From Bad to Cursed

Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Alexis Warren's younger sister has just returned home after a year in a mental hospital, having been possessed by an evil spirit. School is starting, and Lexi is worried that Kasey, 14, will have a hard time fitting in. When Kasey joins a group of outcast girls in the Sunshine Club, and then the girls begin to become popular, Alexis feels that something is amiss, so she and her friend Megan join the club as well. But when they swear an oath to Aralt on an antique book, they, too, become ensnared in the trappings of the club. Aralt, an evil spirit, gives them charm and confidence, but what they don't yet know is that he demands a sacrifice. Alexis is sworn to Aralt and is at the same time suspicious, but now Kasey saves the day. The novel takes time to get going, and while it could stand alone, it makes more sense after one has read Bad Girls Don't Die (Hyperion, 2009). Still, this creepy ghost story does finally grab readers, and fans of the first book will enjoy it and be pleased that the ending leaves the door wide open for another installment.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Alexis and her sister Kasey (Bad Girls Don't Die) have joined the innocuous-sounding Sunshine Club. In service to a spirit called Aralt, club members gain beauty, smarts, and success--but at a price. In this suspenseful, well-plotted novel, Alender dexterously juxtaposes Alexis's desire to both resist and give in to Aralt while conveying the girls' disturbing but believable need for perfection.

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