BOOK REVIEW: Bad Girls Don’t Die – by Katie Alender

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Title: Bad Girls Don’t Die
(Bad Girls Don’t Die #1)
Author: Katie Alender

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Horror
First published: April 21st 2009
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Finished reading: October 28th 2016
Pages: 346
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“Just say something real. Everyone just always tries so hard, and it all comes out the same. I just want someone to say something real.”

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I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a long time… In fact, it was on last year’s Halloween list as well, but somehow I managed to neglect this book until now. I’m glad I finally decided to pick Bad Girls Don’t Die up though, because it is without doubt both a fast-paced and entertaining read. It’s not the first Katie Alender book I’ve read, and I have to say I really enjoy reading her prose. Both character development and plot are well done and it had just the right dose of creepy. The paranormal horror is mixed with contemporary romance and has its share of high school drama, but it didn’t distract too much from the main plot. I liked the horror element and Alexis is a great character as well. In short, Bad Girls Don’t Die is without doubt the perfect and entertainingly creepy read for both the October month and the rest of the year as well. I will definitely be continuing this series soon!

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Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence, but dysfunction is threatening to turn into danger. Her parents’ marriage is not really working, her twelve-year-old sister Kasey is doll-crazy and Alexis is not really social herself… But after a family fight and a night out taking photos, things are starting to get weird. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes and she doesn’t always talk likes she normally does… And on top of that, she doesn’t seem to remember everything about her day. Their old house is changing too, and Alexis soon realizes it’s too dangerous to keep thinking it’s all in her head. Will she find a way to fix things before it’s too late? And what is happening to Kasey?

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If you are looking for a fast-paced, well written, slightly creepy and entertaining story, Bad Girls Don’t Die is without doubt an excellent choice. Paranormal horror is mixed with contemporary romance and even though there is quite a lot of high school drama, the creepy scenes make up for it. The writing is excellent as well as the character development, and I liked the history behind the old house. Recommended!

WWW Wednesdays #109 – November 2nd

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m finally continuing with my last TBR jar pick The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, and I’m definitely enjoying it a lot better than the first time I tried to start reading it. I’ve also picked up my Netgalley copy of No Excuses Detox by Megan Gilmore, which is turning out to be a really interesting read so far and I can’t wait to start trying out the recipes.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer, which turned out to be such a great and creepy read! Definitely on the top of this year’s Halloween list; if you like a well written story with great descriptions and the right creepy atmosphere (complete with haunted convent), defiintely give this one a go. It’s brilliant!
* I then read The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang, which is a true crime read about the Scholl Case where a former German mayor killed his wife. It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, as it focused more on the history of both the mayor and his wife and the murder case was forced into the background. The whole thing read more like a historical fiction story, and I’m not sure to what level this story can actually be called ‘non fiction’. The pace was pretty slow as well…
* I then picked up Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, mostly because I wanted to read more Halloween related books. And I really enjoyed this one! Fast-paced and just the right dose of creepy; the perfect and entertaining read for the October month. I will definitely be continuing this series soon.
* I also decided to read Sanctum by Madeleine Roux for the same reason. I had completely forgotten how good this series was! Almost no romance, a fast pace, lots of creepy scenes and the photos are a nice touch. I really enjoyed this one and I’ve moved the third book right to the top of my TBR pile as well.
* The last book I finished was Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell, a Netgalley read that didn’t turn out to be as good as I hoped it would be. I had a hard time getting a proper feel for the story and I wasn’t really convinced by the characters in general… Lucy (killer) had a lot of potential, but Ruby (detective) felt weak as a main character and I didn’t appreciate the romance or love triangle either.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two of my pending Netgalley ARCs: The Power by Naomi Alderman and Anything For Her by Jack Jordan. I’m especially excited about the first title after I read Claire‘s review not that long ago and I can’t wait to start reading it. I also want to read Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, but I need to reread Six Of Crows first so I might wait a little while longer. And my next TBR jar pick is still A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard so many great things about this novel that I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

WWW Wednesdays #108 – October 26th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer and I’m loving every minute of it so far. It’s without doubt a proper Halloween read complete with haunted house and everything! I can’t wait to continue reading it later today to find out what happens next… I’ve also started The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, but I couldn’t really get into it. I’m only a few pages into the story so far, but I’ve decided to keep it on hold until I’m in the mood for it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Faithful by Alice Hoffman, which turned out to be a really interesting read despite my initial doubts. I know this book has mixed reviews, but I found it both well written and intriguing. The characters are well developed and feel real, and even though Shelby is not exactly likeable, you grow to love her anyway. Interesting story on how grief and guilt can change a person and how hard it is to move on.
* I then read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and I can’t say I fell in love with this classic. I already knew the basic story and I’m not saying it’s a bad read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Too many religious references and I just couldn’t get a proper feeling for the story.
* The last book I finished since last week is Worth Killing For by Ed James, and I think I enjoyed this sequel even better than the first book. Fast-paced and packed with action scenes; this crime thriller is definitely a great choice for any fan of the genre. And that ending! I will be waiting for the third book to come out to find out more…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang has been on my Netgalley list for a while now, so I should really read that title next… Although I might read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender first since I have been neglecting my Halloween TBR way too much this month. Anything For Her by Jack Jordan is also on my to-do list, and my nex TBR jar pick will be A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve heard so many great things about this novel that I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

WWW Wednesdays #107 – October 19th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I still haven’t finished The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and that’s mostly because I’ve been wanting to finish a few ARCs first. I’m going to try and finish it before I continue with Faithful by Alice Hoffman though… I’m only a few pages into that one so far, but it sounds really promising.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I first finished Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. I guess this is one of those books that just isn’t for me, because the other reviews are really positive. There was just too much explicit sex talk, romance and colorful language to my taste… I liked the general plot and the geocaching though.
* I then read The Best Friend by Shalini Boland, which turned out to be another brilliant psychological thriller. Fast-paced, many many plot twists and characters that might be unlikeable but work perfectly with the plot, suspense… This story has it all and more.
* I was finally able to read a Halloween themed book as well: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black. I was surprised to find out that I enjoyed this story that much, because I normally don’t like vampire stories. This one is an exception though; well written, not too many romance scenes and the right dose of creepy.
* I also finished Dark Water by Robert Bryndza, the third book in a new detective series that is without doubt entertaining. I would have liked to see less romance and I thought the spark of especially the second book was missing, but it was still a solid thriller read with quite a few plot twists and action scenes. I kind of already saw the ending coming though…
* Finally, I was able to read Trow-Truck Pluck by Annie M.G. Schmidt yesterday. The Dutch version (and the rest of her work for that matter) was one of my favorite childhood books and probably one of the first stories I read by myself… It was so good to revisit that world with this English translation that was provided by me by Netgalley and the publisher. It has the perfect bedtime stories to read to the little ones.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up are two pending thriller ARCs: Worth Killing For by Ed James and The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer. The first is a sequel (review of the first book will be posted tomorrow) and the other sounds like a great Halloween read. I also want to read Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender for the same reason… And my newest TBR jar pick is still The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

BOOK REVIEW: Famous Last Words – by Katie Alender

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Title: Famous Last Words
Author: Katie Alender
Genre: YA, Thriller, Paranormal
First published: September 30th 2014
Finished reading: April 2nd 2016
Pages: 320
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“Maybe it’s human nature to be drawn to the things that have hurt us the most.”

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 I’ve had quite a few of Katie Alender‘s books on my TBR for a long time, but somehow I never actually read any of them so far. I decided to pick up Famous Last Words on whim since I was in the mood for a good thriller/horror read, and it sure didn’t disappoint! I really enjoyed this horror/ghost story and would have given it an even higher rating if it weren’t for the annoying love triangle. Yes, while the story started out delightfully creepy and had a lot of potential, it was slightly ruined by the existence of an annoying love triangle… Why o why does every YA novel seem to have one?! Because otherwise Famous Last Words was pretty much a perfect read. Fast-paced, an intriguing plot with just the right amount of creepiness, interesting Hollywood and movie references… This novel has it all and more. I liked Willa’s character even though she has her issues and her paranormal ‘gift’ makes this book into an entertaining read with some spine-chilling moments. Without doubt recommended if you like the genre and I will be looking forward to read more of Katie Alender‘s work soon!

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After her father died mysteriously Willa has been looking for a way to find answers. It turns out she has been opening doors that she shouldn’t have, because strange things have been happening ever since… And her moving into her stepfather’s mansion in LA doesn’t seem to solve the problem. It seems like Willa is seeing things. A dead body in her swimming pool, frantic messages on her walls… It’s almost as if someone is trying to send her a message. Willa is afraid to tell anyone since they will most likely think she is is crazy… But with a killer on the loose in LA, she is not so sure what to think of it anymore. Could Willa’s strange visions have anything to do with the unsolved murders? And who can she confide in in the first place? Willa will have to be careful, because she might lose her mind as she is trying to figure everything out… or even her life.

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Famous Last Words was everything that the blurb promised and more. I needed a proper thriller to change around genres a little and this book is without doubt almost perfect. The story has a fast pace, a prose that is easy to read and the plot is really intriguing and has just the right dose of creepiness. The only minor setback was the love triangle and it was also the only reason I didn’t give Famous Last Words the highest rating. If you are looking for a good paranormal thriller/horror story, make sure to try this one!

Friday Finds #80 – April 1st

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Books And A Beat and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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