|Bad girls don't die
Author: Alender, Katie
When fifteen-year-old Lexi's younger sister Kasey begins behaving strangely and their old Victorian house seems to take on a life of its own, Lexi investigates and discovers some frightening facts about previous occupants of the house, leading her to believe that many lives are in danger.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 131185
|Reading Counts Information:
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 17.0 Quiz: 47656
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2009 Alexis loves her little sister, Kasey, but she also worries that instead of being a normal thirteen-year-old Kasey has become a “neurotic, oversensitive, doll-obsessed mess.” Alexis is an outsider herself, but she’s okay with her outspoken, pink-haired, not-slotting-in-anywhere self, even if she is starting to think that she could fall for textbook-preppy Carter, who’d seem to be as far from her type as humanly possible. Soon, though, Kasey’s behavior goes from troubling to frightening, possibly even murderous, but Kasey’s parents are blind to the changes. With the help of Megan, a classmate and former enemy, Alexis begins to investigate the possibility that her little sister is possessed by an evil ghost haunting their house and using a doll to get to Kasey, but can Alexis save her little sister before the ghost brings about her threatened revenge? The book begins with promising spooky menace, and ghost-story aficionados will recognize the delicious classic tropes of the vengeful dead and old tragedies revenged upon descendents; Alexis’ reconsideration of popular Megan adds an interesting dimension as well. As the action develops, though, there are too many plot points both in and out of the ghost story; the multifarious elements are crammed in and abruptly hauled on and offstage according to story need, and the story logic isn’t always readily apparent. Mitchell’s Shadowed Summer (BCCB 2/09) is therefore a more reliably chilling ghostly read, but this may suffice to give haunt fans an enjoyable frisson. DS - Copyright 2009 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 04/01/2009 High-school junior Alexis seems to be the class bad girl, complete with snide remarks, rebellious attitude, and listless motivation. At home, her overachieving mom has alienated her more laid-back dad, while her doll-obsessed, 13-year-old sister, Kasey, periodically morphs from a blue-eyed, ordinary girl to a green-eyed, evil child plotting against others in their small town. What has possessed Kasey and their family’s beautiful Victorian home? Alender’s first novel is both a mystery and a trip into the paranormal, in which a child taunted years ago returns to exact revenge for her violent death. It falls to Alexis to sort out the historical details and protect not just herself and her family, but also the descendants of the girls implicated in the original tragic death. With just enough violence, suspense, and romance to keep readers turning the pages, this is a promising debut for a new young author and will be a popular addition to any YA collection. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2009 Gr 6–9— Although it begins like the average high school misfit story, Alender's novel quickly takes an unexpected turn. Alexis, a self-described anti-cheerleader, defiantly embraces her role as bad student and social outcast, skipping class and spending her time in the darkroom, until the increasingly odd behavior of her little sister, Kasey, draws her into a world of evil spirits and dangerous games. At first, inexplicable dreams and eerie balls of green light hovering around Alexis's house seem like fringe occurrences in a story otherwise concerned with family, friendship, and a tentative romance. But soon, bizarre happenings take over, and Alexis comes to realize that Kasey is demon-possessed and hell-bent on murder. It's difficult to reconcile a teen coming-of-age story with a ghost-populated murder mystery, and Alender succeeds somewhat awkwardly. However, Alexis's story is compelling, and her voice is funny and authentic despite the creepy situations in which she finds herself. A good additional purchase for girls who like to be scared a little—but not too much.—Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA - Copyright 2009 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.