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Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

October 8, 2013

Title: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
Author: Katie Alender
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Format: eGalley

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.—via Goodreads

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer did a really great job of getting me out of a book funk.

Though this book is, technically, a ghost story about a vengeful queen of France, I wouldn’t necessarily consider this horror. Sure, there are some creepy parts (beheadings! hauntings! catacombs!) that are pretty detailed, but, if you’ve ever seen Law  & Order (and let’s be honest, you have.), you can handle this.

At its core, this is a book about self-discovery. Collette, the protagonist, is having a rough time with her family—her parents have divorced leaving her mom in a financial bind, she and her brother fight constantly, and she feels as though her wealthy mean girl-style “friends” would never understand her problems. When she attends a class trip to Paris over spring break, she’s hoping for an actual break from her life. She wants to take in Paris and feel transported to another place, where she doesn’t have to worry about her family issues or money.

But what she ends up discovering are deep familial secrets that date back to the time of the French Revolution. And that French boys are good at kissing.

Overall, this book has it all—a great hook, (very) high stakes, some armchair traveling, just enough flirting and snogging to keep you smiling, and the discovery of what it means to be a real friend. It’s fast-paced enough to keep you speeding through the book, but a good enough story to make you want to slow yourself down to savor it.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

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