Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender

      Title: As Dead As It Gets
Author: Katie Alender
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Rating: 5/5

Cover Impressions:
So much cover love.  Even before reading the book I was a big fan of the creep factor behind each of the Bad Girls Don't Die covers.  After reading, I am happy to note that every detail included in this cover, from the dress to the flowers, is reflective of the story.  The color scheme features the prettiest lavender and makes me want to blow it up and frame it.

The Gist:
Alexis and ghosts go way back.  She has successfully thwarted both a possessed doll and a demon seeking poise, perfection and death.  These encounters have left her with the ability to see ghosts through the lens of a camera and stripped her of her best friend, her boyfriend and now the one thing that was keeping her sane; her photography.

I have been waiting for this finale for a very long time.  I had high hopes of growth for Alexis and some truly scary moments for myself. I was not disappointed on either point.

The fact that Alexis only sees ghosts (other than Lydia) in pictures and on film is a really neat twist. Especially being faced with them in magazines and textbooks. It makes me think about how often we look at photographs and video in our everyday lives. For Alexis, this twist seems to take away the one constant in her life – her photography. At this point, she has lost Megan, Carter and now her one refuge. It makes for a bleak start to the novel but I think Alexis needed to be broken down and stripped of her safety blankets so that she could grow into a better person.  

This plot twist also creates some truly terrifying moments.  Imagine shooting pictures in the dark that show a gruesome specter standing right in front of you, but not being able to actually see the creature with your own eyes.  It adds an extra element of terror to the novel's ghostly encounters.  This time around, the ghosts are incredibly intense and terrifically terrifying.  This is not one to read while home alone.  Or perhaps it is the perfect book for that.

Alexis continues to struggle with her character flaws but growth is on the horizon, I promise!  I know some readers are annoyed by characters who take too long to start behaving in a manner that we see fitting, but I believe Alender has portrayed an accurate representation of the effort and emotion that goes into seeing one's flaws and attempting to fix them.  That said, I was very happy when Alexis finally begins to trust other people and, eventually, herself.  And then there is Lydia.  Despite her trying to kill all the member of the Sunshine club in From Bad to Cursed, I always liked Lydia.  I was very happy to see her return and even more happy to see her role advance from background lurker to strong supporting character.  Lydia has a way with snarky remarks and reminds me that even the prickliest of teenagers can be hiding a real strength of character beneath.

Katie Alender manages to create a plot with an exciting blend of low build and high action.  Chilling moments are interspersed with emotional breakdowns and relationship building.  The intricacies of the story are slowly revealed and begin to knit together to create an ending that incredibly satisfying for those of us who have read and loved this series and these characters (even Alexis).  I am sad to see it end, but happy that it did so on a high note.  I cannot wait to see will flow from Mrs. Alender's pen next. 

Teaching/Parental Notes:

13 and up
Gender: Female, though not strictly.
Sex: Kissing
Violence: Death by falling, Attempted murder/suicide
Inappropriate Language: None
Substance Abuse: Some underage drinking

Notable Quotables: 

A cute accountant, piped up the voice in the back of my head.  Shut up, voice.

“After school one Monday, I decided I deserved a break.  A little fun in my life, for once.  So I set aside the whole afternoon to organize the kitchen junk drawer.”


Rachel said...

I love this book too!!!!!!!!! This is one of my favorite series ever! I really like how Lexi grows into a strong character in a realistic manner. I was so surprised at Katie's ingeniousness in this novel with the photograph showing ghost and why the certain horror was affecting Lexi. Jarod was a very interesting character. My only complaint about this wonderful end was how little scene time my favorite character, Carter, had.
New follower ;) Nice to meet you!

Zabet said...

Thanks for the comment, Rachel. I was never a big Carter fan but I disliked the new guy from the minute he was introduced in the previous book. I can't wait to see what else Katie Alender has in the works!

Anonymous said...

I really love the sound of this book, I've never heard of it before, but it sounds great!

You have a very lovely set up here on your blog, I have to say, I quite adore it.

I look forward to more reviews from you because this is really nice!

Zabet said...

Thank you so much. I love hearing that people enjoy the blog!

Unknown said...

I just let my 12 yr old check this book out at the library yesterday, another teen girl that helps out recomended it. My daughter was interested in reading (suspense/thirller) She will start the series. Reading this blog helped me understand what she will be reading. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with this book the minute i saw the trailer. i just love the sound of the book. it sounds like something i would read. i am going to get this book right away! I NEED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

Anonymous said...

I seriously fell in love with this book! The first book of the series was very nice too! You need to read the whole serie then you get the story line and it gets really interesting! The first book is bad girls don't die , than as dead as it gets and at last from bad to cursed! I love the serie!

Anonymous said...

I'm in belief that all of the books are possessed to put you into a trance of reading them because they are THAT good.

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