Welcome to Nightshade, California; a small town full of secrets. It's home to the pyschic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom-shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case.
Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can't help but suspect head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new look; Samantha appears a little . . . well, dead, and all the most popular kids at school are copying her style.
Is looking dead just another fashion trend for Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad.
Let me start out by saying that I really wanted to like this book. I had heard some great things about it, the series this kicks off was highly recommended plus the backcover had this nifty review:
"Dead is the New Black equals Veronica Mars plus Buffy the Vampire Slayer..."
Now, I own every season of Buffy on DVD, along with season one of Veronica Mars. They are among, what I believe to be, some of the best television ever created. They were smart, funny and worked. So yeah, my expectations going into this book were really high.
And I think that this may have been a bad thing because by the time I finished it I was left disappointed and let down.
The book starts out with potential and up until the scene in the morgue with Daisy and Ryan I was feeling it. The mystery of Daisy's father disappearing, the former friendship alluded to between her and the queen bee bitch / possible vampire of the school Samantha, a psychic family and her friendship with hotty Ryan possibly turning into something more? There was so much to work with here.
But after the morgue, everything went down really fast. Daisy never really took off as a character and she, in my opinion, is far from the independent outsider we're lead to believe she is. Most of her actions are the result of other people telling her to do them. Such as wearing the bracelet that Samantha gave her, cause she was told to (despite believing it could harm or even kill her). And her reasons for joining the cheerleading squad? Are definitely not to 'solve the case' like suggested. The coach and Samantha said to, so she did. It even states in the book she isn't looking into the case because of cheerleading practice.
The same can be said for most of the characters. Ryan lacks a personality, Daisy's two sisters are interchangable and we don't see enough of her mother to really feel like their is a character there. Sean, Samantha's boyfriend, is reference numerously but he might as well be a cardboard cutout.
On top of that, the ending and resolution to the "who is the vampire attacking the cheerleaders?!?!" feels ridiculously rushed and is a huge let down.
I know that this is a fairly unpopular opinion and I'd suggest checking out other reviews of the book. Like I said earlier, I may have enjoyed it more if I hadn't gone in with such high hopes for the series. And the book does have it's moments, the morgue scene at the beginning is fairly awesome.
Overall, I just wasn't really feeling it.