Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Dead Girls Detective Agency Review

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death?

Maybe if I hadn't slept through my alarm, slammed into Kristin--my high school's reigning mean girl--or stepped in a puddle, destroying my mom's new suede DVF boots (which I borrowed without asking), I wouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I wouldn't have been pushed in front of that arriving train. But I did, and I was.

When I came to, I was informed by a group of girls that I'm dead. And that because I died under mysterious circumstances, I can't pass straight over to the Other Side. But at least I'm not alone. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency: Nancy, Lorna, and Tess--not to mention Edison, the really cute if slightly hostile dead boy. Apparently, the only way out of this limbo is to figure out who killed me, or I'll have to spend eternity playing Nancy Drew. Considering I was fairly invisible in life, who could hate me enough to want me dead? And what if my murderer is someone I never would have suspected?

3 out of 5 stars
Charlotte gets pushed in front of an oncoming subway train... and wakes up in a hotel lobby. Nancy tells her that she is dead, but is in limbo until she finds out who killed her. Then she will get a key to the Big Red Door and can move on. But never fear. Nancy started the Dead Girls Detective Agency to help new dead kids find their killers. So Charlotte, along with Nancy, Lorna and Tess, investigate- starting with her boyfriend and the bitchy cheerleaders who are after him.

I think the idea for this book is cute. The thing about it was that it seemed like it would be a better Disney Channel movie or series than a book. I say this because a lot of what happened would have been better visually than it was on paper- specifically the killer. It probably wouldn't have seemed so random otherwise.

As for Charlotte... well, I didn't like her much. I'm tired of these pretentious characters who think they're better than everyone else that's not like them then cry because they're outcasts. She seems to only grudgingly admit that she likes Lorna because Lorna dares to have different interests and thoughts than her. I'm also tired of the "I liked it before it was cool" thing. Outside of this, she didn't have much else going on besides obsessing over her boyfriend. While she claims that she's not the kind of girl that only talks about her boyfriend, she kind of is. Again, I think that Charlotte might have been more likeable if it had been a movie rather than a book. I can only hope that any other books (because it seemed like there would be more) are not from Charlotte's point of view.

The rest of the characters were kind of bland. Tess might have been the only one that had any real depth to her, but much of her time was spent being a bitch. Edison, the new potential love interest, was supposed to be a bad boy but wasn't really.

I also have a nit-picky complaint, but I guess it leads to a bigger issue. Near the beginning, when Charlotte is talking about David, she mentions that both she and David knew about Hole before Jennifer's Body. At first, I was confused because Hole was from my teen years and Jennifer's Body wasn't even a huge song. But then I remembered the movie. Still, it seemed like it was old enough that it was also not a good reference. I was actually bothered by this enough to look up Jennifer's Body, which came out in 2009. These characters would have been 12. And, while Jennifer's Body is also a title of a Hole song, that song wasn't even in the movie (Violet was). I guess the bigger issue is that I don't feel like the author necessarily has a good grasp on what a teen would actually be in to now.

Despite the fact that it seems like I don't like this book at all, I didn't hate it. It was a quick and fluffy read with plenty of enjoyable moments. I don't know that I'd rush out for any other books if this turns out to be a series, but I'd probably eventually try to get them on sale.

*Pictures and description on Goodreads

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