September 24, 2013
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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.The newest book from author of the the Bad Girls Don't Die series, Katie Alender, Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer seems a bit, while you're reading it, like a book that shouldn't work. Yet, it does.
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.
Though the novel's title, cover and synopsis put 'serial killer,' 'pale vision' and blood front and center, they almost feel secondary whilst reading the story.
Colette, the main character, is where a lot of the story is focused. She's someone very focused on maintaining appearances, on what people think of her. Whether that's the general Parisian public or her best friends, two very image conscious girls. With her family situation - and her financial situation, as a result - recently altered, Colette is especially anxious with keeping up her image and not losing her her friends.
Even to her own detriment.
It's when she begins seeing a vision, that some of the other elements are brought into the story. While her reactions seem almost muted, action wise, thought wise, they are great. It brings up some great things character wise and gives a deeper look into Colette. The look we get into the past and the French Revolution -- albeit, some of it fictitious -- is very enjoyable as well.
The mystery/killer side of Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer may not have felt especially strong until the last ten to fifteen percent of the novel, however, the friendship, coming-of-age, romance, historical fiction aspects were fantastic. Except for the ending, it didn't feel like Colette or the others were in danger, but that worked here. There was some intrigue, compelling characters, and Paris was written about beautifully.
other books you may also enjoy: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Bad Girls Don't Die by Kaite Alender
thank you to Scholastic and NetGalley for my egalley for review