Applauding Bad Girls Don’t Die by Deb Meredith

alender_smallI have a confession to make. I’m a wuss about ghost stories. Pretty funny for a mystery writer, huh? But I don’t really like when things go bump in the night. I had too many experiences getting scared around the campfire, I guess.

But even though Bad Girls Don’t Die is a ghost story, it’s a book I couldn’t put down. It’s a story about a teenager struggling with parents who are too busy to pay attention, a little sister who is extremely needy, and trying to cope without any real friends at school. It sounds like she has the typical problems of most teenagers, until all the weird stuff starts happening. And the only one who can stop the haunting and save her sister Kasey is Alexis herself. So it turns out Alexis is a lot braver than she thought. And in the process of surprising herself, she opens herself up to the possibility of new friendships, a love in her life, and a new relationship with her sister and parents.

Interestingly enough, I think Katie Alender has written a book that is at its heart a mystery. Her heroine Alexis must figure out what is going on and who is responsible for all the bad things going on. Like any good amateur sleuth, Alexis interviews the neighbors, does research at the library, and enlists the help of friends. It reminded me of some of the great books I enjoyed growing up that first got me interested in mysteries.

Katie has a great eye for detail. I loved the descriptions of the old house she lives in, and the clothes and hair—Alexis’ is pink, of course. The dialogue felt like things teenagers would say to each other, and the story was suspenseful and interesting enough for even the most cynical and skeptical of youths. I’m sure that BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE will be a YA sensation.

And don’t forget–we’re running a contest all week. Everyone who comments this week will automatically be entered to win. One entry per person, but comment as often as you like. At the end of the week, one commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Katie’s book — for yourself, or a teen reader of your choice! — and a postcard from the rest of us.

19 Replies to “Applauding Bad Girls Don’t Die by Deb Meredith”

  1. So right, I forgot to mention the dialogue. It rings so true without sounding antiquated or corny (as it would if *I* tried to write YA, all my characters would go around saying things are “sweet” and “rad.”)

  2. Thanks, Meredith! The funny thing is, I’m a total wuss. I had no idea Bad Girls was scary until my agent told me it was. As for the mystery angle, that’s something I’m just realizing as the reviews come in!

    And Kristina, that is such a rad compliment.

  3. That’s so funny, Katie! People ask me how I can write such scary things in my mysteries, but I think it’s not so scary when you’re the one writing it because you feel like you have control over it…

  4. I love this discussion of scary stories and not knowing they’re scary, or realizing how much of a mystery they are while writing. It gives a really interesting insight into all your minds. “Bad Girls Don’t Die” sounds great!

  5. Thanks for dropping by, Jen! I love your name–I, too, am a “devourer of books.”

    I think sometimes we don’t always know how our writing will be perceived until someone else actually reads and comments on it. I know some writers who set out to write in a certain genre (like mystery), but find they’re writing something completely different instead (like romance). I think we all set out to write the most entertaining and interesting book we can, and luckily authors like Katie succeed admirably at the task. I know you’ll enjoy BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE.

  6. Butting in here again to say that I had no idea the first chapter of my book was funny until I did a reading in Chicago and had to pause for laughter, and also gave myself the nervous giggles (real professional there, Riggle.)

    Meredith, I tried writing scary stories when I was a kid and DID scare myself with my own stuff. So I, uh, stopped doing that.

  7. I love the image of you getting the giggles reading your own work, Kristina! Very funny. And also scaring yourself with your own stories. It probably stems from a problem that most of us writers have–an overactive imagination!

  8. Jen, I know–it’s totally not something you think about. I think because by the time you finish writing a book, you’re so familiar with it that nothing could possibly take you by surprise!

    Kristina, that’s hilarious. I can’t imagine how cute that must have been.

  9. Larramie–I found it scary and believable, too–but I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to know about the ghost and whether Alexis and her sister would be okay.

  10. Christy–I’m so glad you came (even if I had to twist your arm). And Caryn, it is all those things–and I know you’ll enjoy it!

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