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Review: Bad Girls Don’t Die

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender was released in the U.S. on April 21, 2009.

It is currently available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats.

Published by Hyperion, a division of Disney, the hardcover is 352 pages.

Goodreads description:

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?

***

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She was sweet and pretty and rich. Such a darling little angel, with blond hair and the greenest eyes. Everybody loved her and wanted to be her friend. They would come from miles around just to play with her at her lovely home.

Then one birthday she received a present. A beautiful doll that she loved very much. She would take her everywhere she went. She would even pretend that her dolly talked back to her.

Well, not everyone was quite so happy with her affection for her doll. You see, they were jealous. And jealousy can make people do bad things. Really bad things.

So, the moral of this story is to always remember to play nice. Because you never know when your actions may come back to haunt you. And if not you, then maybe your daughter or your daughter’s daughter. Because an angry spirit does not forget and bad girls don’t always die.

***

Bad Girls Don’t Die is Katie Alender’s eerie and chilling debut novel. Part horror, part mystery, this story will capture you right at the start, pull you in and make you look over your shoulder every time a slight breeze touches the back of your neck.

Alexis Warren is the school outcast who doesn’t even fit in with the misfits she hangs out with. Her parents are absentee and her little sister Kasey, once outgoing and friendly, is now a thirteen-year-old weirdo with a doll collection. Even her home doesn’t fit in, with its mish-mash of architectural details.

Ever since her best friend left town she has preferred to spend much of her time alone, taking pictures. So when odd things start happening around the house she thinks she must be going crazy. And when her sister starts acting even stranger she wonders if maybe she’s not the only one.

But when her nemesis, cheerleader Megan Wiley, notices Kasey’s odd behavior she has a different theory altogether. And if she’s right, being crazy would be the least of their worries.

Author Katie Alender has written a compelling, suspenseful and creepy story that will make you think twice about ever owning a doll, moving into an old house or stepping foot into a dark basement. The story flows smoothly even as the tension builds and is interspersed with just the right amounts of sarcasm and humor to bring some light into this dark tale.

This story is a must read, not only for fans of the young adult paranormal genre, but for anyone who loves a scary story. It’s got all the thrills without the gore and enough spookiness to give you the shivers.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

On a personal note:

I KNEW there was always a reason to fear dolls. Katie Alender absolutely proves my point.

I started reading this at night, thought better of it, and am so glad that I finished it when it was light out. For some reason I thought this was a paranormal romance-y kind of book with just a little bit of the “boo” factor. I did not realize this was a scary book. With dolls. (Shudder.)

I visualize everything when I read and would jump with Kasey’s every stealthy approach and each time the door would slam. And I spent much of the story holding my breath worrying that Alexis would be caught.

Sure, you can say that everything horror has been done – heck I’ve read practically everything by Stephen King and John Saul – but there wasn’t a single moment when I felt as if I’d read this before. The characters and plot twists were original, the story pleasantly creepy and the suspense drove the whole thing.

I cannot wait until June. I did sneak a peek at the synopsis for the next book – I was afraid there might be new characters – and now I so totally want that book!

How I “discovered” this book:

Bad Girls Don’t Die is a “Just Discovered” just learned about book.

I “discovered” this book when the author came to my local Barnes & Noble for a book reading and signing. I hadn’t heard of the book before, but I only recently joined the online blogging community, and when this book was released I only got my recommends when Amazon suggested them. And they never suggested books published by Hyperion.

I had arrived early (geek that I am) in hopes of getting a good aisle seat in case I chickened out and left before the signing part. I envisioned being surrounded by a much younger crowd with a Bieber-like frenzy about them upon meeting the author, so I remained ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. But that was not the case. And it gave me a lot of time to peruse the book, and its beautiful cover, and I ended up buying a few copies to have personally signed. (And yes, I later went back and bought a couple more copies to give away to some other lovely folks.)

The author was super nice and some wildly entertaining stories were told. And the reading got me even more excited about reading her book. I’m almost glad that I didn’t discover this book in 2009 or I’d have had a rather long wait for the sequel. Fortunately there are only a few months before its release!

***

To read an excerpt of Bad Girls Don’t Die click here.

The second book in the series, From Bad to Cursed will be released on June 14, 2011. It is available for pre-order in the U.S. at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover format only.

Click here for the Goodreads description for From Bad to Cursed.

Book trailer for Bad Girls Don’t Die:

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