Monday, June 9

Katie Alender - Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses 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, 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?

I found this book a while ago and I had mixed feelings about in, on one hand the subject seemed exciting because I don't read a lot of ghost stories but on the other hand it sounded like a horror movie cliché, and believe me when I say, I saw dozens of those. 
After reading it I still have no idea what to think about it, it was deliciously creepy at some parts, the characters were well-made enough and there was a little touch of romance too. But it had tons of clichés starting with the creepy house and the taking photos of the ghost to the doll. I would give 3 stars if not for how much I enjoyed reading this story, cliché or not.

Our main character is Alexis whose sister Kasey is a bit weird and gets worse and worse with each passing day, until Alexis has to consider that her sister's gone mad, or did she? As strange things start to happen in the house Alexis has to wonder if maybe ghosts are real and maybe just maybe one of them is after them. 

First let's see what I loved. The possession of the sister, for a time Alexis didn't even think about it because Kasey was always weird, talking to dolls? Normal. Going down to the basement? Why not? Thanks to the blurb we all know it's a ghost and not a mental illness story so we could concentrate on Alexis's feelings while she tried to decide what to believe. 
"Now, Arabella," she said. "Don't be a pig. You have to share."A pause."I know it fits you perfectly, but she's new and she doesn't have anything to wear. Think what she's been through. Don't you care about her feelings?"Another pause.... "Why are you talking to your dolls, Kasey?" 
The romance was there but it didn't take away from the story, it's another question if it was realistic but I promised good stuff, so... They were a cute couple and I liked how before the end they were just good friends because they needed time to cope with everything what happened with Kasey. 
“I hope you don't really see yourself that way," I said.He turned to look at me and narrowed his eyes. "How do you see me?" he said softly.... "I think you're. . ." My voice went nearly silent. "Dangerous.""Why?" he whispered....". . . You make me think too much.".... "I can't help it, Alexis," he said. "I want to make you think too much. . . and then I want to hear the things you've been thinking. . . too much.” 
Now, what I didn't like. The instant friendship of Alexis and Megan, Lexie hated her and was jealous of her and without the get to know you part they were friends... yeah Lexie learnt the tragedy of Megan but learning that someone had a rough past will not necessarily make you love them and feelings sorry for them is not friendship. I just never saw that deep friendship which was there in the end. 

At first Carter was described as the perfect student who couldn't do anything wrong, soon he told Alexis, a nearly stranger, he attempted suicide and this is why he had to change schools. After this the suicide theme wasn't even mentioned besides that one time when Alexis considered staying away from Carter because she was a bad influence. Suicide is not a subject you can just sweep under the table after using it to make one of the characters look not so flawless!

The twists were totally obvious and it physically hurt to watch Lexie look for answers in the wrong places and then believing everything she found without a question when there were evidences that it's not true. 
Alexis: She annoyed me to hell with her self-pity, she wasn't like anyone else, everyone was a moron besides her old best friend and herself, either we're talking about the popular people, the clever people or the misfits, they were all assholes and bitches just because. Besides these things she was a good friend if she wanted to be friends with you and she tried to be a good sister. I liked her enthusiasm toward photography, it's always great to read about young people who know exactly what to do with their lives, because I have no idea. ;)
I speak up in class, I get sent to office. Megan speaks up in class, she's a "strong, assertive model student."I post a few flyers saying that the vending machines on school property are a sign that our school has sold out to corporate-industrial establishment, I get (what else?) Saturday detention. Megan starts a campaign to serve local foods in the lunchroom (oh, and can we please maybe get rid of the soda machines?) and the local newspaper does a write-up about her.She's like me, only not. Not like me at all. She's the golden girl and I'm...tarnished. So forgive me if I hate her a little.
Kasey: She was creepy, even before the possession I would have been afraid to live with her in the same house. I mean, she didn't let people in her room, she talked to her dolls and so on. I could get why she gave in, she felt left alone and abandoned, lonely people tend to make desperate choices. 

Carter: I never get why did Lexie gave him a hard time about wanting to be perfect when she did exactly the same while wanting to be rebellious. Besides the suicide thing I've already mentioned, he was very likable and easy-going. I liked how he wanted to help Alexis no matter how hard the situation looked like. 

Megan: She was really nice and wanted to help even after Alexis hurt her. Alexis was such a bitch to her which is funny considering how she called all the cheerleaders heartless bullies. I was happy for her in the end because it seemed like she found a great friend in Alexis. 

Favorite character: - 
Least favorite: Alexis 

I'd recommend it to those who are searching for an exciting ghost story and wouldn't mind finding out the truth long before the main character. 

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 3/5
The cover: 4/5

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