Thursday, June 13, 2013

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender (ARC 9/24/13)

Summary (from Goodreads):
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
So, normally, I try not to read ARCs so ahead of the publication date. A lot of the time, I am asked to review books the month they come out. I sometimes do make exceptions to this rule. I did start two ARCs way ahead of schedule when I was waiting in lines at BEA. This was one of them. And well, how could you just stop reading this crazy story?
My favorite thing about reading this story was how unclear the supernatural stuff was at first. I wasn’t sure for a while if the ghost Colette kept seeing was actually the ghost of Marie Antoinette or someone dressed as Marie Antoinette. And, I loved having to guess. I also just loved the whole concept of a pissed off Marie Antoinette ghost going around Paris, beheading people. Honestly, it sounded like a concept that could go either way: in the direction of a terrible horror movie, or in the direction of pure awesome fun. Thankfully, it went more in the second direction.
I really, really, enjoyed reading about Colette. She’s not the world’s best or bravest main character, but she is beyond realistic to me. She really is a teen girl, as compared to a teen genius, princess, super hero, etc. She can be selfish, and mean, and egotistical, but what teen girl really can’t? I liked that she wasn’t the standard YA selfless and brave main character. She puts a lot thought into what people think of her. She doesn’t want her classmates to know she doesn’t have money any more. She wants people to see her as top of the top (status-wise), and while normally these characteristics would make me hate a main character, they really just made her more authentic. And actually, these characteristics gave her that much more room for growth on her Paris trip. And you know I love a coming of age story that takes place on a trip to Europe!
All the historical (real and fake) connections Colette had to the revolution were things I have seen done before. And I didn’t really believe that the instructor of her class would seriously allow for so much of the shenanigans to go down as she did. However, this didn’t bother me as much as it could have. I was just so engrossed in the whole Marie Antoinette ghost thing. And the romance, of course. I loved the French romance!
This book is layered with romance, Paris tourism, mean girls, parties, history, and a murder mystery that is just so unique! The writing style reminds me a lot of Maureen Johnson and I highly recommend this one to fans of Maureen’s books. I give this a 9/10. I’m so glad I started it when I did.


  1. Hmmm, I wonder if I'll like this. We don't always agree. Sounds a bit fluffier than I was hoping, but at least I know!

  2. Oh I am SO happy you enjoyed this one so much, I was REALLY curious about it AND hoping I'd snag it at BEA but sadly I missed out! I still really want to read it though and after reading your review I'm all the more excited! Paris & a murder mystery sounds perfect in my book :D Brilliant review, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. This book had history and an incredible plot! I started this book not expecting much but now that I have finished it, it exceeded my expectations astronomically! I highly suggest it!

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