Skip to main content

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Fortunately, good girls don't die either in Katie Alender's debut novel Bad Girls Don't Die. Once the story in this absorbing, page turning, heart pounding, wicked, creepy, suspenseful thriller gets cranked up, you won't want to put it down until you've reached the end. Alender creates the creepy atmosphere of a possessed, haunted house and sister like nobody's business--the best part is that it is subtle rather than obvious supernatural elements. The creepiness can just as easily be explained away as a manifestation of a mental breakdown as the main character tells herself over and over again before finally realizing that she is not crazy and yes, her sister is possessed by one crazy, evil ghost.

Alender realistically portrays the outcast, teen outsider who doesn't fit in at her school --she doesn't want to and she doesn't care who knows it. She cuts class, speaks her mind, stands up to the popular in-crowd, and regards with scorn the misfit crowd that she also holds herself apart from. She is on the fringes--at school and at home--she's isolated and alone and has built herself a reputation as a troublemaker whether that reputation is rightly or wrongly deserved. She is just as disconnected from her dysfunctional parents and in many ways from her sister.

Alexis is a loner and an outcast and that's the way she likes it ever since her only best friend was run out of town by the popular cheerleader crowd at school. But she finds solace in photography--Alexis uses black and white film and develops her own photos in a makeshift dark room in the guest bathroom. Her younger sister, Kasey, is thirteen and for the most part the girls get along. But then Kasey starts blacking out, showing up with green eyes instead of her natural blue ones, talking in archaic phrases, behaving bizarrely and committing dangerous acts that verge on criminal. Alexis wonders first if she's going crazy and then if her sister has multiple personalities before realizing this is a far more dangerous problem that doctors and drugs won't fix--or believe. Soon Alexis finds out that the only person who can help her sister before its too late is the one person that Alexis hates. However, she has no choice if she wants to save her sister from herself and save her family from the chilling evil entity that possesses her sister.

With her newfound ally Alexis begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together of the events that occurred in her house ten years ago and over a century ago that have stained it and destroyed nearly every occupant since. Before long the evil spirit's plans for the girls who did her wrong--as well as their daughters and granddaughters-- becomes apparent to Alexis, and she realizes that it is up to her to stop it before its too late. The action steadily picks up speed and barrels to its explosive conclusion when the girls receive help from a surprising ally.

By the end of the story both Alexis and the reader learn that even the popular kids are misunderstood and in the end the only thing that can defeat a vengeful evil spirit hell bent on spilling blood is kindred friendship and the unconditional love a parent has for her child. The heart pounding thrill ride of the story will outweigh the awkwardness of some of the dialog and exposition.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good ghost story/mystery.

--reviewed by Ms. Angie


Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at does not offer any insi…