Book Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
By: Katie Alender
Published By: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Page Count: 296
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery, Paranormal
I loved Katie’s series, Bad Girls Don’t Die, so I was excited to read her latest book.
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is about high school student, Colette Iselin, who is going on a class trip to Paris. A number of murders are taking place in the city and is causing quite a bit of alarm. While on the various tours in the city, Colette keeps seeing a woman in a ball gown and powdered wig who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. Colette enlists the help of her French tour guide to help her solve the mystery.
Colette is a typical teenage girl with all her many insecurities. She has two best friends, Hannah and Pilar, who are the rich girls at school. Hannah is actually the mean, rich girl, who not always kind to Colette or Pilar. You can tell this book is going to be an awakening for Colette in several ways.
The first time Colette sees the ghost is when they are touring the Chateau de Versailles. Colette knows that Hannah & Pilar won’t believe that she has seen a ghost. She discovers that Audrey, one of the “geeks”, and Jules, the tour guide know enough about the city to help her discover the secret of who this wigged woman is.
Colette goes through many emotions in this book – dealing with her parents’ divorce and her family’s subsequent loss of money, her struggling to find a place in the social hierarchy of school life without disclosing her financial situation, and her budding relationship with Jules, the French tour guide. It was wonderful to see her growth from such an insecure girl to one who is more confident about what she wants and realizes how important family is.
My biggest annoyance with the book is all the French being spoken with no translations. I had my iPad next to me with Google translate open because I didn’t understand what was being said. The French phrasing wasn’t crucial to the plot of the story, but it annoyed me not knowing what was being said.
Within the first couple of chapters, I realized this book wasn’t going to be as exciting or creepy (in a good way) as the Bad Girls series. However, the book was still an enjoyable read and I finished it in just a couple of days.
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.