Review: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

September 30, 2015 3 stars, Book Review, Crystal, Horror, Mystery, Suspense-Thriller, Young Adult 6

marieantoinetteTitle: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
Author: Katie Alender
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Horror, Suspense/Thriller
Find it: Amazon // B&N // Book Depository // Goodreads
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 stars- stick to your bedtime

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.

In all my years of reading YA I have come to find that horror is pretty rare in the young adult genre. Suspense, thriller and horror are among my favorite types of books to read and some of my favorite YA authors, like Katie Alender and Gretchen McNeil, have written some of my favorite YA horror novels. Not only is horror difficult to find in the YA section, but there as a time that Barnes & Noble pulled McNeil’s novels from the shelves because they were deemed “too scary!” That’s a whole other fish to fry but my point is that there are few authors who have lasted as long as Alender writing almost strictly horror for YA. I have read most of Alender’s previous novels and I keep coming back for more!

Although Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is not one of my favorite of Alender’s books, it’s still a solid scary/mysterious story. When Colette goes on a school trip to Paris and a string of murders plague the city, she is forced to dig into her family’s dark past and uncover the secret’s they’ve been hiding since the French Revolution. This novel holds up better as a mysterious story than a scary story. There were many aspects of the end that I didn’t see coming and twists and turns that pleasantly surprised me which are story telling devices that I look for in a good mystery. But as far as the horror, there just weren’t that many scary scenes. Whenever a victim was murdered, that particular scene was told from the victim’s perspective and as soon as they died, the scene just cut off without any of the gory details that I would have liked. I also don’t think the atmosphere was written well enough to give me the sense of horror.

Another aspect of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer that somewhat turned me off was the main character Colette. In the beginning she was one of those high school girls who believes that all of her self-worth is based on fitting in with the right people. She didn’t stick up for her classmates when her friends were picking on them and she pretty much became the type of person she thought they wanted her to be. She definitely wasn’t being true to herself. So while she was on a journey in discovering her family’s deepest and darkest secrets she was also on a journey on becoming who she truly is.

Can we please talk about that cover! I love this cover! It’s very striking with the bright blue eyes, the pink dress and the blood on her face! I wanted to read Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer just from looking at the cover! Overall, I’m really glad I read Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. Katie Alender is on my list of must read YA authors and I will definitely be reading her new horror book soon!

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  • Great review Crystal! I like Katie Alender in general so I’ll read this one!

    • I also really love Katie Alender and will read almost anything she writes! Super excited to read her new book :)

  • I can’t believe they would pull Gretchen McNeil’s books for being too scary!!! I read Ten and it was no more scary than Fear Street. B&N needs to get it together! Anyhow, I wish I could find that diamond in the rough YA Horror. I’ve been looking for a while, but I haven’t found the one yet. I love this cover too!! It’s so pretty and also gruesome at the same time.

    • I agree! I find McNeil’s books to be just as scary as other YA horror novels and yet they choose to pull her books off the shelves. To this day, I still can’t find McNeil’s Possess or Ten at my local B&N. I don’t know if YA horror isn’t perceived well by the targeted audience or if YA authors just prefer not to write it but it’s probably a combination of both. Have you heard of The Merciless by Danielle Vega? I haven’t read it myself but it’s YA horror and I’ve heard it’s pretty scary! Also Katie Alender’s new book The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall sounds like a good read! Thanks for visiting Nite Lite Book Reviews!

    • I totally used to read Fear Street as a kid and some of those books were really twisted. There definitely needs to be more horror in YA. It’s such a great genre and, with Halloween coming, it’s a perfect time to read them.

  • The cover and the title make me want to read it, and I do like a good YA horror. Sorry to hear it was just okay for you. Maybe I’ll try one of Alender’s other books.