Hello, everyone and welcome to Rhea’s Neon Journal 😀 Look what I have for you guys today! Dead to Me, Mary McCoy’s debut is…omg, so fucking good. All the mystery and the thrills and Alice and the cover and oh dear Lord I need to breathe. Also, would you like to win a hardcopy? No, no would you like multiple entries to win a hardcopy? Go right here.
LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.
“Don’t believe anything they say.”
Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her–and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.
When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn’t a kid anymore, and this time she won’t let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets–and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie’s attacker behind bars–if Alice can find her first. And she isn’t the only one looking
Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.
Dead To Me begins with the Gates sisters in the hospital. They’re both together now, after having been apart for four years.
Except, Annie Gates is barely alive, almost comatose, as she lies on the hospital bed, with no one but her younger sister Alice Gates beside her. And Alice, though relieved at her sister’s presence in her life after four long years, is afraid but ready to know who put her sister in this state.
And there starts her journey, where she navigates Hollywood and its web of lies, deceit and betrayal to bring justice to her sister.
Or is it really her sister who needs to be brought justice?
In keeping with the blurb, Dead to Me definitely has the dark, edgy vibe that noir novels have; add that to the Golden Age of Hollywood, and you’ve gotten yourself a total hit. As far as mystery novels go, this book was amazingly good. You think you know who the culprit is, at 60 pages in, but you really, really don’t. Would it be really cliché if I said that this book kept me guessing and guessing and guessing until the very end?
Pfft, whatever. Because it totally did.
Alice was completely my type of protagonist. She was brave and smart, but she was also young and inexperienced. Unfortunate for her, let me tell you, but it made for excellent reading and kept me hooked until the very end. I found myself growing more and more fond of this little rebel, who was trying so hard to be everyone’s favorite and keep everyone happy. In spite of this, I was very sympathetic to her plight (which is rare, for me) and I constantly found myself rooting for her and wanting her to get out of every situation unscathed.
And believe you me, readers, there were a lot of situations. Alice struck me as the kind of person whom trouble finds and so—lots of trouble. But she came out of them (mostly) victorious and (frequently) unscathed, so yay!
Something else I appreciated? The “Who run the world? Girls Girls!” theme that this book had. I loved that! I loved that little Alice, who was expected to imitate her older sister and be all prim and proper and something she was not, matured in the course of this book to become a person of her own. Sure there were a lot of shitty stuffs that happened along the way but woah, if it didn’t make me clutch my Kindle that much tighter!
I had my issues with the book too. For starters, I really liked Annie and I would have loved to see more of her. Of course, a lot of information about what she’d been up to all this time had been given, but I’d have liked to see what she was like with Alice right then!
Now that I think about it, I’d like to have seen why exactly she left. I got the gist of it but with so many theories floating around it would’ve been great–coming from Annie herself–to know her motivations for leaving.
Secondly, the end of the novel. A bit too anticlimactic, considering it was set up fantastically, but I’ll deal because of the writing.
And oh yes, the writing. Mary McCoy has done an amazing job with Dead To Me. She got the who 1940s Hollywood vibe pat down and she did an excellent job of keeping me intrigued…and as a reader who knows close to nothing about the era, it was fascinating to learn about it, while also feeling like I’d been in that era forever.
Definite, definite recommendation, y’all 🙂
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Up for Grabs!
Win (1) hardcopy of Dead To Me by Mary McCoy
Mary McCoy is a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles’s notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her debut novel, Dead To Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.
I was provided a free eARC of this book in exchange of an honest review. This did not in any way, however, influence the content of this review.