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Dead Is the New Black Paperback – September 1, 2008

4 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in the Dead Is Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Nightshade, CA, is downright strange and full of the unexpected. When the girl-to-be, cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, begins the school year with a completely new look, Daisy Giordano gets suspicious. The fact that Samantha appears dead doesn't seem to bother anyone, and before long looking dead becomes the rage. Being dead takes on a whole new meaning when a girl is mysterious attacked and turns up in the morgue, and other cheerleaders are stricken with seizures. Daisy and her psychic sisters get to work investigating the goings-on and learn that the culprit is really a vampire, and Daisy is determined to get to the bottom of things. This is the witty and humorous first installment in a series; it provides romance, mystery, friendship, adventure, and the supernatural all rolled up in a fast-paced, plot-twisting story. Readers will identify with Daisy and her struggle to accept and appreciate who she really is and what she has to offer. The slapstick humor and tough attitudes mixed with the occult make this an entertaining choice for teen libraries.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

2011 Popular Paperbacks Titles Award
An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers


"Fans who mourn the loss of TV's Veronica Mars are in for a treat as Perez delivers a wise-cracking, boy-lusting, determined sleuth of a high school protagonist . . . this quick, lighter-than-air spoof of the undead, cheerleaders and popularity is pure pleasure."—Publishers Weekly

"Witty and humorous . . . provides romance, mystery, friendship, adventure, and the supernatural all rolled up in a fast-paced, plot-twisting story."—School Library Journal

"Starts off with a sweet bang—lots of plot lines are set in place, and the characters are well drawn and a bit off the beaten track."—VOYA, (4Q4P) paperback series roundup




"Fans who mourn the loss of TV's Veronica Mars are in for a treat as Perez (Unexpected Development) delivers a wise-cracking, boy-lusting, determined sleuth of a high school protagonist named Daisy Giordano. . . . This quick, lighter-than-air spoof of the undead, cheerleaders and popularity is pure pleasure. Teens will be glad to know two sequels are already in the pipeline."

—Publishers Weekly (9/01/08 )

(Publishers Weekly 2008-09-01)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Dead Is (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152064087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152064082
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pacey1927 VINE VOICE on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first in a series of Paranmormal adventure's aimed for young adults 12 years and up. I am not in the market range but I enjoyed this story very much before passing it along to my stepdaughter. I intend to read the other books in this series as well. This book tells the story of Daisy, a non-psychic child who lives with her mother (a psychic) and her sisters Rose and Poppy, who both have psychic abilites. Daisy feels like she doesn't quite fit in. With her family or at school. But suddenly Nighshade's cheerleaders are becoming very deathly ill..its almost like something is literally sucking the life from them. As a favor to her ex-best friend Samantha, Daisy joins the squad. From that vantage point, Daisy and her new boyfriend start to investigate the murder of a teenage girl who shows up walking and talking to the pep rally...It soon apparent that Nightshade has more than its fair share of odd beings. This story was quick and quirky and fun. It definetly caught and kept my attention and my step-daughter loved it. The writing is well done and the characters are well crafted. The paranormal jukebox is just one of many great touches. I think this book will captivate any teen or pre-teen and maybe their parents. I recomend this book as lighthearted, clean, paranormal fun.
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Format: Paperback
Daisy Giordano has lived her entire seventeen years in the quirky little town of Nightshade in Northern California, where vampires, werewolves, banshees, and witches roam freely, unbeknownst to the ordinary residents. Daisy's family members are magically gifted, too--all except Daisy. Her mother receives premonitions and revelatory images; her eighteen-year-old sister Poppy moves objects without touching them via telekinesis, and her nineteen-year-old sister Rose reads minds. Daisy's mom insists she's a late bloomer, but Daisy has little hope she will ever be able to do anything psychic.

As a result, Daisy feels left out in her family at the best of times as the only "norm," but when her mother, who uses her powers to help the local police chief, asks Rose to assist her in figuring out who murdered a local cheerleader, it's the last straw. Daisy may not have psychic powers, but the crime happened to one of her fellow students at Nightshade High School, where Daisy is a junior and Poppy a senior, and she's determined to do something about it. Whoever--or whatever--killed the cheerleader is starting to harm other cheerleaders, and at the top of Daisy's list of suspects is her ex-friend and current enemy, the gorgeous head-cheerleader, Samantha. Sam has returned to school this fall looking and dressing like a vampire, and Daisy thinks Sam might actually be one. With the help of her long-time best friend Ryan, Daisy sets out to solve the case while trying not to get distracted by her uncomfortably non-platonic feelings for Ryan, who has recently morphed into an amazingly hot guy.

I loved this book! It's a fun read, and a fast one--especially since I couldn't put it down once I started it.
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Format: Paperback
Daisy Giordano is a junior at Nightshade High and a "norm." Her sisters have inherited her mother's psychic abilities: one can read minds and the other has the gift of telekinesis. Her father, who vanished mysteriously five years ago, was also a "norm". Though her mother assures her she is probably just a late bloomer, Daisy can't help feeling left out at home.

School is not much better. Her former best friend Samantha, the "it girl" and star cheerleader of Nightshade High, has returned from summer vacation sporting the "walking dead" look complete with the mini casket on wheels she drags behind her. When Daisy is encouraged to join the cheerleading squad, she wonders what complete humiliation Samantha has in store for her this time.

Daisy's mom, being psychic, works with the town police chief on tough cases. When her mom seems stumped on a case involving the mysterious death of a teenage girl, Daisy is determined to help her. It doesn't hurt that the police chief's son just happens to be her best friend and the cutest guy at Nightshade High. But when the girl's body mysteriously disappears from the morgue and the girl herself makes a surprise appearance at Daisy's first pep rally as a cheerleader, things get really interesting.

Marlene Perez has done a fabulous job of creating the town of Nightshade, California where nothing is as it seems and no one is who they seem to be. (Cue Twilight Zone theme here). Daisy is instantly likable and everyone can relate to the angst that is the teenage years and struggling to find your place in the world, even if Daisy's world is a touch more supernatural than most. The plot twisted, turned and kept me guessing right up until the very end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is narrated by Daisy and she has an engaging conversational style that draws you in even though you know that the plot, the angst, and the drama will all be fairly standard. There is a nice balance between humor and restraint, so you never get the feeling that the jokey angles are being forced down your throat. Daisy has an interesting and uncommonly good relationship with her Mom and her siblings, which gives the book a nice lift. The romance is pretty mild and Daisy's boy crazy moments seem real rather than forced or exaggerated for effect.

The upshot is that you get a supernatural action/mystery that's held together by a pretty grounded and relatable main character. That's a nice combo and it seems like it would be very appealing for an ambitious middle grade or young YA reader. The writing is solid and the book is well crafted. There are a few sharp lines and observations, although the overall vibe is pretty mellow. A nice find.
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