Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Genres: Historical, Mystery, YA
Source: For tour
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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!~
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