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Dead to Me

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  830 ratings  ·  209 reviews
LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

"Don't believe anything they say."

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamor
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
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No YA means Young Adult, so a YA novel in literature is a Young Adult novel. YA novels are often fiction geared towards readers in their tweens to young …moreYA means Young Adult, so a YA novel in literature is a Young Adult novel. YA novels are often fiction geared towards readers in their tweens to young adulthood, however the genre is often enjoyed by readers of all types. (less)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  830 ratings  ·  209 reviews

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Mary McCoy
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
Having a little distance on this book, I think I can now review it objectively despite being the person who wrote it.

I did some cool things with both gender and genre. I love how the relationship between the sisters turned out. The plotting is tight. There's this scene between approximately pgs. 215-230 that is excellent. And I totally nailed the last line.

There are also some things I could have done better.

I might have written a more complex Big Bad. I wish I'd gone emotionally deeper with the
When Alice's older sister Annie is found severely beaten and in a coma she makes it her mission to find out what happened no matter what the price, even when the clues reveal unsettling secrets about her family.

This was a real struggle to get through. The characters are one dimentional and extremely cliched, and one of the main selling points for me, the Old Hollywood backdrop, it completely under utilized. You also know pretty much right away who the "villain" is so it took away a lot of the ex
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Initial thoughts: I'm a bit conflicted on this one. The plot was brilliant, yet the story was boring in places. I got a bit confused sometimes. The characters were flat. A great mystery/thriller in an awesome setting and time period though!

I've always felt a pull towards books about Hollywood. I love the glitz and glam and gossip. There are always secrets to be discovered, drama to be seen, and crimes and mysteries to be solved. This book portrays the Hollywood scene of the 1940's and entwines
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
In Dead To Me, a 16-year-old girl named Alice finds her sister Annie, who ran from home four years ago, in a hospital. Annie is still alive, but she's beat up so bad that she looks like she could die any second. Alive decides to risk her life to discover who did this and finds out some shocking things along the way that she never would've guessed before.

Dead To Me is definitely not in my top ten favorite books, but I still enjoyed uncovering all the dirty secrets with Alice.

There were a lot of
Kate (GirlReading)
3.5/5* Dead to Me is a fast paced, intriguing mystery. The characters in Dead to Me were really interesting. I didn't really warm to any of them but in a good way, as they all had their faults and were hard to trust. Plus, there were plenty of shady characters.
At times the growing list of different names and characters was a little confusing and slightly hard to follow, which I felt, at points, took away from the plot as I was focusing on trying to remember who was who rather than what was happ
Rashika (is tired)
Dead to Me is a book as pretty as its cover (although I really shouldn’t be using the word pretty).

As someone who has always been a noir mystery fan, I had a lot of fun reading this book and thought it was the perfect brain candy! It might not have been as noir as it could have been but it was still noir enough to satisfy me and keep me on the edge of my seat, flipping through the pages and trying to figure out what exactly was at play here.

Before I talk about all the good stuff, I wanted to tal
Jen Ryland
Classic noir -- think Chinatown or LA Confidential -- meets YA as good girl Alice tries to solve the mystery of how her wayward older sister ended up beaten and unconscious in the hospital.

Noir is all about the dark, seedy underside of things, and I do love me some moral ambiguity, but perhaps because this was YA, this felt a little less dark than most noir I've read or watched. There was one character (Jerry) who was intriguingly hard to pin down, but some of the others felt a bit typecast: the
more like 3.5
see this review at YA Midnight Reads

This one was calling my name everybody. Historical fiction? Film noir? Murder? The Golden Age of Hollywood? Sign me up.

The Film noir aspect of Dead to Me was certainly not disappointing. Shady side characters you can never trust, ambiguous morals, murder, corruption everywhere, private investigators, femme fatales were all placed within the jungle of an urban city. It felt like the perfect remembrance to Film noir, even encompassing that hard to t
Heather Petty
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, ya, arc, mystery
I'm just going to start my thoughts with a description of the book:


Note how all of those words are my favorites and then add crazy amazing characters, story, writing... This book is all the things. But my favorite part is how effortlessly Ms. McCoy makes you constantly question everything. From the first page to the last, you pretty much trust nothing and no one. Every hero is irrevocably flawed, every twist unexpected, and there are no easy answers or perfe
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Alice Gates lives a privileged and perfect life in Hollywood during the 1940s, that is until her sister leaves home and she hasn't heard from her since. Four years later, the hospital contacts her saying that her sister, Annie, is seriously injured and unconscious. Of course, Alice rushes to the hospital to find out what happened and as she receives more and more information, she pieces together the clues slowly. The clues take her to a side of Hollywood not often seen. It's a gritty side filled ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

"Ali, I need you to do one more thing for me.""Anything," I said. "Don't believe anything they say. Not about me, not about anything."

Dead To Me first caught my eye because it was a) historical fiction and b) a story of two sisters. Of course, I went in expecting an emotional historical novel about sisters who finally find each other and have a tear-stained reunion. Boy, was I wrong.

This isn't a touching story of siblings--it's noir, through and through. It's a myster
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars!
Dark Faerie Tales
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Such an action-packed read; filled with page-turning mysteries and family dramas.

Opening Sentence: When I saw my sister in that hospital bed, she was different from how I remembered her. She’d changed her hair. Her cheeks were leaner. And someone had tried to cave in the side of her head with a baseball bat.

The Review:

After four years of zero contact, Alice comes face to face with her older sister, Annie, only to find her broken at the hospital,
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Welp, thank goodness that's over. I went into Dead to Me not super psyched but hoping for a quick, atmospheric mystery, but instead got a mediocre story with characters that fell so flat I almost don't remember their names.

The first thing I noticed as I started McCoy's debut was that the setting for me was very weak. I didn't know going into it it was set in "old Hollywood," and had trouble situating myself in it throughout the story. The story itself read much more modern and didn't seem to hav
So I’m not sure if it’s the writing or the fact that I knew it was suppose to have the air of a film noir, but man, did I read a lot of this book in my head as Alice doing a monologue to me/the audience, ha.

It was interesting read with an interesting premise. The story took us from the glitz of the Golden Age of Hollywood into the dark and seedy underbelly of the so-call glamorous life. When Alice’s sister, Annie who’s been missing for 4 years, turns up nearly dead and in a coma, Alice gets pull
Mar 19, 2016 added it
Really, I wish I could have loved it, but, no.
Rhea Dsouza
Enter here to win a hardcopy of Dead To Me!

Dead To Me begins with the Gates sisters in the hospital. They’re both together now, after having been apart for four years.

Except, Annie Gates is barely alive, almost comatose, as she lies on the hospital bed, with no one but her younger sister Alice Gates beside her. And Alice, though relieved at her sister’s presence in her life after four long years, is afraid but ready to know who put her sister in this state.

And there starts her journey, where she

Apparently, I never completed my review of this. I only blurbed it. Shame, I thought it was fantastic.

The year is 1948. Los Angeles is a place of glitz and glamour. But after Annie is beaten into a coma, Annie's only known relative is her estranged, younger sister, Alice. And after Annie had walked out on their family years prior, Alice hadn't received word from her since, and upon looking at her sister's broken, battered frame, she can only wonder who would ever commit such a dastardly act
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
This book is the YA answer to LA Confidential. Smart, gritty, and with a 1940's Hollywood setting that I've never seen for this age group before. Our heroine Alice on the trail of the person who put her sister in a coma, and she reluctantly enlists the help of a private detective. You never know who to trust in a noir, and the same's true here, which makes for some very exciting chase scenes, shoot-outs and close calls. I'm really hoping this becomes a series, because I would love to read more a ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK!!!'s brilliant. I am a huge mystery lover, but the genre often comes with a heavy side of cheese. DEAD TO ME was a *perfect* noir mystery with excellent twists, incredible characterization, and a revealing look at the ugly side of 1940s Hollywood.

This is going on my MUST HAVE FOREVER shelf. It's that good.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Oh, this was a good one! It's going to be published as a YA novel, but honestly, it just reads like a good noir mystery whose protagonist happens to be 16. I liked all the detail with which it was filled, her characters were as interesting as they were diverse, and the mystery was good. ...more
Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)
Did you find this review helpful? Find more of my reviews at Pop! Goes The Reader!

When I saw my sister in that hospital bed, she was different from how I remembered her. She’d changed her hair. Her cheeks were leaner.
And someone had tried to cave in the side of her head with a baseball bat.

Los Angeles. 1948. The doctors tell sixteen-year-old Alice Gates that Annie was lucky. That things could have been much, much worse. But as Alice stares down at the broken body of the once-beloved, now-estrang
Stephanie Ward
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

'Dead to Me' is a gripping young adult historical mystery/thriller based in Hollywood during the late 1940s. The story revolves around our main character, Alice, as she digs into her sister's life for the past four years - since she left home without a trace. Now, Annie is in a coma and fighting for her life after being nearly beat to death one night. The hospital called Alice after finding her picture and phone number in Annie's shoe, and Alice can't believe that she's found her sister
Cassie Fischer
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't think I've read anything quite like this. 1940's Hollywood, gangsters, dirty cops, starlets, and private investigators. This book is very plot driven, with not a lot of character development. The character arc isn't really the character growing, but instead, her discovering what happened to her sister. There were two spots in this book that threw me through a loop and I can't wait to discuss them with the ladies in my book club. ...more
Morgan Campbell
I enjoyed the book there where many things going on and there was a strong female lead to top it all off.
Annie and Alice grew up in Hollywood. Their parents never really made it but were considered insiders, going to plenty of parties and putting their daughter on display when they hosted their own. Fed up with it all, Annie leaves. Alice doesn't hear from her in years. Until one day she gets a call saying Annie's in the hospital. She's been badly beaten and is in a coma. Alice's isn't the child Annie left behind anymore and she's determined to find out who did this to her sister. Even if that mean ...more
Anna Kay
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A bit of a change of pace from my normal reading, what with the noir and all. Not my usual, but I do enjoy a noir mystery film from time to time - I even took a Film Noir class in college. Would you believe that some of it actually stuck? That said, this is also set during what could be conceivably called the Golden Age of Hollywood, when there were so many stars and great films it's almost unreal. Add into that particular time period an average teenaged girl, with a father who is a promoter in ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Let me paint the scene for you...Old Hollywood, scandals, private detectives, parties, missing has it all!! There are so many things that I loved about this book! It's been awhile that I've read a story where I couldn't put it down. Not in the car, or at work, or even to go to bed! And isn't the cover amazing? I love the way the girl is peaking through the title.

I love the backstory that McCoy weaves through the story. It really gives you a better understanding of the time period and
Sophomore Alice Gates hasn't seen or heard from her beloved older sister Annie for four years. When Annie is beaten badly and lands in an LA hospital, the authorities contact Alice. Alice decides to unravel the circumstances that led to her sister now being in a coma. As she does so, she isn't certain who she can trust, and some of the unsavory information she unearths casts part of the blame on her father. Teen readers will relish all the twists and turns of this well-written detective story se ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-goodness
I find that, increasingly, my level of excitement about being in the world of certain books fades the longer I spend in that world. I don't know if that's because my attention span is pathetic, or because the novelty wears off, or because the books are unable to sustain the brilliance of their early introductions to their words but, whatever the reason, the problem manifest itself with Dead to Me. I really enjoyed the setting -- old Hollywood, with a focus on the fringes and not the stars -- and ...more
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Mary McCoy is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles's notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her family. ...more

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