You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Saturday, February 19, 2011

REVIEW: Dead is a State of Mind by Marlene Perez


A creepy, campy new mystery series

Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!

There’s a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High: Duke Sherrad, a fortune-teller claiming to have descended from Gypsies. Even though she’s psychic herself, Daisy is skeptical of Duke’s powers. But when a teacher who was the subject of one of his predictions ends up dead, she begins to wonder if Duke is the real deal after all.
Maybe if Daisy can track down the teacher’s killer, she can find out the truth. The only trouble is, all signs point to the murderer being of the furry persuasion. Is Daisy any match for a werewolf? Maybe she is . . . in more ways than she bargained for!

About the Author

MARLENE PEREZ is the author of many books, including the  Dead Is series, The Comeback, Love in the Corner Pocket, and Unexpected Development, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She lives in Orange County, California.


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Graphia (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152062106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152062101


The second entry in the Dead is the... was just as good as the first, maybe a little bit better. I have recommended this to all my friends who have 11-12 year old daughters that aren't enjoying the Twilight series. This story about Daisy and her two sisters, Poppy and Rose solving a paranormal mystery should appeal to that age group. I love recommending books like this that have no drug or major sexual situations to younger readers.

The characters are quite believable even in the paranormal realm. They all retain the insecurity, flashes of independence and optimism found in girls this age. The author also doesn't use unnecessary words to get her point across which is a huge problem for some younger readers. There are also excellent teaching points about accepting people who are different and not judging someone until you have met them. Even adults should enjoy this tale which reads like a cozy and like all good reads has a beginning, middle and conclusion.

Bonus Point: The story mentions my alma mater, Cal State Fullerton. I never thought I would ever see that in a book. 


  1. Good review, I love this series. I just read Dead is not an Option last month and it was great.

  2. This sounds awesome. I LOVE your site and how you review books. You give such great information that's really nice to know up front.

    I'm following.


  3. Sounds like a good series I haven't tried yet! I work with someone named Giordano....hmmm.
    Go Cal State Fullerton! How fun for you to see it in print. Perez looks like she's a CA gal, always nice to support local authors!



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