Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Dead Is Not an Option by Marlene Perez

Daisy Giordano is a senior now and preparing for life at College, but although she's sent out plenty of letters to colleges, none of them have come back yet, and Daisy is worried that she might have to go to the local college and end up being separated from her boyfriend, Ryan. But there's plenty to distract her from that particular worry.

For one, she's still trying to free Lily Wilder and her fiancé from the spell of Circe Silvertongue. Daisy knows that Lily's spirit is trapped in the jukebox at Slim's Diner, and her fiancé, Bam, is actually Circe's pet pig, Balthazar, but she's no closer to figuring out what spell Circe used on them, or how to undo it, or how to make Circe undo her spell.

And now there's a new wrinkle in the mix: a vampire and a werewolf, each showing signs of the victim being killed by the other kind of supernatural creature, have turned up in Nightshade, and it's causing lots of tension between both groups. Each is blaming each other for the killing, and now the leader of the Vampires, the actual Count Dracula, has shown up in Nightshade to lead the vampires, with a new romance on his arm- none other than Circe Silvertongue!

Daisy is upset, mainly because with her boyfriend, she's on the side of the Weres, or at least it's assumed she is, and her sister, Rose, is also. But their older sister, Poppy, is dating a vampire, and this leads to some tense times in the family. Even though Daisy's hobby is cooking, which brings her family together, the tensions between the two factions may end up driving it apart. And while the tension in her own family is bad, the idea of a vampire/werewolf romance is even stranger, but it seems to be happening right there in Nightshade. But will the romance pour oil on the waters of the conflict, or just make it worse?

And while Daisy has promised to free Lily, the amount of time she's taking is making Lily impatient. And Circe, who might be persuaded to free Bam and Lily, needs some special items to free them. But can Daisy find those things while taking part in all the madness that is Senior year at Nightshade High? And when a tragedy afflicts Ryan's family, will Daisy choose to stay close to him, or go to college somewhere far away?

I love this series and I love Daisy Giordano. I was wondering if this book might be the end of the series, since both Daisy and Ryan are supposed to be leaving Nightshade for college. But it seems not, although both Daisy and Ryan seem to be made for colleges much more academically rigorous than Nightshade junior college. But at least Daisy and Ryan will end up being together. And her father is a teacher at the college, which means that she'll still be there interacting with the rest of the interesting characters and creatures in Nightshade.

Of course, the Scourge is still out there, and there are plenty of stories untold and characters unexplored in the town whose stories and baggage may end up featuring in future stories about the town. And as Daisy gets more known, she and her family might end up gaining more power in Nightshade itself.

This book sort of reminds me of a cross between Scooby Doo (with Daisy playing the part of Daphne/Velma and Ryan being both Fred and Scooby Doo (since as a werewolf, he's also a Dog), but without a Mystery Machine, and if Daphne or Velma was psychic. There's a sort of bouncy fun to these novels, even when stakes are high and bad and strange things are happening. I love the town of Nightshade and all the people and the characters who live there. It's fun and a great series that I love every time I open the covers on the books in the series.

II can't recommend this series highly enough. The stories are wonderful, and so are all the characters, even the minor ones who spend a lot of the time in the background. I can't wait to see what happens in the future and what happens in Nightshade and the end of the Scourge storyline. Highly recommended.

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