Book Review: Dead is the New Black

Dead is the New Black
By: Marlene Perez
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc., 2008
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Purchased by Reviewer

This book is quite the little gem. I instantly was hooked by the main character, Daisy. She seems so real and down to earth. She struggles with being normal in the midst of a family with powerful psychic powers while juggling school and nursing a crush on her best guy bud, Ryan. However, Daisy soon learns that in the small town of Nightshade not everything is what it seems. There are evil deeds afoot in the town and Daisy is determined to find out exactly what is targeting her friends and other young girls in the area.

I devoured this book – it took me a little over 24 hours to read the entire thing. I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to unravel the mystery and get to know Daisy better. I also enjoyed the little twists Rose and Poppy, Daisy’s sisters presented throughout the novel.

Finally, I must say that Marlene Perez’s writing style is some of the best I have seen lately. She has a sassy wit and lines that speak to the young adult reader. I found myself laughing out loud at times and wringing my hands with worry at other times. I love Nightshade and its inhabitants. I have already pulled the second book in the “Dead Is” series, Dead is a State of Mind”, from my bookshelf to begin tonight. The third installment, Dead is So Last Year, has already hit bookstores. According to Perez’s website Dead is Just a Rumor will be released in the fall of 2010 and Dead is not an Option will be released in the spring of 2011. It looks like I may have stumbled on one of my new favorite series. We shall have to see if the second book can live up to the standards set by the first. I can’t wait for more Daisy, Ryan, Rose, Poppy, and Samantha!

Brief Summary from Marlene Perez’s website:
The first installment of this creepy, campy paperback original series introduces the psychic Giordano sisters—and their very strange hometown, Nightshade, California.

Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can’t help but suspect head cheerlead Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new “look.” Samantha looks a little…well, dead, and all the popular kids at school are copying her style. Is looking dead just another fashion trend for pretty popular Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad….