By: Larissa | March 5, 2015 | (41) Comments

Blog Tour: Dead to Me

Blog Tour: Dead to MeDead to Me by Mary McCoy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Genres: Historical, Mystery, YA
Pages: 304
Source: For tour
Goodreads | Purchase

LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page."Don't believe anything they say."Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her--and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets--and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars--if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

Thank you The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club for organizing this tour!

This one was calling my name everybody. Historical fiction? Film noir? Murder? The Golden Age of Hollywood? Sign me up.

The Film noir aspect of Dead to Me was certainly not disappointing.  Shady side characters you can never trust, ambiguous morals, murder, corruption everywhere, private investigators, femme fatales were all placed within the jungle of an urban city. It felt like the perfect remembrance to Film noir, even encompassing that hard to truly describe tone. However, with the usage of a teenage narrator Mary breaths fresh air into the Film noir conventions. Furthermore, the backdrop of The Golden Age of Hollywood beautifully intersects Film noir creating such an interesting combination. One may think that the aforementioned wouldn’t have anything in common, but to that I would say that you would need to look deeper. You can take a look behind the glossy seemingly idyllic perfection perpetuated by the strict rulings of the studio system and see tiny little cracks. These are hints that there’s something more, and perhaps something sinister and highly secretive going on behind closed doors. It’s there where the dark atmosphere of Film noir and The Golden Age of Hollywood collide and I absolutely loved what McCoy did with it.

The murder mystery in Dead to Me was very well done. It kept me flipping pages late into the night, the mystery truly creates a pulse racing plot line that will keep you guessing.  There’s red herrings left, right and center and you’ll be second guessing yourself every five seconds. When there was the eventual reveal of the mystery (not with whodunit, that was actually revealed fairly early on- but rather the intricacies, motivations, connections and betrayals present) I could see all of the little ties come together. Though, I didn’t except was another plot twist after the mystery was solved which continues to follow the Film noir mantra that nobody can be trusted and that there will always be a secrets and corruption abound.

I think that really speaks to how multifaceted and interesting the side characters were. Each had their distinct personality and secrets, some of which never even get revealed by the end of the story furthering their ambiguity.  I would say that each side character also had their own motivations in mind, and these played out through their role in the plot. Honestly, I found some of the side characters (namely Jerry and Annie) more interesting than Alice- the main character. While Alice offered an pleasant enough narration, it felt more like she was of an observer to the antics of the side characters and the captivating plot rather than a solid character. I never really felt a deep connection with her nor did I really ever feel like she underwent any real character development. It kept me a bit emotionally distanced from Alice’s plights. In Film noir I usually don’t relate with the main character, but with the inclusion of a teenage narrator it feels like that could have been made possible. As that potential wasn’t realized it does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity.

The romance in this one…wait a minute. There was no romance in Dead to Me. I know, it’s basically impossible for there not to be romance in the genre of YA. That is why it was so refreshing to not have to deal with the main character focused on the love interest rather than the serious plot at hand.  Despite there not being any romance in Dead to Me, there was some examples of familial relationships and friendships. This was likely due to my inability to truly connect with with Alice.

Despite my lack of connection the main character, I would definitely recommend Dead to Me for those looking for a captivating Film noir mystery with a old Hollywood backdrop.

~Thank you Disney Hyperion for sending me this copy!~

3.5 Stars

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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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41 Responses to Blog Tour: Dead to Me

  1. Everything about this book sound awesome! Shame about the main character, though. I feel conflicted when the secondary characters are much more interesting than the main one.
    Priscilla and her Books recently posted…Thoughtful: Review + Tour StopMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      The premise was definitely eye catching for me, and I think it was carried out quite well. And yeah, I just felt the main character was where the novel lacked for me.

  2. I’m very curious for this one now. Not sure if it’s for me, but it does sound good!
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{From Page to Screen} TV-series I’m Watching!My Profile

  3. I’ve been so curious about this one, but I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction so I don’t know if I’d like it so I’ve been a little hesitant about whether or not I’m going to read it. I may try it at the library instead of buying if I decide to read it.
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…INKED | Author Katie YoungMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Hmmm well I’d say the mystery overshadows the historical parts of this novel. But yeah the library is always a save option, and if you do end up loving it then you can buy it [:

  4. I like the sound of the secondary characters! But it’s a shame you weren’t able to connect better with the MC! It does sound like a lovely book though.
    Great review!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : The Start of Me and You by Emery LordMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah usually there’s so much focus on the MC that the side characters left in the dust, in this one it was almost like the opposite.

      Thank you <33

  5. I saw the cover of this the other day and I immediately loved it. I need to read this. I love a good YA mystery and the setting and all that makes it even better.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Daisies in the Canyon by Carolyn BrownMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it’s definitely intriguing. I think this one sounds like it’s perfectly up your alley in terms of mystery and the setting! Give it a shot c;

  6. This does sound really good. A nice mystery, no romance, and a film noir aspect? Awesome!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School by Jen CalonitaMy Profile

  7. Lily says:

    This is the second review I’ve seen for this book today and while I hadn’t heard of this one prior to your review–I absolutely love the idea of a film noir type book. I love the genre so anything that tackles it is bound to be good.
    Lily recently posted…Red Queen (Red Queen#1):ReviewMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, if you love the idea for an YA film noir than I’d certainly recommend this one to you. It seems just like the sort of story you would like

  8. I’ve read three reviews of this book today. I’m a little wary because pulp fiction is a short trip from noir. Not that I mind, regardless. 🙂
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…[501]: On the Edge by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

  9. oh oh oh this sounds really really good! Probably not my favouritest genre because, um, hehe, I can’t even think of a single book I’ve read that’s kind of old and noir-ish. BUT STILL! I should fix that hole in my life. I like thrillers and I like unreliable narrators. XD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Beautiful People #7 // March EditionMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Hahah! Dude, you have to watch some film noir. It’s amazing okay and yeah I’m not biased at all [; I just find it so interesting. The narrator here actually was reliable though LOL, I think she was the only character in this story who was, all the side characters were most certainly unreliable.

  10. Huh. Mary’s Goodreads bio says that she’s originally from Western PA, so I’m going to have to read her book just for that reason. I like supporting local authors.

  11. Pingback: Review: Dead To Me by Mary McCoy

  12. Melanie says:

    Yes, reading this synopsis I knew you’d love it! I do love mysteries so I think I’ll need to give this one a go myself — it really is a shame that you couldn’t connect with the MC properly. I totally get what you mean, sometimes the side characters are just so much more interesting than the actual protagonist. And yay! it’s so great that there’s no romance in a YA novel for once xD

    Lovely review, Larissa <33

    • Larissa says:

      Hahah yeah, the premise just really intrigues me so much. This one was such a great screwball mystery, I’m sure you’ll love that aspect. And yeah, it’s those times when you wish one of the side characters would narrate the story rather than the protagonist. AND OMG I KNOW, ZERO ROMANCE 😮 LOL truly a shocker.

      Thank you <33

  13. Lexa Cain says:

    This sounds great, and I love that there’s no romance in it. Great review – thanks!
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Beverly’s Quote & FreebiesMy Profile

  14. Kyra says:

    I’m DEFINITELY reading this, it sounds fantastic! I rarely read thrillers, but lately I’ve been wanting to read more of them. I also find that Hollywood old glamour fascinating as well. Fantastic review!
    Kyra recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #77 – A.K.A.The edition where I requested Netgalley titles when I really shouldn’t haveMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Let me know what you think of it then (: I think one really does combine an thriller like mystery with a nice old Hollywood backdrop. Thank you <33

  15. I love the cover of this book. I mean, before I saw the cover, I wasn’t even interested, but for some reason, that cover has been calling my name. But then I read the synopsis, and it does sound pretty good. But I am bummed that there isn’t a huge connection with the main character, especially if there isn’t any romance to kind of negate the apathy. Great review, this book still sounds interesting enough that I’d probably pick it up!
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    • Larissa says:

      I must be in the minority, haha I actually feel rather meh about the cover- it’s the synopsis that got me. And yeah no, the main character was given more of an observational role. I honestly felt more of an emotional connection to the mystery if that makes any sense????

  16. That’s fantastic there was no romance here and what sounds like a great mystery was within its pages instead! Sometimes I do find that secondary characters are more interesting than the main character. Wonderful review Larissa.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Blog Tour: Gayle Forman Q&A for I Was HereMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it really was refreshing to not deal with a romance. The mystery was also most certainly the best part of the novel. And I agree haha, it’s those times where you almost wish the secondary characters were the main.

      Thank you <33

  17. Amazing review, love! It’s been a long time since I read a film noir, but I do remember being so fond of it. It would be interesting to read a love letter to that time of our pop culture with a whodunit in the mix. Plus, who can resist a YA that doesn’t have romance, that focuses on the characters and the plot?! Not me, that’s for sure. I added this one to my list!
    Faye le Potato recently posted…Say It With Bubbles: Fairest by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thanks Faye <33 Honestly, it's been quite some time for me too. I really do need to just sit down and watch an good old noir. I really hope you do end up reading this one and enjoying it, the noir and mystery aspects were done brilliantly.

  18. Rebecca says:

    Glad you enjoyed this one, even if you didn’t overly connect with the MC. I’m not much of a historical fan, but I do very much like the sound of it. Lovely review!
    Rebecca recently posted…The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. AndreuMy Profile

  19. Winter says:

    I’m not worhty to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  20. You’re a real deep thinker. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. I\\’d say it is as acurate as it could get…tho this year the road quality from manali to leh was terrible due to heavy monsoon season…crossing rohtang is the biggest challenge this year..and i think the manali road may remain closed for the rest of the year…

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