“Run, Star Girl.”
BRYONY ADAMS IS DESTINED TO BE MURDERED, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny. (Book description from Goodreads.)
I can say without hesitation that this was one of the best books I have read this year. Some books entertain you, some educate you, but some CHANGE you. Pretty Little Dead Girls changed me in ways that words just can’t express. It was magical, tragic, and inspiring. It made me look at my relationships with family and friends in a whole new light.
“Bryony Adams was the type of girl who got murdered.” This is the opening line in the book and sets the tone of the story. Bryony Adams, this sweet, wonderful girl, is destined to die, and to add insult to injury (please excuse the pun), to die in a most horrible fashion. She is such well written character and I immediately fell in love with her. You fell the urge to grab her and keep her safe. Why, or why should a creature as lovely Bryony have to die? When I read, a full picture of the characters pop into my head and once visualized are set in stone. The first person that popped into my head after looking at the gorgeous cover and reading the first few chapters was Claire Danes in her role as Yvaine in Stardust. I thought it fit perfectly.
I love fairy tales and when I first heard about Pretty Little Dead Girls by Mercedes M. Yardley (published by the wonderful folks at Ragnarok Publications) I couldn’t wait to read it. The novel is billed as “a dark, lovely fairy tale with lyrical language and a high body count”. The hook was set with “a dark, lovely fairy tale” and the gorgeous cover by Galen Dara. I had been in a bit of a reading rut and was looking for something different. It was a classic case of “what do you want for dinner? I have no idea, but I am STARVING”. As readers I am sure you have all been there before. This book was a five course meal that more than satisfied my hunger.
I am not going to go into detail around the plot as the book description gives you enough to go on and I do not want to spoil the experience for other readers. Pretty Little Dead Girls had a wonderful lyrical quality to it. The prose flowed off the page like a song, beautiful and heartbreaking. Here are some of my favorite lines from the book.
“She stood as tall as she could, but something was already breaking inside, and Teddy could almost hear it. The gears of her soul grinding to a halt. The bright metal filings of it struck and shone like stars.”
“It was a song about making the choice to love when you knew that in the end you would only have empty hands.”
“…now he realized completely how his life would be like without her. How dark, how empty of magic.”
“You must know this: there are not always happy endings. Wouldn’t it be wonderful is this was true?”
“But life was not meant to be fair, it was meant to be lived.”
Like all good fairy tales, Pretty Little Dead Girls has a moral and that moral is life is meant to be lived, regardless of your situation. Mercedes weaves a dark and magical tale, but as dark as the story is there is an undertone of joy to it all. I think that is what I loved so much about this book, the beautiful dichotomy of joy and sorrow, triumph and tragedy.
I highly recommend Pretty Little Dead Girls by Mercedes M. Yardley. It goes on sale September 29 and is available for purchase at Ragnarok Publications in ebook, paperback, and a signed hardcover editions (limited time only).
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.