Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

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Title & Author: Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

Publisher/Year: Disney-Hyperion – March 3, 2015

Genres: YA Mystery, YA Thriller, YA Historical Fiction

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: None; Dead to Me is Mary McCoy’s debut novel

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

“Don’t believe anything they say.”

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her–and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn’t a kid anymore, and this time she won’t let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets–and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie’s attacker behind bars–if Alice can find her first. And she isn’t the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I finally have a new book to add to my favorite YA historical fiction list. When I read the summary of Dead to Me I had assumed it was going to take place in present day Los Angeles (didn’t really catch the “Golden Age Hollywood” part until now). I love history and learning about it, so I like reading YA historical fiction novels but can be picky when choosing to read one. I feel like not knowing that Dead to Me would take place in the 1940’s worked out in my favor. I was sucked in from the first chapter and found myself skimming paragraphs because I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next (I did make myself slow down and read each paragraph). The story was filled with mysteries and you never knew who was behind everything. In the end just when I thought everything had been solved and over another shocker was thrown into the mix.

The one thing I really liked about the main character Alice is that she is strong, brave and independent. I feel like strong female lead characters are slowly starting to become popular in YA books and I love it! Alice doesn’t seem to be afraid of much even when caught in tough situations. Her love for her sister is so strong even though she hadn’t seen her in four years, and she lets nothing and no one get in the way of that. She is also incredibly smart and has a lot of knowledge on many things most people nowadays don’t give a second thought to. I had fixed feelings throughout the book on many of the other characters, but by the end of the book it was clear if I liked them or not. The author sets each of them up so you never know who was a part of Annie’s crime.

After reading Dead to Me, I think I will definitely be giving more YA historical novels a chance. I usually feel like I won’t be able to relate to them, but one thing I learned about that from Dead to Me is that it doesn’t matter if I can relate to the characters or not because it doesn’t take away from the story. I loved and enjoyed the story in Dead to Me and in the end that is what mattered the most. This is Mary McCoy’s debut novel and she has certainly done an amazing job at her first novel. This book will be released on March 3, 2015. A while from now but absolutely, definitely worth the wait.

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Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

I knew right away that Famous Last Words was going to be amazing. I loved the Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy by Katie Alender and was excited to read another thriller/mystery from her. It was way better than I was expecting it to be as well.

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

Expected Publication: September 30, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour, Also was just approved on Netgalley

(Netgalley is a free to join site where bloggers can request digital review copies of upcoming books)

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Willa is freaking out. It seems like she’s seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It’s almost as if someone — or something — is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles — a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa’s strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There’s Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there’s Reed, who’s ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There’s also Wyatt, who’s super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Wow this book was absolutely amazing. I loved the story line and I loved the characters. It felt like I was reading an episode of Criminal Minds if that makes sense. What I liked most about Famous Last Words was that Katie Alender didn’t wait until the last two chapters for everything to unravel. I cannot stand when the author just tries to throw everything together in the last couple of chapters. When everything really began to get crazy and intense, there was still about 50 pages left. I found myself almost jumping over one paragraph to get to the next because I was so on edge about what was going to happen that I couldn’t even read fast enough.

I really enjoyed all the characters in Famous Last Words, even the annoying/bad ones. They all gave a lot to the story and had one been left out, the story would not have been the same. The main characters were awesome. I loved Willa and Wyatt and the journey they go through together. Marnie had her moments when I liked her and others when I wish I could have reached through the page and slapped her. Reed just seemed like your typical Hollywood heartthrob. What surprised me the most was finding out who the Hollywood Killer was. When I was reading I was going back and forth between two characters and just when I would start to think, “Yes I was totally right!”, something happened to change my mind again.

I loved that there wasn’t just a murder mystery, but ghosts as well. I love, love, LOVE all that paranormal stuff (to an extent I would say…yes to the spiritual, no to the demonic). I thought the ghost part of the book was going to be similar to the ghosts in Liv, Forever, but when I found out who the ghost in Willa’s house really was, I was shocked. The way Katie Alender tied everything together in the end made Famous Last Words one of the best young adult thriller/mysteries that I have read. With the creepy and spookiness of the story, along with the thrills, mystery and ghosts, Famous Last Words would be great to read around Halloween (but is amazing to read at anytime).