“Dead is so Last Year” is the third and strangest book in the “Dead” series by the writer Marlene Perez. In the book, the Giordano sisters are feeling excited that at last, they have a break from the burden of having to go to school daily (Perez, 2).
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It is summer, and they are alone at home since their mum went to Italy for some activities. Therefore, to have some money for taking care of themselves, all of them get summer jobs in different places within the town.
Daisy toils in the morning shift at Slim’s, Rose is recruited as a research assistant to Dr. Franken, and Poppy works at the place she loves much the beach snack shack. Something very bizarre starts taking place in Nightshade: the town residents start seeing double.
It is as if clones of the town’s inhabitants are wandering in the streets. Therefore, Daisy, as customary to her, goes out in a mission to find out the cause of this strange happening.
Daisy stops her search for a while when she sees the mirror image of her long-missing father, Rafe. After that, Daisy, Rose, and Poppy embark on solving the mystery of determining whether this man spotted in town is their real father who went missing several years ago or just another doppelganger.
In the meantime, Daisy’s boyfriend, Ryan is dedicating all his time practicing for an upcoming football match at the field.
Similar to his teammates, Ryan has grown enormously in a short time since joining the team. Samantha Devereux’s boyfriend has increased in size tremendously such that his neck cannot fit the shirt he wore before the start of the holiday.
Is it that the footballers are looking for extreme strategies to emerge victoriously? Amid the odd jobs, sugar rushes, and festivities, Daisy and her sisters endeavor to find out the reason for these strange happenings, and more actions follow in this exciting pursuit.
Other important characters in the book include Gage Atwood, Grandma Giordano, and Chief Mendez. Gage Atwood was once learning at San Carlos High School before he passed away in a deadly road accident. He frequented Mort’s Mortuary as a ghost.
At last, he went away after Poppy and Gage developed a liking for one another. Grandma Giordano is the sisters’ grandma on their dad’s side, and he generally lived in a 55+ community. Chief Mendez is Ryan’s dad who is also a werewolf and the center of focus concerning security issues in the town.
“Dead is so Last Year” grips the reader from page one to the last page. The author talks about characters that look like ordinary human beings. However, the book has one heck of a mystical twist: the vampires, werewolves, and psychics depicted in the book are just people like any other.
From Mr. Bone, Nightshade’s undertaker, who is at times referred to as Skull, right down to Ryan, who is a werewolf, the supernaturals are not any different from ordinary people, except maybe in looks and eating habits. However, they live and love, just like Ryan loved Daisy, similar to humans.
The idea that the doppelgangers are freely walking in town is captivating. Ms. Perez included a lot of twists in the plot of the story, such as the true identities of the doubles that makes one be deeply engrossed in the story. Also, there is the unresolved issue with the sisters’ dad.
In reality, he is supposed to have passed away some years ago. Or is this not the case? So many things are taking place in the story that one can find it difficult to keep all of them straight. However, the colorful characters, as well as the snappy dialogue, make it be worth the read.
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Similar to other stories in the series, Daisy is the most prevalent character in the story. However, due to the issues with her dad, the reader is introduced to her other equally captivating sisters, Rose and Poppy.
The two sisters play a very beneficial supporting role to Daisy’s character: they rounded her up and made it possible for the reader to believe in her decisions. The other background characters, such as Flo and Slim, brighten each scene that they are participating in.
As much as one may want to see more character development in Daisy, there are many other things taking place in the story that the bothersome instances are not adequate to trip up someone reading the story.
We hope that the insecure and the underdeveloped character of Daisy will continue to grow with the coming of the next few books in this series. Another weakness of the book is how the author introduces new characters as the story progresses.
As they come in, one wonders why they are being introduced now while they have been part of Nightshade for quite some time. This tends to cheapen the experience as it tries to find out an easier way out of the storyline.
Apart from the suspense of the sugar-high supernaturals of the town, the author brings another anticipation concerning the looming siege by the Scourge.
These people are anti-supernaturals, and they seem to be aware that the individuals in Nightshade are supernatural creatures; therefore, they want the world to destroy every one of them.
As with other books, the writing style of the author is clean and witty. The mystery is quick, and indications for unraveling them are available for anyone who is seriously searching for them. It is possible to figure out the new psychics before they are made known.
The cover of the book is well designed. This makes it best suited for teens that are looking for an experience in a light mystical read. Perez uses little word plays in the book.
For example, the wicked researcher, Dr. Franken, can be the short form for Dr. Frankenstein and she names the young werewolf “Wolfgang.” There are also romance-filled scenes in the story, but no one can fill unsatisfied with them.
Daisy, at seventeen years of age, may still be a High School student, but her role is increasing with every new book published. In this third book, her role in protecting the town and uncovering all the plots against it is even more awesome.
Growing up and assuming more duties for one’s actions is something that every teenager should embrace.
It is something commendable that she is growing along with her readers, and with the coming of the next few books, she will probably take more responsibilities in guarding the mystic town.
The cliff ending of this book makes the reader look forward to the release of the next book in this series. Since there is another mystery that must be solved, this series is by no means ended.
The impending attack by the Scourge is still around, and Daisy’s dad is still missing. This is good stuff, and I would recommend this fun series to teenagers who have not had an experience with the Twilight series.
Perez, Marlene. Dead is so last year. Boston. New York: Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. Print.