitely drew me in. Also, out of all of my The Book Depository orders, this one came to me in the best condition. The book is very durable, and even after reading it, it looks like it has barely been touched. So that's a plus on Hyperion's part, I guess.

About the actual story, now. I came in thinking that the whole thing would be just one big ghost story, but that wasn't even the case until about half-way in. In the beginning, we are introduced to Alexis, the main character, and her life in high school, as well as her relationship with her family and her totally-spinning-out-of-control little sister Kasey. As is expressed in the description, Alexis is something of a loner, preferring to hide away in her darkroom and take photos than have to spend an afternoon with her "fellow students". I'll say it was kind of slow-going for me for the beginning, but I knew that great things were coming, so I pushed forward, flicking the pages rather quickly (since the font size is pretty big and spaced out-- easy to read!).

When I really got into the heart of the story, and creepy things were happening (subtlety, you know you love it) and little bits of information began clicking together; from that moment onwards I just devoured page after page after page. (excuse the vampiric imagery) The story flowed beautifully, to its eventful and stimulating climax and then to its semi-confusing but intriguing almost-conclusion... You can tell that Katie intended for this one to be a standalone- but I'm not complaining that there will be more, as the story ends on a good note. (possible spoiler, I'm not sure)

About the characters, I like the voice that Alender equips Alexis with: narcissistic and sarcastic. For me, it wasn't so much the characters as it was the plot and premise that made me enjoy Bad Girls. Although, I did like a certain guy. While I would have preferred a slightly more 3D approach to him rather than just a family disaster story (more subtlety) to cling onto and claim as depth of character, I'm sure in the next novel Alender will give more depth and evoke more sympathy and emotion out of each character as we see them again.

Would I recommend this to others? Definitely. Looking for something slightly creepy that will blow your mind out of the water? Then perhaps Bad Girls Don't Die is one book you should pick up now!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Borders

Learn more about Bad Girls Don't Die and read more reviews at Goodreads!



Brooke T said... [Reply]

I've wanted to know how this book was. Thanks for the review :)

Anonymous said... [Reply]

Great review! This sounds like a great book, I'll have to check it out!

Nomes said... [Reply]

oooh - i like subtle creepiness and youre so right about the spooky cover (makes me think of the Nicole Kidman movie 'The Others')

i'm all for vampiric imagery, haha. love it :)

they have the paperback for $9 at TBD too. I know what you mean about books coming occasionally battered from there. But I'm addicted to spending there anyway as Aussie book stores are so much more expensive.

i love your review - i havent seen anyone review this one before :)

Anonymous said... [Reply]

I have this one sitting on my shelf but I've yet to read it. I find this to be a reoccurring theme with me haha. Thanks for the great review, it made me want to read this book even more now. :)

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