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Die Softly

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  2,420 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
HE MAY HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED A MURDER. Herb just wanted to photograph the cheerleaders in the school showers. He planted his camera high in the corner where no one could see it, and rigged it to a special homemade timer. He did that Thursday night, and he hoped that by Friday night he would have an exciting roll of film to develop.

But a girl dies Friday afternoon. On the surfa
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Simon Pulse (first published April 1st 1991)
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Rebecca McNutt
This book was better than most Nineties YA crime thrillers, focusing on a realistic plot and featuring characters that have more depth than usual.
Apr 07, 2011 Donna rated it really liked it
It's not often you get a creeper as the MC whose eyes you read through. But even despite the fact that this guy rigged up a camera to take pictures of his naked classmates, Pike wrote it in such a way that Herb was still an appealing guy. I didn't get skeeved out at all while reading. In fact, I empathized with Herb a little. He was just setting himself up for a stupid prank but he ended up getting handed a lot more.

Pike has an excellent way of teetering guilt from one character to another. You
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Believable depiction of a male teen...up to a point. Photography makes for an original plot device.
Cons: Unlikeable characters. Not particularly engaging prose. Some paragraphs could have benefited more editing.
WARNING! Some gruesome deaths. Sex is mentioned/implied; drugs are heavily featured.
Will appeal to: Those who love a classic teen thriller '90s-style...only a lot darker than average.

Well, yes, this isn't one of my favourit
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Christopher Pike generally creates plots that are different enough to enthrall, with his other real strength lying in creating compassionate, genuine characters. In this case we have stumbling, bumbling Herb, being the typical teenage boy in that he's 'horny', yet being unique because of actual tenderness.

Die Softly is one of Pike's darker stories, ending with a twisted finale that leaves one depressed and stunned. There are so many curves in this road it should be blockaded. It never stays stag
Jun 26, 2010 Stefani rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2015 Leigh rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-young-adult
Teen sex, cocaine, murder, voyeurism... All components of a proper YA novel. ;)

Reading these again in my 30s is extra fun because they take about as much time to get through as a movie adaptation would take to watch. In retrospect, reading these as a young girl probably colored my perception of life a bit.

A fun jaunt down memory lane.
Oct 30, 2012 Laura marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sarah & I have decided to rekindle our cheesy teenage reading habits by having a CEFS co-blogger throwback read-a-long of this one.
May 14, 2017 Kathy rated it liked it
I forgot how gripping Pike was! So good to delve into his mind again.
Mar 09, 2017 K.l. added it
Utterly loved this as a young teen, and am pleased to say I enjoyed it as much now as I did then!
Christy Sherrill
Jan 24, 2008 Christy Sherrill rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who like to read about girls as victims
From age 11 until 14 , Me and my best friend spent many an hours reading and talking about R.L' Stine books. We felt the all other "authors" like Christopher Pike was inferior.

I don't know how I came across this book, I remember that I picked it up because of the cover. I book I have was the original, not the reissued , and it has a camera on the cover. This was my first exposure to the process of developing film and printing photo's in fiction or nonfiction writing. I remember reading that and
Kailey Brennan
Sep 03, 2013 Kailey Brennan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: favourites
Die Softly is a book by one of my favourite authors of all time, Christopher Pike.

Die softly is about Herb Trasker, who only wanted to take a few picture of some naked cheerleaders in the school showers but the pictures he gets back are not the ones he expected. A girl dies after driving off a cliff, it all seems like an accident but theres more to it when Herb’s pictures show that same girl only an hour or two before her death in the schools showers with a shadowed figure creeping up behind he
Nov 09, 2012 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2011 Jaimie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Pike is a hardcore R.L. Stine. That's how I like to think of him. His novels go where you wish R.L. Stine's Fear Street novels would go. They have sex, drugs, teenage drinking and very gory deaths! Yes, R.L. Stine has teens dying in his books and the occasional beer, but Christopher Pike takes it up a notch. And in Pike's books, more than only one person dies and it's not always just close calls. I know, all of the above may not be for everyone, but I like reading about that stuff. A ...more
Herb Tasker, a teenage photographer, was assigned a project to take pictures of the high school cheerleading team. For some reason his friend Sammy suggests him to set his camera in the girls shower to take pictures of them after their practice. He goes through with it but starts to wonder why she has a specific time, day, and spot for the camera to be in. He gets more than he bargained for when he catches a murder on film.

An interesting Pike book that is not about the supernatural, but instead
Mar 03, 2015 Christine rated it did not like it
Maybe it's only because it's old--and old books tend to somehow be disappointing and quite predictable mostly because much has changed since they've been published and the next generations have a somehow different way of thinking--but I really really hated this book. My friend warned me to be open minded with this book because it's, I dunno, maybe because it's terribly terrible or something, because I'm pretty sure she warned me that the topic was somehow off and this. is. not. off. I just, dang ...more
3.5 Herb is the epitome of a high school loser; average looks, average grades, unpopular with girls but he takes great photographs. He puts his skills to good use by setting up a camera in the girl's shower to take some nude shoots, unfortunately he photographs a murder in process. Lisa is killed and Herb suspects Alexa because pictures don't lie. Alexa is so beautiful and nice, Herb has been crushing on her for years, there's no way she is the killer. All the suspects are devious with motives t ...more
Once again I knew it! I liked this book, it didn't disappoint. I liked the characters and the way it all worked together in the end. The characters were well written and it will keep you guessing from start to finish. Herb (protaginist) was funny and caring. (view spoiler). The background characters were interseting as well. Sammie was ...more
Apr 25, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Herb just wanted to photograph the cheerleaders in the school showers. He planted his camera high in the corner where no one could see it, and rigged it to a special homemade timer. He did that Thursday night, and he hoped that by Friday night he would have an exciting roll of film to develop.

But a girl dies Friday afternoon. On the surface it appears to be nothing more than a tragic car accident. But when Herb finally does collect his roll of film, he develops a picture that shows a shadowy fig
Another book I picked up many, many years after I read it for the first (few) time(s) when I was a young teenager. Even though I disliked the ending, I enjoyed not knowing exactly what was going to happen - the benefit of picking up a book literally years later, although the writing was, at times, a bit juvenile. I think I'm comparing it to Riordan, or perhaps youth writers have simply developed more sophisticated ways of writing to a younger audience. I don't know. In its defense, it wasn't nea ...more
Mar 19, 2011 Krissy rated it really liked it
Shelves: buy-it
I read this book when I was about 13, and I just remember lending it to friends who were not readers and each time they came back saying they could not put it down until they finished it. That really impressed me, so when I was 18 working in B. Dalton, I used to recommend this book to mothers trying to force their kids to take an interest in reading (hoping all the while they wouldn't look too close at the plot description). That said, it wasn't my personal favorite of Pike's. That would be Reme ...more
Oct 16, 2013 Stacie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the first Christopher Pike novels that I read as a teenager - it was the impetus to my obsession with his books and I remember it particularly fondly. I re-read it again recently and it was like a trip back in time reading about Herb and the "Sugar Sisters"!
I love the covers of these old Christopher Pike books and this cover was one of the best. Still a keeper after all these years!
Jun 10, 2011 Meagan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bf-books
The plot was very intreeeging and really kept me thinking. What i enjoyed most was that the murder was truelly cold hearted, the way she that was really intresting. Another think i found unique was that the main charictar was rather pathetic, yet gave is life to give evidence of whom the murderer was, even though he was in love with her. It turned out much better than what i was expecting, and was pleasently suprised. =)
Sherri Moorer
Feb 02, 2012 Sherri Moorer rated it it was amazing
Call me crazy, but I STILL love this book! I first read it in the early 90's as a teen and it still sticks out as one of the best murder mysteries I've ever read. The characters are believable and the plot is complex yet compelling. I don't even care that the technology is outdated. I make a habit of re-reading this book at least once a year.
Sep 21, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite books when I was around 11 or 12. It's got a lot of drugs and some sexual content, but I loved it. I loved Christopher Pike because there aren't ghosts or anything like that. This is basically a slasher, but I thought it was so good. I don't know if I would rate it so high now, but I think it's probably really good for a younger teen.
Jul 06, 2010 Serina rated it it was amazing
i really like this book, i read it around 3 months ago. Whta i like mostly about pike books is once you begin reading them you just cant let them down. An d that is exactly what i did while reading this book. A great read
Abbi Dion
All the twisted innocence of an 80s/early 90s thriller. High school boy wants to photograph naked cheerleaders in the shower. Ends up photographing a murder. Oops! Of course, cocaine is involved. And Denny's. Highest recommendation.
Tara Hall
Feb 25, 2014 Tara Hall rated it it was amazing
A Great book, one I enjoyed for the second time this week. I first read this book as a teen, and have been going through my old books, decided in what books to giveaway. This one is a keeper, and its staying on my shelves :)
Pam Froman
Jun 20, 2011 Pam Froman rated it really liked it
Good Pike book. I liked how he stayed away from his typical beautiful "good" girl. Herb is a gawky teenage boy, and his voice and thoughts carry the book. More mystery than paranormal. Pike does both well however. A good quick read.
Jun 20, 2016 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 2 and a half stars, I called "it" from the start, it was a little obvious. The ending felt a little word vomit but I still enjoyed it.
Feb 12, 2011 Anj marked it as to-read

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Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He is a bestselling author of young adult and children's fiction who specializes in the thriller genre.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

McFadden was born in New York but grew up in California where he stills lives in today. A college drop-out, he did factory work, painted houses and programm
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“He had smoked dope exactly twice, but stopped when he realized it was called dope for a reason.” 3 likes
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