Paranormal Duo Reviews #2: Bad Girls Don't Die and From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender

Monday, 9 February 2015

Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1), by Katie Alender
Published On: April 21, 2009, by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Horror, Paranormal
Pages: 346
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Rating: ½

Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.
Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

Hardy, har, har. What if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore? *gags* Before reading, I never really paid attention to the summary or to what the book was even about, so I never saw the ghost concept coming. And since that came around, I’d say that the whole concept was a huge bummer for me, as I usually adore all sorts of horror YA fiction that is out there in the midst. This was probably the only exception compared to my past likings. And it’s been more than 10 days since I last touched upon this one, and I can barely remember a peep on what this was really about.

This book itself wasn’t that bad overall. I’d say it was in between okay to great. It was okay-ish? As I’m writing this, trying to compare this to the sequel, I do have to say that this one was much better in plot and basically everything else. A half-star rating from 3 to 3.5 doesn’t seem like a lot, but in my thoughts it certainly does. But it wasn’t that memorable that I had found some quotes that abstracted me and captivated me. None, nada.

This can be your cheap horror movie filmed in a barnyard. Something like never could make it into the theatres or let alone YouTube. The concept is really bland and sucky. I expected something like Annabelle or Saw but it was simply Bratz compared to Barbie—it just doesn’t mix.

Putting everything else aside, I feel like this was a book that one can procrastinate on and will sit there longing and lugging the book around with them for weeks. It was and it wasn’t an easy read at the same time. Your sister is beginning to get possessed, or at least you feel like she is? She’s threatening to kill you and she’s acting strange and making up lies that she’s going to school and working on some “project?” Excuses, excuses…

This could’ve been your typical pre-teen read. If you are twelve, then I’d seriously recommend that you should read this. But if you’re 19 and like more vastly mature things, then this is a no-no. I guess it also has to do with the fact that it focuses on a variety of stereotypical aspects of high schools. Clique groups, first love, all of that stuff. I’d say that if the mystery was lacking and that if I didn’t care about the ending, then this possibly would’ve been a DNF. Thankfully, I liked Lexi and her best friend, Megan, who were the huge protagonists and “heroines” of the story. 

Although the paranormal aspects were lacking, the book itself had a fabulous ending… Until I realized that there would be another continuation all over again. Kasey finally was put into a… menta–I won’t spoil it for you any more. I kept looking into my sister’s room after I finished reading and wondered if she’d come into my room in the middle of the night and throw weird tantrums at me.  

Some may have classified this as literature-excellence (as most of you actually have, with a GR average rating of 4.08), but this was simply okay. It was a little boring as I left and came out of this bookish reality, but it had good characters and a fabulous ending. Just something a little more scary and intriguing, please?

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die #2), by Katie Alender
Published On: June 14, 2011, by Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Horror, Paranormal
Pages: 442
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted

Alexis is the last girl you'd expect to sell her soul. She already has everything she needs--an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a little sister who's finally recovering after being possessed by an evil spirit, then institutionalized. Alexis is thrilled when her sister joins a club; new friends are just what Kasey needs. It's strange, though, to see how fast the girls in The Sunshine Club go from dorky and antisocial to gorgeous and popular. Soon Alexis learns that the girls have pledged an oath to a seemingly benevolent spirit named Aralt. Worried that Kasey's in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the club themselves. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis trades in her pink hair and punky clothes for a mainstream look, and quickly finds herself reveling in her newfound elegance and success. Instead of fighting off the supernatural, Alexis can hardly remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn't to destroy Aralt...why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?

I’ve held off trying to write this review for a week now, leaving it in my drafts, sitting there lonely and unwritten. What am I supposed to do when I have nothing to say? This book was really nothing special, compared to the first, and I probably won’t go out and waste my time with the final novel. I just don’t care. The funny thing here is that this series overall has such a high fan-base and Goodreads average rating. 4.23? That’s something mega-huge, which I don’t really get. Second-book syndrome? Absolutely, and a horrible case of it where I don’t care about the book at all.

I was gifted a copy of this and this first book in the end of 2013. That was more than a year ago–and I guess you could say that I’ve been running away from reading the two as well. And the first book was much more preferable, where I wish that this wasn’t a series, and only a standalone. Why did we need another wacky continuation where Kasey went mad again? *punches a wall* I produced so much hate and anger while reading this sequel, where I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to read another YA ghost story ever again. They usually are okay, but this series wasn’t that good overall.

So in the last book, we ended off with a good ending—where Kasey was sent to a mental hospital after her wide variety of incidents. And now, she’s back home and her sh*t has begun again. LIKE REALLY? She has met a new friend and this friend (Adrienne was her name?) began to get her into all sorts of bad stuff. Then Alexis has to get into Kasey’s business and save her, obviously.

The start of this book gave me some high hopes. I actually expected a better ending than the start, but my opinion blasted all the way around after finishing this one. The thing that bothered me the most was that this is a trilogy. I’m not going to begin a rant because I’ll probably go out of bounds and will take things too far, as I know when I have an opinion that’s bothering me. But the concept of this was really bland compared to the first book, and I didn’t experience any shivers, screams or goosebumps as many other people have described that they had so. Ghosts really aren't my thing since every book is the same thing over and over again. Meh.

As the beginning was strong and off to a good start, you could say that I was in a good mood. Everything was going as planned until Kasey met her friend and then the thing in the forest and the dog happened, and I was like, no. Alender seemed to have had a goal for this book, in the sense of a specific event to happen, but then it went all over the place. It became slow-paced, bland and boring. I lost my interest whatsoever. Yes, so this book went from good to cursed. (The title should definitely change to that, since it makes more sense.)

What my high hopes and positivity is on is Alexis. She’s a real kick-ass protagonist. It seems like I like her especially for her sensibility and loyalty to her stupid dumb annoying young sister. It’s also really weird since I feel like Kasey’s ten, not fourteen—my age. Her acting and personality is so weak and undefined, she seemed like some storybook character who got lost in between the lines of the book. And I was also happy for her since she was so in love with her boyfriend (who’s name I won’t mention since SPOILER for the first two books). Things seemed to be going really well for her, until her nasty younger weirdo sister ruined it all. 

Was this about mental illness? Sure, but there were also some weak paranormal aspects that didn’t scare me at all. Was it supposed to? I don’t really know—but what I do know is that this series isn’t for me. It could easily be put as a twelve year old-recommended read since nothing explicit and scary was happening. It was just a strange mystery with no needs of a third book, for that sake.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I love comments, I always read them, they always make my day and help me improve my posts. Thank you!