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. (Source)
Plot: I think the worst part about this book is how ridiculous the plot is. Colette is one of the most popular girls in her school. She hangs out with (practically) the cast of Mean Girls and even though she knows they’re awful, she doesn’t want to lose her status. She spends her whole trip pretending all the sights are lame and not worth her time when really, she has always dreamed of going to Paris. While she’s struggling with the stress of making sure she stays popular and cool in the eyes of her friends, there are also some grisly deaths happening. It seems like we’re so focused on her Mean Girls’ story line, that we forget that there is an actual ghost trying to kill people. Throughout the story, we do get to learn a little bit more about Marie Antoinette, which is pretty interesting. Although, as Alender states at the end of the book, a lot of it is fiction anyways.
Character: Colette – She. Was. Awful. I think what Alender was trying to do was take us through the struggles of a teenage girl. But what ended up happening was that we saw Colette be awful to everyone around her and she completely wasted her trip to Paris. Throughout the novel, we do see Colette improve slightly as she realizes how awful her and her friends are. But really, she just didn’t do much for me. I couldn’t connect with her struggled because she just annoyed me too much. I guess I understand the want to be popular, but really?
To be honest, the cover confused me. Is that supposed to be Marie Antoinette? Or is that Colette dressed up? I’m not sure, but I think it would’ve been cool to have some creepy historical picture of Marie Antoinette up there.
See? It almost looks like she’s holding a knife or something. You could’ve made it really creepy, but instead it looks like some prom queen is on the cover. Which I guess pretty much sums up the book.
Closing Thoughts: To be honest, I started out giving this book a C, but the more I reviewed it, the more I realized there wasn’t much I liked about it. Really, the best thing about this book was the fact that I love Katie Alender. And one point I will make is that if you don’t care too much about the details and just want a fun thriller, this book is not bad. It does give you the creeps at times and it was a very quick read for me. I read it in only one day. But the book as a whole isn’t really the best and doesn’t have a lot of substance. So over all, if you are a fan of Alender, I would say you could read this book. If you like thrillers just for the fun of it, you can maybe try this book. But if you have high standards for your books, this is not for you at all.
Where to find Katie Alender: