Jinny (Lost-At-Sea Book Reviews)'s Reviews > Bad Girls Don't Die

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
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Sep 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: paranormal, horror, ya-teens
Read in September, 2010

I normally don’t go for creepy horror stories, but I remember seeing this book on somebody’s blog and reading a good review about it, so when I spotted it at the library, I decided to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised by it. I had a great time reading it, and was glad it wasn’t too scary, although that may be because I finished reading it in the afternoon, in broad daylight. Anyway, it’s a paranormal YA novel that doesn’t involve romance as a focal point! A rare book indeed in today’s times, hahaha!

Alexis (Lexi) is a pink-haired, friendless outsider of a high schooler. Her interests involve photography, saving the environment and being as anti-cheerleader as possible. Her sister, Kasey, isn’t too popular at school either and is a bit of an outcast as well. Having a creepy doll collection doesn’t really help either. At home, the two sisters are often neglected by their working parents. Needless to say, the two sisters’ situation is rather depressing.

Alexis is strong-willed and doesn’t really care what others think, so she gets by, but Kasey is more meek and shy, and so, often tries to cling onto her big sister. Alexis, for the most part, tries to be her friend but lately, Kasey is not herself. In fact, Kasey seems to have made a new “friend” and states she doesn’t need Alexis to be her friend any more, spending more and more time with her creepy dolls. On top of this strange new attitude of her sister’s, their house is acting up too: doors opening and closing on their own, strange lights, and the temperature dropping to super cold. Alexis must (reluctantly) befriend an unlikely classmate in order to unravel the mystery of what is happening at her house.

There is definitely a paranormal element to this story, although I would call this novel more of a mystery. In an effort to save her sister from whoever or whatever it is that’s possessing Kasey, Alexis has to solve a mystery — what happened in her house before she lived there? It’s not really a complex mystery, but it’s fun to read and there were definitely some twists that I didn’t expect. The story starts off a bit slow — I feel a lot of it is was devoted to establishing Alexis and Kasey’s relationship, and Alexis’ position in the school hierarchy of students — but around the halfway point, things become more exciting as she realizes there’s a real-to-honest ghost or something haunting the house and controlling her sister! That’s when the mystery unraveling part begins.

Alexis is a spunky character. I don’t like her that much, but I don’t dislike her either (I don’t know, I just don’t really like the whole high school outcast teenager thing, I feel it’s kind of overused). I had a hard time understanding or relating to Kasey, probably because she was possessed most of the book so you don’t really have the chance to get to know her character. I found the character of the ghost (who it is, I won’t spoil) interesting as she had a very well thought out back story to go with her, so it wasn’t just some random ghost haunting a house.

As for the writing, it is written in first-person (it seems 99% of YA novels these days are written in first person), from the viewpoint of Alexis. I personally am not the biggest fan of first-person writing, especially not in the viewpoint of a high school teenager because high school teenagers kind of irk me in general, but luckily Alexis isn’t annoying or whiny to listen to. It’s not bad for the author’s first novel. Overall, this novel is a job well done, and I definitely liked it!

(This review is also posted at http://skyink.net).
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