TITLE: Pretty Little Dead Girls
AUTHOR: Mercedes M. Yardley
Overall: ★★★★ (3.5)
“Run, Star Girl.” Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny. Mercedes M. Yardley’s Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy is a dark, lovely fairy tale with lyrical language and a high body count, and features a cover by Hugo award-winner Galen Dara. Includes “Oliver Bloom” by Ryan Johnson, a short story featuring characters from Pretty Little Dead Girls.
Buy it HERE on Amazon!
THE CRITICAL POINTS
Let me start by saying I know I’m in a minority with this book review. I’ve seen the amazon reviews… Pretty Little Dead Girls has an average of 5 stars with 82 reviews and that is awesome! I guess this narrative style of writing just really isn’t my cup of tea. Or maybe it isn’t the narration, its more that every character seems to have the same voice… but more of that later, when I talk about characters.
With all that said – I still think that Mercedes M Yardley is a talented writer, and I do plan on reading more of her work.
WRITING: I have never read anything like this… The author writes from a narrator’s point of view, but instead of standing outside the story and telling you what happens, the narrator speaks directly to the reader. Addressing the reader, outside the context of the story, is very jarring.
STORY: Right from the start of the story, the reader is intrigued. We’re told that Bryony is the type of girl who gets murdered. We don’t know why, but we accept it as truth. Starting on page one, you are drawn in and you start searching each new character you meet to find out if they might be the one to murder Bryony.
This is when the story falls apart for me. I’m intrigued by the concept of the story, the idea that this girl has a destiny that is so plainly clear to everyone, but it’s never explained. We never – throughout the whole book – learn why she is destined to be murdered or who EVERYONE KNOWS IT! The whole story is about how she is destined to be murdered, everyone knows it and tries to protect her, and how she escapes her destiny as people around her die.
I just felt like the potential was there for this to be a really amazing story, but it fell flat for me.
CHARACTERS: I’m not really sure how to describe the characters in this book. Honestly, they all feel the same, other than Bryony. Because everything is told from the Narrator’s point of view, everyone seems to speak in the same voice. I think the part that really threw me, was when there was a full conversation, between Bryony (our lead) and the Murderer, using only eye contact. A conversation that was so absurd… so ridiculous in the moment… that it pulled me right out of the story. This is only one example of many, where I found myself shaking my head and asking myself, “why am I still reading?” Yet, I read it from page one until the end.
APPEARANCE: The cover was designed by Galen Dara, and the artwork is truly beautiful. Reading the story, I didn’t really envision Bryony looking like the girl on the cover, but that didn’t take anything away from the book for me.
MY FAVORITE QUOTE: “Bryony Adams was the type of girl who got murdered.” It’s the first sentence of the book and immediately draws you in.