Title: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
Author: Katie Alender
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: September 24, 2013
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.
You would think that with a name like Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, there would be an overabundance of glitz, glamour, and camp. However, Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a novel that is an excellent progression of the main character, Colette, from a shallow, selfish teenage bitch into a respectable human being with a Parisian backdrop while a string of murders is occurring.
Colette Iselin was exactly the sort of girl that would have an ink pen broken into her seat by me in high school. (Not that I ever did that.) she was self-absorbed and obsessed with money and popularity. She has no concept of why a person would be nice just for the pleasure of niceness, and I was ready for her to be the victim of the title killer. Very ready. I will grudgingly admit that she had some intriguing qualities and a certain charm that kept me from throwing the book and washing my hands of her. I wanted Colette to grow up and realize how awesome the people who love her, and are overlooked by her in turn, are. Things got really interesting in the story once she started ditching Rich Bitch Hannah Norstedt and began running around with hot tour guide Jules Martin and normal girl Audrey Corbett. (I'd love to see a companion book with Colette's tolerable friend, Pilar Sanchez, coming into her own.)
I've never visited Paris, so reading Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer was a nice literary vacation for me. I was able to experience the City of Lights vicariously through Colette and her high school crew. I'm very familiar with most of the locations and their pasts from my numerous history and fine arts courses, and it was so much fun to see in brought to life in the book. Alender did take some liberties with the history and individuals surrounding Marie Antoinette, but this is a fictional novel for entertainment, not non-fiction. I am forgiving of such things as long as they're not portrayed as the truth.
Though Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer was completely different from what I thought I'd be reading, I think I enjoyed it more like this. There was a teensy bit of gore, but it was a good trade out to have well-developed characters and an applaudable main character metamorphosis. If you're a fan of history, locations, and just a dab of paranormal, this just might be the book for you.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.