Dead is So Last Year
by Marlene Perez
The girls return from a family vacation to Italy to find something amiss in Nightshade. The football team is bulging with unusual muscles and ordinary citizens are stuffing their faces with sweets and acting strangely. With their mom still on a case out of the country, the girls are on their own when Nightshade most needs the psychic powers of the Giarano family. When Rose lands a dream job with Dr. Franken at UC Nightshade, Daisy decides having a job isn’t such a bad idea and stumbles upon a waitress gig at her favorite diner. Though still mourning her beloved Gage, Poppy snaps out of her funk and takes a job at a beach side candy shop. Everything seems fairly normal until doppelgängers of local citizens begin to appear all around town. When the Giarano’s missing father is sighted, the girls are thrown into turmoil, trapped between delight, fear, anger and disbelief. Where has he been? Why hasn’t he contacted them? And what is up with all that sugar????
In this third volume of the series, the girls have developed a relaxed relationship with each other and their respective powers. Poppy and Rose are completely in control of their skills, and Daisy is learning quickly with their able assistance. With two sisters dating weres, Poppy’s unhappiness is touching, and her sisters’ attempts to help her break through her fugue is sweet. With Ryan, Nicholas, Sam and Sean in tow, the girls set out to enjoy the summer and solve the mystery with realistic teenage zeal, angst, and humor. With a rogue group of weres terrorizing the neighborhood, a mysterious group of doubles roaming the streets, and two absent parents, the girls are up to their necks in drama.
Perez handles the conflicting reactions to the return of the Giorano patriarch with great aplomb, and readers of all ages should find the struggle realistic and endearing. Ryan and Daisy’s growing relationship is handled with taste and the evolving nature of the Nightshade paranormal community is explored at greater depth. With a tantalizing teaser at the very end, readers will be chomping at the bit for the next installment!