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Die Softly

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,530 ratings  ·  82 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 surfac

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Paperback, 189 pages
Published February 18th 1993 by Hodder Children's Books (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.
Donna
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
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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
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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
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Amber
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of my FAVORITE Christopher Pike books. I read this one so many times. The ending was amazing, I loved this book so much.
Avery
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stefani
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Flythe
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nostalgia
Well as a teen back in the late 90's and early 2000's I read a ton of Christopher Pike. Now I decided to go back and re-read whatever I could find. I remembered why teen me was so obsessed with these books and they kind of do resemble the adult fiction I read now. Nostalgia has been satisfied! On to The Immortal.
Leigh
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura
Oct 30, 2012 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.
Rachael
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Christopher Pike books. How is the rating so low?
Kathy
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how gripping Pike was! So good to delve into his mind again.
Lou
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What the fuck....
Adian Sheeren
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I was a huge fan of this book. Christopher Pike effectively portrayed all different kinds of characters. Some how, Pike was able to create the very complex character "Herb Trasker". Herb was your typical high school outcast, with a knack for photography. However, Herb did have a bit of a twisted mind, and he set up his camera to take pictures of naked cheerleaders at school. Despite this, Pike was somehow able to still make Herb appealing to the reader. Additionally, Pike had the str ...more
Lori Kircher
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5/5 stars. A great, fast read. This book is about Herb, who took a picture of a girl’s locker room and how that picture involved more than what was on the photo. I loved how all the loose ends were tied up nicely and the ending was great; everything came full circle. I loved everything about this book: the plot, characters, setting, the writing, the ending, everything. Some of my favorite scenes are: when Herb and Alexa are at his bedroom toward the end, when Theo saves Herb from Stephen at an i ...more
Tim Ganotis
Revisiting this one from the junior high days. Outrageous then: teens doing coke. Outrageous now: teens using film cameras.
Colton
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, reviewed
A trashy thriller complete with teen psychopaths, cocaine, fast cars, nude cheerleaders, and bizarre murder conspiracies. Aside from the downer ending, this was super enjoyable.
K.L.
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 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kailey Brennan
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sabrina
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaimie
May 12, 2011 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
PurplyCookie
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
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Christine
Mar 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
SaturNalia
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
Sydney
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
Holly
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jessica
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
Krissy
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Stacie
Oct 16, 2013 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!
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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.” 2 likes
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