Monday, September 16, 2013

Review of "Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer" and GIVEAWAY!!! :)


Expected Publication:  September 29th, 2013
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
By: Katie Alender
Scholastic Press
ISBN-13:  9780545468091

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.

But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . .

Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.

Review

     Colette Iselin is determined to make it on her class trip to Paris.  She'll do anything to retain her popularity and image, even in the face of an ugly divorce between her parents, with reduced financial circumstances to top it off.  Finally having become friends with the too most rich and popular girls in school, Colette is determined to hold her social standing - hiding the reality of her lack of money and her new scholarship student status.  Once in France, Colette finds herself torn between being true to who she really is and what makes her happy & pleasing the mean girl who is her "best friend."  Also, high profile families once belonging to a secret society in service to Marie Antoinette are being killed in particularly gruesome ways - losing their heads just like the long-dead royal.  It's up to Colette to find a way to stop the killer or she might be next, because it turns out that Colette's family might have committed the worst betrayal of them all.  Can she save herself and her friends, learning in the meantime what's important in life?
     I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to think of this book, as I had seen some pretty negative reviews for it beforehand.  But once I got started I really enjoyed my time spent reading this one!  Colette goes through some serious character growth in this book, starting as a less vocally mean version of Gretchen from Mean Girls, and becoming her own person who makes friends based on who they are - instead of their popularity or bank accounts.  She is rude to her Mom and brother in the beginning, treating them like they are beneath her and all she wants is to stay with her Dad in New York so she'll have money again.  After everything she goes through in France and witnessing the easy and downright happy relationship her tour guide/love interest Jules shares with his family, Colette's attitude adjusts more favorably.  The dynamic between Colette and her mean girl friends Pilar & ringleader Hannah, versus the dynamic between her and tour guide Jules & laid-back, semi-outcast Audrey.  The relationships between all he girls are definitely true to real life high school girls and the mean girl traps they can fall into regarding each other.  But never are any of the girls portrayed as evil, only unthinkingly cruel and snobbish at the very worst.  
     I agree with other reviewers that this book is more of a teen drama/coming of age story, in the guise of a gory thriller/murder mystery.  It was a pretty well-conceived mystery though, with the murders not following any obvious pattern until Colette begins uncovering the connection between the victims.  The mysterious key/necklace she finds in her Grandmother's belongings at home before coming to France also make up part of the puzzle for Colette.  The only part that really rang falsely for me were the confrontations between the murderous ghost of Marie Antoinette and Colette.  I just never felt like the threat was real or I should take it all that seriously.  Overall, the writing  and plot in this book were pretty solid, but the character development in Colette and the descriptions of France itself were what made the book for me.  The secret society aspect definitely didn't hurt things either!  I would recommend it for a fun, somewhat light (if still thought-inducing) read.

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley.  No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book's expected publication is September 29th, 2013.*

***Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, to win some awesome Marie Antoinette themed prizes, including a copy of this book! :)  Good Luck and the rules are on the 'Copter.  May the best (wo)man win! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 comments:

  1. Not exactly what I was expecting, but I'm glad you enjoyed the mystery.

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    1. I did enjoy it, and honestly I'm kind of glad it wasn't a gory, thriller. I'm more into a little light mystery or some all out creepy. It's okay with me that it fell into the first category! :D

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  2. I really want to read this book. It sounds like something I wouldnt be able to put down. I personally dont believe in ghosts, so I want to say no to the question you asked... there must be some other explanation :)

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I'm US :)

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    1. I don't know if I believe in ghosts either, but the idea of it's kind of fun! :) Good luck!

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  3. This book sounds SO awesome! I've always had an interest in Marie Antoinette and Katie Alender is awesome at writing creepy stories. Can't wait to read this one!
    Also, thanks for the giveaway, I'm from the US.

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    1. Never read anything by Katie before, but she's definitely on my watch list now! Good luck. :)

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  4. i want to read this book so bad! it sounds really good!

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  5. Anything is possible! Thanks for the giveaway, can't wait to read this one! I'm from the US

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    1. Expect the unexpected, right? Good luck! :)

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  6. I love the idea of Marie's ghost haunting France! It's a spooky and cool notion. This book sounds so cool I totally want to read it! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! >.<

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    1. It is a cool idea! :) It makes me wary of nighttime in France if I ever get to visit though! LOL And good luck! :)

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  7. Any book that has good character development sounds awesome to me :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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Comments are much appreciated and I always read them with a smile on my face! :) While I appreciate the thought, this an award-free blog as well. I just don't have the time to keep up with it. Thank you for my smiles and please share your thoughts! Also, sorry for the Captcha, but I've been getting a lot of spam lately!