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

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Book Description

September 4, 2012 Dead Is

A diabolical pied piper comes to town in the the seventh installment of this hot paranormal mystery series.   High school freshman Jessica Walsh is a virago, a woman warrior who must protect her hometown from danger. And in the unusual little town of Nightshade, California, trouble is always lurking. At Nightshade’s Battle of the Bands, Jess’s boyfriend Dominic and his band Side Effects May Vary are up against Hamlin, a band so popular that their fans follow them everywhere. Soon, Nightshade’s musicians are doing risky, illegal and even fatal things—and claiming that strange music they heard right before falling asleep told them to do it. Could a diabolical pied piper be sabotaging the Battle of the Bands? It’s up to Jessica and her friends track down the tuneful tyrant.

About the Author
Marlene Perez is the author of seven books in the Dead Is Series, including Dead Is The New Black, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She lives in Orange County, California.Visit her website at www.marleneperez.com.

So Daisy has graduated and the series shifts to her boyfriend Ryan's sister, Jessica Walsh.  Jessica finally has her life on track as a new Virago, protecting Nightshade from the paranormal threats that create havoc for the population. Her new boyfriend, Dominic, the singer from Side Effects May Vary (SEMV)  is acting a bit strange, so when a Battle of the Bands comes to town and SEMV shows up to compete, things go haywire.  Something peculiar is happening to the most popular bands and they each lose a member to bizarre accidents.  The most popular bands all have lost members, including SEMV, whose guitarist breaks his arm skateboarding, which he has never done before.  Jessica, a skilled but shy player is talked into the role.  Hamlin, has followers much like the Pied Piper, who devotedly follow them around the country and they haven't had any bad luck like other bands.  

Jessica starts to put these coincidences of misfortunes together and notices things are quite what they should be and it all revolves around Hamlin.  There are the usual evil characters and unwitting accomplices that at times seem cartoon like but that is what makes this series so much fun!  As Jessica puts things together to unravel the mystery surrounding the popularity of Hamlin and the disasters they have unleashed on the local musicians, she grows into her role of a self reliant and confident Virago.  I loved this series and the change to featuring Jessica has taken it a new and wonderful direction.  All of the characters have their good and bad points but Perez does a wonderful job of keeping them all interesting.  This is my favorite series to recommend to kids who hate to read since it has something for everyone.  Most of the adults I have forced this book on have enjoyed them as well.  Parents don't need to worry about anything in this series since there is only a bit of cartoon violence, a few kisses here and there and they always end with an important, positive message.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Graphia (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547608349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547608341


  1. I can't tell, are these graphic novels or books? This is my first time reading a review of this series on your blog so I'm just curious. Does the lesson hit you over the head or is it subtle? I have a 15 yr old reluctant reader. Do you think this would be okay for boys or is it more a girl series? Sorry for all the questions. I will come back to check for a reply. Promise!


  2. Hi Heather!
    This series is best suited for girls since there are romantic elements. This is not a graphic series, but it would make a great one. They are quick and easy chapter books that are perfect for 11 to 12 year old girls. They do have a strong male in each book but I have recommended them for teens that hate to read. The lessons are really subtle, no bashing.

  3. Mary thanks for letting me know. I wasn't sure, I have boys and with the guitar on the front of this one, I couldn't be sure. I've read several novels recently that would have been better as graphic novels. They can be so wonderful if drawn well. And for kids that don't like to read, they still get some reading in.

    Thanks for answering my questions!

  4. Heather -- I will go through my books and find some *boy* books. I know I have a list somewhere. The Wicked Lovely graphic novels by Melissa Marr and simply amazing. There is a good male presence in that series.



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