Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

304p. Scholastic/Point. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545468091; ebk. $18.99. ISBN 9780545576994. LC 2012045535.
Gr 7–10—All Colette Iselin wants is to be accepted by perfect, icy Hannah and her slightly sweeter sidekick, Pilar. This means pretending that her family still has money and being mean to her brother, her mother, her unpopular classmates, her teacher, and pretty much anyone else who crosses her path. However, on a class trip to France, Colette gets distracted from her quest to be cool. First, she starts seeing Marie Antoinette's ghost (which would distract most people) and begins to fall for her nerdy-cute French tour guide. Colette realizes that the ghost is killing people and that she is next on the list, due to her family's heretofore secret role in the French Revolution. None of this is very believable, and even the realistic elements don't always ring true, as Colette and her classmates rarely step out of their stereotypes. The plot strands come together, complete with an Eiffel Tower kiss and a party held at Versailles. That said, the story moves along at a steady clip and every so often devolves into delicious, campy mayhem. This is a good choice for teens who want to dip their toes into historical fiction (emphasis on the fiction) without giving up cinematic pacing or romance. Colette transforms through the course of the novel, realizing the value of loyalty over prestige, and though that process might not be believable, many readers will find her story enjoyable.—Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Colette struggles to keep up appearances (and placate her snobbish friends) after her parents' divorce. A class trip to Paris is a welcome distraction, but ghostly visions of Marie Antoinette and a series of gruesome socialite murders lead Colette into a supernatural mystery that spans back to the French Revolution. Underdeveloped characters and trite teenage issues detract from the camp.

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