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A Fate Totally Worse Than Death

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  56 reviews
"This takeoff on teen horror novels is funny, mocking, and a surefire hit. . . . Should have teen-horror fans screaming with laughter." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

In Paul Fleischman’s hilarious parody of teenage horror novels, Danielle and her friends from Cliffside High’s cruelest clique — the Huns — set out to crush a ravishing exchange student from Norway.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 4th 1997 by Candlewick (first published October 2nd 1995)
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Average rating 3.30  · 
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Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
A Fate Totally Worse Than Death by Paul Fleischman was definitely worth the read. It first attracted me towards it because I was looking for a quick read that I could finish in just a few days. It was one of those books that you kept turning the page wondering what would happen next. You felt like you were apart of the book and felt sympathy for the characters.

If you enjoy a mystery yet humorous book, I would totally recommend this book. Now don't get me wrong, the first few chapters lacked int
Apr 05, 2012 added it
Amber Randol

A Fate Totally Worse Than Death involved three girls who were the most popular in their school: Tiffany, Brooke, and Danielle. The girls had murdered a former classmate who was attracting the attention of one of their boyfriends, but no one knows about it. A new girl, Helga, from Norway, comes to the school and all of the girls boyfriends like her, so the group sets out to get her to leave. They try cutting her hair and attacking her mentally but it backfires and Helga says they
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 13-25
"A Fate Totally Worse Than Death" is a humor novel about a group of high school seniors. Last year, a girl name Chastity committed suicide. Her peers, Danielle, Tiffany, and Brooke are all trying to get boyfriends this year of school. However, the new exchange student, Helga, puts a wrench in their plans. The girls try to get the attention from the boys, but fail miserably compared to Helga's European physical features. The boys fall for Helga while the girls fall in physical appearance. The gir ...more
Kayla Go-Oco
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Fate Totally Worse Than Death is a great book and instantly became one of my favorites. I wanted to read something short, so I thought this was the perfect book. The plot was so mysterious yet funny, which was a plus. The author made the book so intriguing that I always wondered what would happen next. The book is about three girls in high school named Danielle, Brooke, and Tiffany. They murdered one girl who attracted all the boys, named Charity. Afterwards, another girl named Helga came to t ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Yeah, it was funny, I guess. But it doesn't transcend to universality at all, imo. Just not special for me. And I wonder what the target audience gets out of the descriptions of what it means to be very old and frail?
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, horror
So yes this is like almost any R. L. Stine Fear Street I ever read, but that i believe is the point of this parody. I like the twist at the end. I should of see it coming, but i didn't. It was a nice quick read, perfect for when I wasn't feeling well.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Eh, I read the book because I watched the movie. Neither were great but I my expectations weren’t that high either. It’s not horrible and would probably be better to people in the book’s appropriate age group
Asha Loves Apple Juice
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
Hot dog. This was a pretty good book. Despicable but humorous characteris, unusual plot, super fast read. I like the idea of a small pocket book that's not for kids or a classic. In the end, I felt pretty bad for the girls.
Cathy Houston
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cathy by:
strange story too sad to be funny; too funny to be sad
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think was a super good book. Karma plays a huge role in this book, and everything ties together by the very end. It was really funny too!
An Odd1
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Major horror twist funny even if reader not young. Surprise fate for exaggeratedly vicious high school bullies. Normal gradual aging not silly but bottom grab in shower is.
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, ya, 1990s
So ridiculous and fantastic, even all these years later.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

For anyone who enjoyed Scary Movie with it's over-the-top humor, sarcastic wit, dry parodies, and unrestrained juvenile one-liners, A FATE TOTALLY WORSE THAN DEATH is a must read.

The plot revolves around three girls, Danielle, Brooke, and Tiffany, who are members of the Huns--the absolutely only clique to belong to at Cliffside High. The Huns believe in one rule above all else--the Hun boys belong to them, and them alone. When Helga, a Norwegian exchange stude
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1-12
This book is a humorous book meant to be a satire on young adult horror novels. It is about three girls in high school that belong to a group of the rich and popular known as the Huns. The girls are very possessive over the Hun boys and believe that no other girls are allowed to be with them. Prior to the start of the book, the girls ran a classmate--who was not a Hun--off a cliff to her death because she was dating a Hun boy. When Olga a new girl from Norway shows up and all the boys begin to f ...more
Pop Bop
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Book Totally Better Than Expected

Snarky privileged mean girl YA dramas are usually so over the top that it is hard to imagine what room is left, exactly, for parody. Well, Fleischman has the answer.

This book isn't manic and it doesn't go for overblown, broad parody. It is almost surgical in the way it focuses on all of the little tics and tells of mean girl high school stories and YA horror, and then exaggerates them just enough to really bring the joke home. The book opens with a tracking sh
Susie Homa
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Fate Totally Worse than Death
Paul Fleischman
adventure, romance, suspense, horror
i recommend this book because it has a very good story line and has an amazing ending it is the best book iv ever read.
A foreign exchange student from Norway named Helga takes all the attention and gets the attention of the boy in school that everyone likes and thhey become jealous and say Helga is a ghost because of her white skin and light hair while trying to get their attention back the girls think up many
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult-ita
This is a parody of teenage horror books in which a group of popular kids, known as the Huns rule Cliffside High and protect, with a vengeance, their exclusive membership. Danielle, Tiffany and Brooke protected it when they killed Drew's girlfriend, Charity Chase, because she was not a Hun. So when Helga, a Norwegian foreign exchange student, has all the Hun boys running after her, Danielle, Tiffany and Brooke think its time to take action again. But this time they may have a more capable advers ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
This book was very freaky. In the beginning it started out very boring, until it got to the middle thats when everything changed. They started to mention ghosts, magical powers and suicides. This book showed how jealousy can cause to turmoil, death and just plain bad choices. I would recomend this book for high school crowd because it shows an issue that most go threw excluding the magical powers and ghosts.
Delaney Bella
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
I thought I would like this book at first, since the author is a pretty good author, but I couldn't get past chapter 4. I couldn't stand the mean girls! Not one bit. Mean to elderly, mean to friends, They even purposely killed a girl because she was with a guy that they think they can claim as theirs. Bottom line: I didn't like it, but if you wanna hear about mean girls being so full of yourself, check this book out, because now it's checked back in...
Andrew Carlson
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in two hours! That's how much I liked this book!

I won't spoil any of the plot, but I will say it keeps you turning pages wondering what will happen next to the protagonists. (or are they antagogists?)

The plot is clever and unique. Cliquish behavior, jealousy and irrational decisions abound. If you are in high school, have a child in high school, remember high school--whether fondly or not, you should read this book. You won't be dissapointed!
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, horror
When exchange student Helga shows up and threatens the social world of Danielle, Tiffany, and Brooke, the girls begin a campaign to destroy her using any means necessary up to and including murder. The mission for social supremacy hits a snag when the girls begin to suspect that Helga isn't quite mortal. Infinitely nasty and funny, this little book deliciously targets the mean girls and gives them a sufficiently unpleasant payback for their murderous scheming. Beware the raspberry truffles.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Charity Chase was killed. Someone (or 3 girls) who's responsible for it must pay. Come Helga, an exchange student from Norway. She has a fair skin without sun burn, hair blonder than blond, and have the same habit as Charity. The girls believed that Helga is the ghost of Charity who came to get revenge.

A horror fiction with a shock ending.
A mixture of comedy and horror. Mostly akin to the Scream films. Horror fans should enjoy it. The book is YA because it does mention things that would get it a R rating if it was a movie. Focused on the body, questionable things sold out of a locker, basically Animal House type stuff. Book has been on our children's shelves and a popluar pick. No complaints yet so it is staying.
Danay Orton
Apr 07, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting book lol. Creative I must admit, but weird. Its about a group of popular girls who mess with this old lady and then things s\in their life start getting crazy and they begin to turn into old people hahaha!!! I think it was worth reading but probably not anything i would recommend or read again.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
I remember reading this book when I was younger. It was funny but also disturbing. I'm interested in re-reading just for the sake of really remembering the details. The one thing that still leaves me with a haunting thought is... Those poor girls had to watch themselves grow old. Gruesome to be sure.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book will leave you with drama in your fingertips and make you thirsty for more. Everything is going well, relationships, boyfriends, friend groups and just life itself. This is all until there is a new girl from Norway. The boys become clingy to her and the girls are seeking revenge. They try to go to her house except... You should definitely read the book and find out what happens.
Nov 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 6th grade and up
Shelves: teen, funny, supernatural
I haven't seen a lot of attention paid to this, but I think it's a great idea: having fun with the horror genre while also being a perfectly good horror story, plus tackling mean girls from a new angle.
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-lit
A cheesy parody that saves itself by knowing full well it is a cheesy parody. Don't expect to be scared by the "horror" or kept in suspense by the "mystery". Do expect to find it amusing that a teenage girl's greatest fear is developing...old lady pickle tits.
Oct 04, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is no long at all and it was very easy to read. I thought that it could have had more details in it. The ending surprised me very much because you don't know what's coming. It is another one of those books that teach you not to draw conclusions to fast.
Anita Prince
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
When Helga, the beautiful blonde from Norway, starts attracting all the available "Huns" at Cliffside High, Danielle, Brooke, and Tiffany decide it's time to get rid of her just like they got rid of Charity Chase. Read this farce to find out what happens when they set their plot into motion.
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Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California. The son of well-known children's novelist Sid Fleischman, Paul was in the unique position of having his famous father's books read out loud to him by the author as they were being written. This experience continued throughout his childhood.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps as an author of books for young readers, and in 1982 he released

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