Alender, Katie. Bad Girls Don't Die. New York: Hyperion, 2009. Web.
I liked the mystery of this book. There were some moments that foreshadowed what might be happening, but Alender didn't force the plot. As I read the story of Alexis (Lexi), her family and the house that truly became a character, I thought about how it would be neat to merge this story with Miss Peregrine's that I read earlier in this summer. Creepy places, abnormal happenings and distinct characters fill both book's pages. This book has a interesting doll that takes an important part of the plot.
I read this book on my phone and found myself book marking pages that I thought I would include on the blog. Looking back on some of the marks, I realized I missed some foreshadowing moments.
"Home is where the heart is" is not just the Homecoming motto.
The Doom Squad is a group of kids who fit in together because they don't "fit" anywhere else (61). I visualized students that I know who feel the same way. As Lexi explains, "That's the pathetic thing about high school. Everyone tries so hard to be something they aren't" (60). Amen! Lexi has her own opinions about the different high school cliques. "Preps are like cheerleaders, only with less jumping" (70). I liked Lexi's humor and her insight. When her world begins to merge with a cheerleader, she explains, "Alexis's universe, Megan's universe. One is over here, and the other is waaaaay over there. Completely separate. And that's how I liked them" (300). I can hear her. I like how Alender doesn't just use the stereotypes to create flat characters, but she tries to dig into the idea that we are all the same and can put aside our differences when the time comes to help one another. She uses this story to help defend the idiom that you can't judge a book by it's cover, just as you can't judge a person by their appearance or who they eat lunch with at school.
I liked that Lexi made use of her school & public libraries. I found the episode with the school librarian to be humorous and true (294). I am dreading my first run in with a CPA (Concerned Parents Association) group questioning a book. They might even question this book.
Alender had her characters use outdated technology (a microfiche reader). I wondered if my students would get the same visual I had while reading this. Thanks, Alender, for trying to memorialize a piece of equipment that helped me through many research projects!
The entire cast of characters seemed relevant to the story and helped the mystery unfold. As in real life, pieces of information come to us from various sources and don't always make sense until the entire mosaic is created.
I know that is it necessary, but I didn't like how I read to page 553 to find "Seven months later" and the story gets a summarization to propel us to the current evening of Prom. That visual was pretty cute, and I realized that a YA novel would not be complete (perhaps) without a nice prom scene with a movie ending.