Dead is the New Black, by Marlene Perez
Nightshade, California, the setting of Dead is the New Black, shares quite a bit in common with another strange California town. No, I don’t mean L.A. I’m referring to Sunnydale, CA. For those who don’t get the reference, Sunnydale is a fictional town, and the home of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like Sunnydale, Nightshade has its share of, well, shady characters. There are vampires, werewolves, psychics, and cheerleaders. And as Sunnydale has Buffy, so Nightshade has Daisy. Only Daisy doesn’t have any superpowers. In fact, she’s the only one in her family without them. Daisy’s mother and oldest sister are psychic, her other sister is telekinetic, and her father doesn’t count, since he disappeared years ago (not magically – popular opinion is that he ran off with another woman).
Daisy’s trouble begins not with the vampires, werewolves, or psychics, but the shady cheerleaders. One in particular. Samantha Devereaux, the school’s most popular girl, head cheerleader, and Daisy’s former best friend, shows up on the first day of school looking dead on her feet. Literally. She’s pale, she only wears black, and she wheels a coffin around with her wherever she goes. Daisy’s conclusion? Samantha has become a vampire, and to prove it she goes as far as joining the cheerleading squad. There’s an opening for a replacement, as one of the cheerleaders has fallen mysteriously ill. Could she have been bitten by Samantha? And what about the corpse Daisy saw move in the morgue. Could it have been one of Samantha’s minions? Daisy may not have superpowers, but she’ll use the power of deduction to solve this mystery.
This is a quick, fun read, and a lighthearted alternative to the darker supernatural fiction that has gained popularity in YA lately. This book is followed up by Dead is a State of Mind.
Check the WRL catalog for Dead is the New Black.