Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender (April 21st 2009—Hyperion)
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Summary: “Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence: dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy thirteen-year-old sister, Kasey—even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.
When a family argument results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever—sometimes she just …changes. Her blue eyes go green; she uses odd, old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.
Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening—to her, to her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey; but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?”
Review: Bad Girls Don't Die was a chilling read that had an odd twist of humor. There were moments where my arms were covered in goose bumps and all of a sudden, it wasn't what you had not expected. It was actually somewhat funny, the scenes. However, it comes out more of an awkward—I’m not crazy—laugh. Extraordinary in that sense of way.
“I dreamed I was standing on an island in a swamp full of alligators…I saw Kasey swimming towards me, blissfully unaware of the predators…I pulled out a rifle, and I shot any alligator that got close to her. Then Kasey was with me on the island, braiding my hair and singing me Christmas carols. And a battered doll in a ripped petticoat came out of the water and walked over to us, but Kasey couldn’t see her. And the doll pointed at Kasey and looked at me and said Your sister is crazy.”
What I loved most about this quote was the randomness of it. Seriously, I love random stuff but when you include it with some not so random information, only to you of course, then it makes it only so much more fun. A little giggle to yourself looking crazed to the world through their eyes makes it so much more sweeter.
Aside from that, outside of its original content, this passage may not seem so frightening, but it left me in chills…well until the part about your sister is crazy. The main fear is the dolls, the true demonic force behind it all. Even in real life dolls are creepy to me. I’m talking about the classic porcelain ones, the ones that are so lifelike you just can’t stare them in the eye. So here I was, just anticipating something horrific about to happen, and bam, there goes a funny little surprise. So an awkward, half hilarious, half scared, laugh is elicited.
Almost all the characters are so well done. The secondary characters are of course in the background, but also giving more depth to the main character. But that doesn’t just stop there, some of them even have a bit more life in them. Carter, the male protagonist as well as being a secondary character, gave Alexis more of a girly flare that doesn’t show anywhere else. But he also has a dark past that gave him more depth. Alexis was the older sister, the person who cared for her, as well as the one who’s more than what she appears.
The action was predictable in some areas, but not so in others. The mystery aspect and the road to uncovering it was wonderfully done and left no real questions behind.
Overall: A great book to pick if you’re in the mood for creepy little dolls. Okay so it’s much more than that. Just read this book if it sounds interesting to you, trust me, it’ll be better than you expected. I took it for granted and now I’m in contentment after reading it.