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Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery #1)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  9,242 ratings  ·  812 reviews

My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer--literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper--yeah, that kind of reaper; intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the jo

Kindle Edition
Published (first published May 22nd 2009)
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This is one of the worst books I have read in a long, long time. And that is really saying something.

Possibly Harrison's biggest faux pas is assuming anyone who picks this book up has automatically read the short story she wrote for Prom Nights From Hell. Even though I have, it was a long time ago and the book just threw me in the deep end. It reads like the third book in a series instead of the first. Not fun.

Also, Harrison really, really sucks at teen-speak. What American teenage boy refers to
Rain Misoa
Feb 25, 2011 Rain Misoa rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Younger teens and people wanting a short read
Recommended to Rain by: Library
I really hate to do this to Kim Harrison's book because I am not one to give out one star ratings that much. But this book was just terrible. It took me a few days to finish because I was just not feeling this book. It was very hard to get into and a bit confusing since I didn't read Harrion's short story that's in Prom Nights from Hell. I don't know if it would have made a difference or not but seeing as how this book was written, I doubt that.

The writing was very juvenile. Harrison wrote this
By page two, it's clear the author would rather mutter/complain/protest than use the word said.

"Don't be so scared of said," I exclaimed at that point, and then closed the book.
Sadly the best thing about this book was the cover. I’ll admit, my expectations for this book were rather high, I was greatly anticipating this book release; however, I imagine I would have been thoroughly disappointed even if I had none. This book was completely and utterly juvenile. Why it is classified as YA is beyond me, it shouldn’t have even made it to print! Once Dead Twice Shy was chalk full of nonsense, the plot was entirely underdeveloped, as were the characters, and was often hard to ...more
I'm not impressed.

Spoiler's ahead.....

Madison dies her prom night, but she steals an amulet off her killer, which somehow keeps her halfway alive. The amulet gives her a body. The Reaper she stole the amulet off of is now after her. Throw in a semi-love interest, a guardian angel, a dark reaper, a light reaper, timekeepers, etc. and you've got what would seem to be an interesting story. And the story is okay, but there is a disconnect (imo) with this author's writing. It's really matter of fact
It saddens me to throw this one into the DNF graveyard, especially considering how much I love Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking series. Unfortunately this book opened up right before an action sequence without providing much motivation for giving a crap about the characters or their intentions. By page 60 (out of 232) there still wasn't much to keep my interest. Writing, characters, world building ~ wasn't up to par with Kim Harrison's abilities. I considered sticking it out until Madison was g ...more
I really enjoyed this story. In general we have have certain expectations of "good and evil". A light reaper and dark reaper would fall into their respective categories right? the story unfolds you find that not everything is as it appears at first glance. Just like in real life, there are shades of gray that the characters have to wrestle with when choosing which side their allegiance falls.
What a great read:

There once was a girl, Madison was her name,
After she got scythed back she came.
To change the world; and reapers and keepers of time
And blurr the lines between good and evil and sublime...

Still finding her way and how to do what's right
She's not succeded yet, but trying with all her might...

Imagine you wake up in a morgue and know you have died and you are only around as a solid, non breathing being (albeit without heartbeat) thanks to having stolen an amulet from the guy who s
I give this novel two stars, with indulgence. Contrary to all the good I've heard about Harrison's fiction, this attempt just doesn't quite rise to the task. The narrative is confusing and lacking in any sort of pacing, the characters aren't very engaging and the moral of the story is too convoluted to be interesting.

Madison, who died in a scene that is only referred to but never actually depicted, is the stereotypical, clueless heroine whose biggest concern is in balancing an unwanted angelic
Kim Harrison's starting a young adult series! This first one comes out in May.

My review:

Kim Harrison is the author of the very popular adult paranormal fiction series known as "The Hollows" (it starts with "Dead Witch Walking" and the most recent addition is "The Outlaw Demon Wails") She's trying her funny charm and fiendish imagination on the teenage crowd now, still dealing with what I at least would call paranormal beings--angels. It's a very complex world full of Time Keepers (humans who can
2.5 stars

It's got an interesting/different sort of plot going with the Reaper thing, but it starts out in a fairly confusing manner. You sort of get dropped into the story midway through, which is normally a pretty good way to get my attention, but for some reason it didn't work for me with this book. By the time I figured out what was going on, the story was basically over.
Also, I didn't realize this was a YA book. That's my fault, however. Note to self: READ THE BLURB

I'm not trying to trash th
This was a YA PNR novel & not bad for the type, but not really my cup of tea. I should have checked it out before diving into it, but I like Harrison's Rachel Morgan series & thought it would be more of the same. It wasn't being intended for a much younger audience & would probably appeal to girls more than guys.

It had a neat type of 'magic' for lack of a better term. No vampires & werewolves, but a heavenly war between predestination & free will. An interesting subject in t
J.D. Stroube
I was a little disappointed with the way the book began. In the synopsis, it talks about a reaper coming for her, and her stealing the amulet. I thought it would be part of the story, but instead the book takes place after she already took the amulet. Most of the characters were one dimensional, as though they were insubstantial. Through most of the book I felt like I was balancing on a teeter totter. Part of me enjoyed the story, and the other part of me was become more and more angry with the ...more
Well, I read 155 pages and made it to the "final battle/confrontation"... or at least the penultimate confrontation and decided I would just stop right there. The reason...the only thing that compelled me to start reading this book is that Harrison is coming to the store I work at. And this is in my section... And from everything I was reading online about this particular book this is not the book to start with (and it's short!).

Don't get me wrong, I am intrigued with her writing... it's really
Reading a couple of reviews about this book, I really didn’t know if I was going to enjoy this one. Almost every review begun with if you haven’t read “Prom Nights from Hell” you are seriously missing some details. They where right, but that didn’t mean I didn’t like it. I seriously LOVED it.

Madison is death. Yep, we get that. Not going to give much details but she was murdered by a dark timekeeper. But instead going to live her life in the afterlife she stole his amulet. With this amulet she ha
Jeff Young
It's Kim so I had to read it - the background of this story is pencilled in as we go along and it makes it a bumpy start. You can tell this book was based off of a short story and unfortunately while you get most of the story as recollections, I almost wish it was the first chapter, that would have made things smoother. Having said that, this is the usual round of characters including a cherubim who is annoyingly similar to Jenks. Its only in the last chapter when the interesting chaos of senior ...more
Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen)
I absolutely adore Kim Harrison's urban fantasy series set in the fictional Hollows and starring witch Rachel Morgan, living vampire Ivy, and pixie Jenks. So when I found out Kim was going to start a brand new series for the YA crowd, I was thrilled. I've been reading her books since the very beginning (the high fantasy series written under the name Dawn Cook) and she has never failed to delight and amuse me.

I'm not sure why I wasn't as enamored with "Once Dead, Twice Shy", which is the first no
Jacob Proffitt
Good book. Kind of basic in setup, but the characters shine for all that.

Madison Avery is dead and has been for a while. She managed to snag an artifact from the reaper who killed her that keeps most people from noticing—including her dad. Her main motivation throughout the book is to get her body back, though she's not really clear what she'd do with it once she gets it. Josh Daniels is a truly nice guy that manages to get caught up in Madison's afterlife.

The dynamic between Madison and Josh is
---This review is especially for readers who don't know if they should read this or not---

*Dramatic speech effect*

There are some books in this world which you already know its a waste of time and money to buy or read them, you don't even mark them 'to-read' on goodreads but somehow or the other you get that book, through friends, though library in a most unexpected way and then you are like, "Pfft! Lets just over with you now."
Yup, thats exactly what happened me.

When I got this from my friend, I
Holly Booms Walsh
Sadly, most of this book was formulaic (emo heroine who constantly refers to her tights, dip-dyed hair, and skull earrings as if they make her unusual and better than the "cool kids"), hot guy friend that stands up to the cool kids for her, parents that practically never show up in the story, etc.). What wasn't formulaic was pretty interesting - a world of Dark and Light Reapers, angels, and the classic story of good versus evil retold in the frame of Fate versus Free Choice with lots of grey mo ...more
Nikinnia Smith garcia
I almost did not read this because of the bad ratings, but I'm glad I did. I really liked this book. Madison is a sweet girl who somewhat escapes death by obtaining an amulet from a reaper. I liked that this book had some action in it, but I hope there is some romance in the other books in the series. I'm not sure if I want Madison to send up with Barnabas or Josh. Maybe Nakita can get with Barnabas and Madison with Josh.
I loved it. All of Kim Harrison's female leads are always strong, independent women and I love that.
I liked Madison's attitude from the very beginning and was glad she remained strong all the way to the end.
I loved the fact that she seemed to embrace all her differences and didn't try to fit in with the in crowd.
I found her a little whinny at times but then what 17 year old isn't.
Grace remineded me so much of Jenks but I will always prefer Jenks.

The story was faced paced, straight in there from
First the good: I like Madison, she's a cute kids with a nice energy to her. But the rest is all bad. There was not enough story, it was very slow to build, and there was no real pay off. The world building was awkward and long-winded. When it finally got to the heart of the story, I just didn't care enough to stay awake to finish it. The worst problem was the language, this just wasn't a young adult book, it was a book written by an adult for adults that happens to have a teenage lead character ...more
This was good, although I was a bit confused in the beginning. It would seem that this book is a continuation of a short story from a book called Prom Nights from Hell, which I didn't know or read, but it would explain the rushed beginning a bit more.
The characters were likable and I enjoyed the concept of light and dark soul reapers. Some of the dialog felt flat and came off short, but not enough to overly annoy.
All in all, Once Dead, Twice Shy was a quick and cute read, enough to get your fil
I've admitted before I'm a sucker for a catchy title & snazzy book cover. I'm also a hair stylist and I thought the girl on the cover had cute hair. But the premise for the book itself drew me in, so I bought book 1 & 2 at the same time. I just finished this one. It was ok. Actually it was pretty cool, but I have similar complaints as I do with a few other young adult fiction. It was a little immature. I mean the main character is 17 and I understand about worrying about curfew and getti ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The beginning of Dead is a tad bit confusing, as Harrison doesn't give any real back story to the world of reapers, timekeepers, and angels. However, you will soon forget you are confused because of the hilarity. Madison could be a completely emo, downtrodden character, but Kim Harrison writes her with the best personality. Not even three chapters in, I got the feeling that I wanted Madison Avery as my best friend. There was tons of fluff in this story, but not so much that you couldn't see the ...more
lyn straine
I burned through this book like lightning (though it's also pretty short--less than 300 pgs) and actually really enjoyed it; it's my favorite so far of the mountain of teen girl meets the paranormal that I've been sifting through lately. Which is sad, because I LOVE teen girls meeting the paranormal, but most of them just take too many pages from Twilight, unfortunately, whereas this one does not. The protagonist actually has a personality: she's fun and flawed, her actions have consequences, an ...more
Oct 04, 2009 Wdebo5487 rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wdebo5487 by: Isa
When I got this book from my friend, she told me that it was a pretty ok book. So, when I started it, I kept thinking...this book is ok, not the best not the worse...But I read more and more and got more and more engrossed in became this pretty good book. At the end I was dying to read the second book (well, not exactly dying...but I wouldn't mind reading the second one of course :D )

The thing I found most annoying about this book was how it zoomed through scenes that were VERY important
First off...did you see the cover? It's so cool! I love all of the purple in it.

Anyway, back to the review. This book became one of my favorites but it did have its share of problems. I admired Harrison's writing from start to finish. It was consistently exciting and unexpected throughout the whole book. And although her writing was continually original, I was confused after forty pages. I didn't realize that the short story Harrison wrote-Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper-was connected. It was t
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What's The Name o...: I can't remember a book I read a while ago /s 4 58 Apr 01, 2014 06:36AM  
Who's Your Author?: September YA BOM: Once Dead Twice Shy 6 20 Sep 16, 2013 01:51PM  
The Audio Book 1 8 Jan 04, 2013 08:46AM  
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  • The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even (Beth Frasier #1)
  • Crossing Over
  • Prom Nights from Hell
  • Meridian (Fenestra, #1)
  • First Truth (Truth, #1)
  • Soul Enchilada
  • Swoon (Swoon, #1)
  • Undead Much (Megan Berry, #2)
  • Tattoo (Tattoo, #1)
  • Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)
  • Give Up the Ghost
  • Reign or Shine (Demon Princess #1)
  • Voices of Dragons
  • Angel Star (Angel Star, #1)
  • Firespell (Dark Elite, #1)
  • The Touch of Twilight (Signs of the Zodiac, #3)
  • Underground (Greywalker, #3)
Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive. She's currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or on the links.
Kim reaches out to her audience at Facebook
More about Kim Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

Madison Avery (3 books)
  • Early to Death, Early to Rise (Madison Avery, #2)
  • Something Deadly This Way Comes (Madison Avery, #3)
Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3) The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, #2) For a Few Demons More (The Hollows, #5) The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6)

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“God, if you ever loved me, open my eyes for me when I'm being this stupid! (Ron)” 86 likes
“Breaking rules isn't bad when what you're doing is more important than the rule itself” 58 likes
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