Bad Girls Don't Die

Katie Alender, Author . Disney-Hyperion $15.99 (346p) ISBN 978-1-4231-0876-4

In Alender's character-driven debut, outsider Alexis—who dyes her hair exotic colors, hates cheerleaders and sees the world through the lens of her camera—first suspects something's amiss when she and her younger sister, Kasey, notice light emanating from their antiquated house. Tension builds slowly as doll-obsessed Kasey starts acting more strangely than normal, the girls' father is hospitalized after a car accident and the house itself becomes increasingly temperamental (the air-conditioner seems determined to freeze them to death, and the girls are strangely drawn to the creepy basement). Meanwhile, Alexis's social life takes an unexpected turn via a budding romance with the class vice-president and a new confidante: a cheerleader with a clairvoyant bent. As Alexis's stubborn stereotypes disintegrate, so does her unwillingness to accept the possibility of unseen forces, and she addresses the change with wry humor (“What was this, Challenge Alexis's Long-Held Assumptions Day?”). While the true scares are relegated to a few ephemeral moments during the buildup of the haunting, and the ghost's vengeful motivations feel undernourished, fans of classic young adult ghost stories should welcome this solid offering. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/16/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 346 pages - 978-1-4231-0877-1
Paperback - 978-1-4231-3648-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4945-6417-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-1417-4
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