Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dead Is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez

Daisy Giordano, first seen in the book "Dead is the New Black" is back with another story set in her hometown of Nightshade. Nightshade is the capital of weird, mainly because many of those living there happen to be supernatural-type creatures, Daisy's mother is a psychic, and so are her sisters, Rose and Poppy. But until last year, Daisy's powers hadn't manifested at all, and her sisters considered her a "norm" who needed to be kept out of the family business, which is being psychic detectives.

Now, Daisy, her mom and her sisters are much closer, and Daisy has joined the family business. She also has a boyfriend, her former BFF Ryan, whose father is the Police Chief in town. Rose, her eldest sister, is in college and dating Nathan Bone, whose father runs the funeral parlor and who just happens to be a werewolf. Poppy isn't dating anyone since she was beseiged by a bunch of one-date losers. But when a new student named Duke Sherrad joins the school, Daisy senses trouble with a capital T. Duke claims to be a gypsy with the power of Precognition, although he tends to use props like tea leaves, tarot cards or palm reading. But Daisy, herself a psychic, doesn't buy it. She feels that Duke is a phony, although she can't pin anything down specifically.

Ryan seems to be jealous of Duke, but Daisy is dismissive of his attractiveness. After all, she already has who she wants: Ryan. Somewhat troubling is that he hasn't asked her to the Prom yet, but she's confidant that he will- he's just being a regular guy. Although her friends from the cheerleader squad have convinced Daisy to join them on the Prom Committee, she doesn't like being asked why Ryan hasn't asked her yet.

Later that night, Mr. Bone asks Daisy's mom to look into the problem of a ghost in his funeral parlor, which has been causing lots of mayhem in the Tranquility room, so that it no longer lives up to its name. As Rose and Nicholas go off by themselves, Poppy finds out the name of the Ghost- Gage Atwood. Confident she can deal with this ghost by herself, she sends Daisy away.

Daisy goes to Slim's, the local diner, and has another encounter with Duke Sherrad, who reads her tea leaves, and sees a broken chain, the sign of a hidden enemy. But she finds him irritating and leaves soon after with her sister. The next day, Duke tries to talk to her again at school, but something is wrong with Ryan. He makes a date with her and later breaks it when he shows up with a high fever. He isn't in school the next day, or for a few days afterwards. But his father insists he's okay.

After another encounter with Duke and her drama teacher, Mr. Davis, she finds that Mr. Davis seems alarmed by Duke, but hurries off before Daisy can wonder why. The next day, Mr. Davis is found dead in the park, apparently savaged by claws. The school calls an assembly to inform the students and to assure them that they are safe.

But now Ryan is back, and he's hanging around with another girl, Elise Hunter, a wild child whose been bounced from school to school for bad behavior and acting out. Daisy is afraid that Ryan has found someone else, and the way he avoids her and spends time with Elisa makes more sense to Daisy than Ryan's excuses for why he's avoiding her.

But as her romance tanks, Daisy must deal with Poppy, who has fallen in love with Ghost-boy Gage, find Mr. Davis's killer and deal with a new threat to the town, an organization called Scourge that wants to kill all the supernatural creatures in the world. Now it seems that they have their eye on Nightshade, and Daisy could lose the people she loves if Scourge takes up residence in town. But does she really have what it takes to fight off an enemy as determined as Scourge?

I loved "Dead is the New Black", and this book was no different. It sucked me right in once again to Daisy's world and Daisy's problems, making me forget my own. It's a small book, so it only took a few hours to read, but a lot goes on in those pages, and the writing is so immersive, it takes an effort to come out once you have gone in.

The mystery deepens as we wonder what is going on with Ryan, but I figured it out fairly quickly after the whole "showing up with a fever" incident. Still, the author did make me question whether I was right straight up until the end of that mystery. The other story threads are equally as good, though the Ryan story is much closer to the heart of Daisy, so it's the one we get exposed to most often.

This is another wonderful book, and it's short but sweet. Those who looked eagerly forward to a sequel to the original book will *not* be disappointed in the least by this sequel, and now I find myself looking forward to the third book in the series, "Dead is So Last Year". Hopefully, it won't be long until it comes out!


Anonymous said...

OMG I LOVE THESE BOOKS the author needs to make these into movies

Kendra .H. said...

omg I LOVEloveLOVE DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND it is a great book and i dont say that at all i HATE books but not THIS ONE is the best bookiv read and the only book iv fineshed!!i love the books and think that they should be made in two movies

Anonymous said...

omg all the books Marlene makes are the best. ilove reading her books they're very interesting!! The first book iread from her was DEAD IS A STATE OF MIND when istarted reading the book ididn't even want to let go!!:]
[she should make these books into movies.]

Anonymous said...

Omg i love her books than any other books i have read in my life i cant wait until the 5th book comes out