Dead Is a State of Mind

Paperback | December 19, 2008

byMarlene Perez

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A creepy, campy new mystery seriesWelcome to Nightshade, California-a small town full of secrets. It's home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!There's a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High: Duke Sherrad, a fortune-teller claiming to have descended from Gypsies. Even though she's psychic herself, Daisy is skeptical of Duke's powers. But when a teacher who was the subject of one of his predictions ends up dead, she begins to wonder if Duke is the real deal after all.Maybe if Daisy can track down the teacher's killer, she can find out the truth. The only trouble is, all signs point to the murderer being of the furry persuasion. Is Daisy any match for a werewolf? Maybe she is . . . in more ways than she bargained for!

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From the Publisher

A creepy, campy new mystery seriesWelcome to Nightshade, California-a small town full of secrets. It's home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With...

Marlene Perez is the author of eight books in the Dead Is Series, including Dead Is The New Black, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She lives in Orange County, California. Visit her website at .

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Dead is the New Black
Dead is the New Black

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Dead Is a Killer Tune
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see all books by Marlene Perez
Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 6.85 × 5.02 × 0.47 inPublished:December 19, 2008Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0152062106

ISBN - 13:9780152062101

Appropriate for ages: 12


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Directed towards teens approx. 13 y.o. Good but I think its no longer my sort of series. It took me a month to get through this book. Normally it would take me a day or two. I’m not 100% sure if this is because since I started this series back in 2008 my taste and expectations have changed (It tends to happen when you read over 100 books a year), or because this one was much slower than the others. Either way I didn’t like this book as much as the others. I found that the characters were focused more on being polite and up standing citizens compared to the actual on goings. Although this is a nice idea its not very realistic and takes away from the story. At the same time there were a lot of little side thoughts (I was going to ask them, but thought better of it, or hmm…that sounded familiar but I didn’t have enough time to think about) I don’t know if you get what I mean from that but I hope so. There were also moments when some things just didn’t make sense. A character in the novel states that the last thing she remembered was an estate sale, yet the next sentence she says she can’t perform because she doesn’t sound good anymore. My observation is that she became a good singer after the estate sale not to mention she joined a band after the estate sale and join the competition after the estate sale…so how did she remember all this is she didn’t remember anything after the estate sale and there were no mentions of someone explaining things to her. A lot of little things like that that perhaps only an observant reader would noticed really got to me and took away from the story line. Then I have to say that the story line was…busy. There seemed to be a lot happening and I sort of got the feeling of the book being a mystery. I know that sounds dumb because it is right…but there is a difference between a supernatural book that has a mystery like Storm by Brigid Kemmerer when you are trying to figure out who the person they sent to observe and potentially destroy them is, than compared to a Sherlock Holmes character. They directly referred to looking for clues when I felt it would have been a better storyline if we were allowed to pick up on whether or not it was a clue and sort of build the mystery ourselves. There were also a lot of coincidences, such as in a cave filled with garbage and random things she feels something plastic and has the need to put it in her pocket and later on realizes it’s a clue. I ‘m not trying to bash the book or the author or anything because I really liked all the other novels in the series and there were some aspects that I liked about this books as well. Not to mention this is a fantastic series for teens. I wasn’t a big fan of Dominic in the beginning of the book but near the end I did. I guess I’m a sucker for romance. Jessica seems like a nice kid. Perhaps I would like her to be a little more bold and self confident but she is still a good character. And I love that Daisy (the main character from books 1-5) was in this novel as well. And of course the music and band stuff is very cool. And I love that Dominic is a Oracle that sings songs that provide warnings to what is happening. Although they seem to neglect the songs because I figured out who it was in half way through the novel where they never figured it out until they stumbled upon the bad guy in action. Good: Jessica—Kicks butt and a nice girl Dominic—finally got his act together. Bad: I guess this series is directed towards a younger audience than myself and I’ve started to see where it lacks to make a novel into a great novel. Overall (Writing style, story line, and general): Overall the story line was decent and had potential however the writing should have been revised to remove unimportant sentences and maybe add in more detail so that the reader can get a better picture of the world of Nightshade. Overall I may no longer be continuing with this series and if I do it’s for a light read when I have nothing else available. View more of my review and others at my blog:
Date published: 2012-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love the series Great third book! Love the series
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light paranormal Goodness If you liked the first book.. "Dead is the New Black" you will love this. The pace keeps the same as the first book.. two new characters are introduced.. Duke and Elise. Daisy keeps doin her sloothing around with the help of her sisters. This time around they are lookin for a paranormal murderer. Things are never what they seem at first glance. Love and love confusion plays a role too. Was left wanting more of Daisy and her paranormal pals.. even the cheerleaders.
Date published: 2009-07-23

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Read from the Book

CHAPTER OneI was running late. So late, in fact, that I didn’t watch where I was going and slammed into someone walking out of the school office as I ran by."Ooph!" he said as my elbow jabbed into rock-hard abdominal muscles."I am so sorry!" I said. I’d almost knocked over a stranger. An extremely handsome stranger who stood there smiling at me, despite the fact that I’d almost flattened him in my hurry to get to chemistry class."Do not worry," he said with a heavy accent I couldn’t place. "It is a pleasure to run into someone as beautiful as you on my first day."He was dressed in a deep blue silk shirt, form-fitting black jeans, and boots. His spiky hair was really black, like someone had overturned an inkwell on his head. His long lashes framed incredible blue eyes."You’re new here?" I said, stating the obvious. I knew practically everybody at Nightshade High—and besides, it wasn’t exactly swarming with gorgeous new students."I am Dukker Sherrad," he said, "but my friends call me Duke." He took my hand and held it longer than strictly necessary."Hi," I said.He looked at me questioningly. I seemed to have forgotten my name as well as my manners."I’m Daisy Giordano," I finally said. I paused for a minute, waiting for recognition to set in, then felt like an idiot when my last name garnered only polite interest instead of the usual curiosity. You see, my mom is a psychic. She solves crimes all over the world using her powers. She wasn’t exactly famous yet, but she’d been in the news plenty of times and I was getting used to people recognizing the name.I blushed, amused at my overinflated sense of self-worth. "Welcome to Nightshade," I said.Samantha Devereaux walked up as we stood there. She was blond, gorgeous, and the head cheerleader. She was also kind of a friend. Earlier in the school year, Sam had gone through a queen of the damned look, but that, thankfully, was over. She was wearing jeans I was sure would soon become all the rage and what looked like her boyfriend Sean’s button-down shirt over a lacy camisole. It was outfits like this that earned her the nickname the Divine Devereaux.I dropped Duke’s hand. Quickly, but not quickly enough."Daisy, aren’t you forgetting someone?" Samantha said pointedly. Remarks like this were why she was only kind of a friend. I thought I could be sarcastic, but I bowed before the master."What?" I was still staring into Duke’s eyes, almost against my will."Ryan Mendez. Your boyfriend. He’s waiting for you by your locker," she said.Ryan. Oh my gosh! "I was supposed to meet him before class!" I said."I was hoping you would be available to show me around the school," Duke said."I’ve got to run," I said, "but this is Samantha Devereaux. I’ll leave you in her capable hands."As I left, Samantha said something to Duke I couldn’t hear, and he laughed, dimples flashing. I felt a slight pang at leaving such a cutie behind, but another cutie waited for me.I bolted to my locker, where Ryan was, as Samantha reported, waiting patiently."I’m so sorry!" I said. "I’m running late as usual."Ryan leaned in for a quick kiss. "I don’t mind waiting for you."I smiled up at him. Maybe things between us were finally returning to normal. He’d been broody and distracted lately. He told me that he had been arguing with his dad a lot, which was odd since they had always been so close. I guessed it was because his dad could be strict at times—after all, he was the chief of police in Nightshade.Broody or not, Ryan Mendez was the cutest boy in school (I pushed the memory of the gorgeous new guy out of my mind), played varsity in every sport the school had to offer, and was generally considered to be a catch by the girls at Nightshade High.They also considered it a complete mystery that he wanted to be with me. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd, although I’d been a cheerleader for about ten seconds back in the fall.The warning bell rang, and we hurried to our classes. Ryan and I had P.E. together last period, but that was about it.By fourth period everyone was gossiping about the new guy. Copyright © 2009 by Marlene PerezAll rights reserved. Published in the United States by Graphia, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Boston, Massachusetts.Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777. 

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the Dead Is series [Perez] delivers a wise-cracking, boy-lusting, determined sleuth of a high school protagonist . . . this quick, lighter-than-air spoof of the undead, cheerleaders and popularity is pure pleasure."- Publishers Weekly "A fun ride from start to finish. Perez's smart and sassy style soars."-Mary E. Pearson, author of the Jenna Fox Chronicles"[A] quick, lively romp. . . . Teens looking for a breezy read will find plenty to like here."- Booklist "This super supernatural murder mystery is sassy, romantic, and spooky-fun!"-Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize "Light romance and a paranormal plot are more tongue-in-cheek than scary, making this series a good introduction to the genre for younger readers."- Booklist "Breezy style and comic-book plot. . . . Fun."- Kirkus "