Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

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Bad Girls Don’t Die

Bad Girls Don’t Die #1

Katie Alender

2009

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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?


From August 2014-August 2015, I lived in Michigan because my boyfriend was going to law school (he’s since transferred to Baltimore–THANK GOD.  No offense to Michigan, but I’ve grown to love the DMV–well not so much the V–in the past decade).  But anyway.  I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know anyone outside of the people he met through school, so I was constantly home with only the cats to keep me company.  Because of that I used to go to the bookstore like three times a week.

Every time I was there I would pick up this book read the back and then put it back down.  I am so mad at myself!  I wish I had read this months ago!

I did not expect to like this as much as I did  And I definitely did not expect to be scared. It is very rare that a book actually creeps me out.  I don’t think I’ve ever really read any Adult horror but I’ve tried my hand at quite a few YA “horror” stories  and none of them have ever really successfully clicked.  But this one did. It really did.

It was so good. And so freaking creepy. Leave it to demonic children and dolls to really scare me.

I literally had to put this book down at one point because I was home alone and was so freaked out.  I had to talk myself into picking it up a few minutes later because I just had to finish it. I moved out of my bedroom into my brightly lit living room  and proceeded to freak out at every single little noise my apartment made.

So on top of this book scaring me much more than I thought possible it was also really funny.

Alexis is the MC of Bad Girls Don’t Die.  She is your typical YA outcast: brooding, pink hair, into photography, has no friends, hates the cheerleaders, and is a trouble maker. You know, the norm.   Basically, no one understands her.  She can also be pretty rude and sarcastic. But WHATEVER. I loved her. Everything that should have annoyed me about her just didn’t.  I don’t know what it is that allows me to look past normally frustrating stereotypical characters and fall in love.  Maybe it was the humor.

Another thing I really enjoyed was that it was so atmospheric. My childhood home was built in 1899 and I know what it is to sleep under an attic that creaks and to grow up half convinced that there are people walking above you.  So a creepy old house is a perfect setting for me.  Add dolls and demonic children into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for success.

There was no instalove.  In fact I might have enjoyed a little more romance.  Chapters would go by without Alexis even mentioned Carter…which of course IS A GOOD THING. This is not a paranormal romance.  I probably would have been annoyed if instead of Alexis worrying about the fact that her house is haunted and her sister is possibly possessed she were focused on her relationship.  But he was just so adorable that I wanted more of him.

There were of course some flaws. It’s not really brimming with character development  and the characters  are pretty stereotypical, and there is a cheesy, perfect ending.  But with this book, the good definitely outweighed the bad.  It wrapped up really neatly so I’m interested to see where the next 2 books of the series go.

If you are looking for a quick, addicting, SCARY YA book totally check this one out.

Reviewing a Classic: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

This isn’t a real review. It’s basically me just explaining why I don’t really review Classics.

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The Haunting of Hill House

Shirley Jackson

Format: Audiobook; read by Bernadette Dunne

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First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.


I started this way back in October when I was trying to read scary books for Halloween.  I stopped reading around 30% and returned it to the library. I just couldn’t really take it seriously.  I think that’s one of my main problems with older books. Did they really talk like this?  But a few days ago I was thinking about the classics challenge I’m participating in and figured I might as well give it another shot because I’m going to have to read a bunch of old books.  But I decided to listen to the Audiobook instead.  And I really enjoyed listening to it.  Bernadette Dunne read it and I think she did a great job.  Her narration added the perfect creep factor that I wasn’t getting from just reading. 75% of enjoying an audiobook to me is the narrator.  And usually I prefer male narrators to female.  I think it has to do with listening to so many YA audiobooks, such as the Hunger Games and Legend where the narrators were so boring.  An English accent always helps as well.
For the story, I’m not really going to review it.  The book is pretty old, and it’s a classic “horror” story.  I’m sure this book has been analyzed thousands of times and I’m not about to add my nonsensical thoughts to that.  Although I wouldn’t mind actually reading some literary commentary on it.   Sometimes I miss college.  I would gladly go back if I didn’t have to write any papers or take any tests.

I enjoyed the actual plot as well.  It reminded me a lot of The Turn of The Screw, by Henry James, which I had to read for a Lit class in college. You’re never quite sure if anything at all is really happening or if it is all in the characters head.  It’s more than “horror” because it is so intensely psychological. I wasn’t exactly scared while listening, but I was definitely intrigued and I may have shivered involuntarily on more than one occasion.

I don’t usually rate classics literature (Again, who cares what I have to say when it is clearly a classic for a reason), but I’d give it a 3-3.5.  Let’s be nice and go up because I really enjoyed the narration .  I’ll probably actually try and read it again to see if there is anything I missed while I was cleaning my  bathroom.  Maybe next Halloween.

Has anyone read The Haunting of Hill House? 

What do you think? 

Was it all in their heads?

Or was Hill House really evil?