Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Marie Antoinette, Serial KillerAuthor: Katie Alender
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press

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.

I had a vision of myself visiting a museum in Paris, and an old curator spotting the medallion hanging around my neck. He’d get really excited and then tell me that my family had been noble and prominent. And the rest of the girls on the trip would gather around, and even though they’d be too cool to act impressed, inside, they all secretly would be.

There was just something about Hannah that made you feel like your contract was always up for cancellation with her. But even with that ever-present uncertainty, the benefits of being her friend far outweighed the negatives.

I’d never been to a real city where you could just run downstairs and find grocery stores or a cafĂ©. It felt so connected, so alive, as if the place were feeding off the energy of the people who lived in it. And the people were magical.

I have always been a huge fan of Marie Antoinette and anything to do with Paris, so the cover of this book immediately drew me in. This story follows Colette Iselin as she journeys on a school trip to Paris, France with some of her classmates. Once in France, she learns that there is a serial killer on the loose that has been beheading their victims. Immediately she starts seeing visions of a woman dressed in classical style with a powdered wig, reminding her tremendously of Marie Antoinette. She soon realizes that the pendant she wears around her neck is a common symbol in France, and with the help of a French friend she soon discovers secrets about her own family as well as the history of the country she has admired for years.

Alender was able to take a story that has roots in the past and give it a modern feel. I would be lying if I said that I did not question the plot before reading, because I definitely did. I was wondering how it was all going to fall into place, but surprisingly enough it did. Once I realized that Colette and Marie Antoinette shared some type of connection I was hooked and unable to retreat! When I learned that a secret society was involved, I was immediately regretting my decision to ever question a plot like this one. This book is honestly filled with so many moments that will have you biting your nails and gasping for more.

The greatest part of this book was watching Colette come into her own. Her two best friends were the most gosh awful characters ever invented in YA literature. They were so shallow and disgusting that I almost wanted to stop reading. Both were so fake and made Colette act like something that she was not at all. I was questioning my liking for Colette because of the way that she behaved whenever she was around them. I was happy to see her start to change and develop as the story progressed!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Scholastic Press in exchange for my honest review***

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