Review: The Dead Girls Detective Agency

The Dead Girls Detective Agency
Suzy Cox
Series: Unknown, but probably
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 2 of 5 stars

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When Charlotte comes to after being pushed onto the subway tracks, she is informed by a group of teenage girls that she is dead…they all are. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency. With the support of these dynamic girls—including fashionable Lorna, who can’t wait to find out if the devil actually wears Prada, and nerdy Nancy, who insists on staying in limbo to help out other girls—Charlotte follows leads and tracks down clues to solve her own murder. With plenty of juicy mysteries and some pretty cute guys, readers are sure to fall in love with this fun and suspenseful page-turner! 
I don’t have much to say about The Dead Girls Detective Agency, and the hardest reviews to write are for the books I don’t have much to say for.

The Dead Girls Detective Agency is about a girl named Charlotte, who, one day, is murdered, being pushed onto a train track. As a teenager who was murdered, Charlotte is immediately brought into The Dead Girls Detective Agency. Her purpose in The Dead Girls Detective Agency is to find her killer, and, in doing so, go to heaven.

I picked up this book because I was looking for a cute, quick and funny read, and this book seemed like it would be exactly that. In hindsight, I should have picked up a different book (Social Suicide, perhaps?), because, while it was a very quick read, I didn’t find it to be very cute or funny. In fact, more often than not, I found it to be depressing rather than cute. And about the humor in The Dead Girls Detective Agency… it just didn’t work. The jokes in this book feel (and are) forced, and their turnout is at best receiving a slight giggle from me, or a miniscule smirk, but that’s it. Most of the jokes in this book were just trying too hard, and just weren’t funny like I had hoped.


As well as the fail (in my opinion) with the humor in The Dead Girls Detective Agency, the writing in it is alarmingly bad, but, going into this, it’s not like I was expecting the next great piece of literature. But I guess when you have a book narrated by an annoying teenager, you’re going to have an annoyingly narrated book (and what an annoyingly narrated book it is). I get it, Suzy Cox made it a point for us as readers to know that the narrator in this book was a (painfully stereotypical) teenager, and the characters surrounding her were (painfully stereotypical) teenagers, and it got really old, really, really quick. Very early in the book, we’re bombarded with acronyms (I’ve not once heard a teenager actually say an acronym in a conversation), many capitalized words (you know, italicizing can hold the same purpose as capitalizing), and many exclamation points (seriously, I think one exclamation point after a sentence is sufficient enough). At first, all of this was something I was able to just pretend wasn’t there and hope it would go away, but, of course, it didn’t go away, and it was completely and utterly cringe worthy.

While Charlotte herself was at times a fun and witty character, she seemed too preoccupied with worrying about her ex-boyfriend’s life without her as opposed to finding her killer, and it just ended up annoying me how she kept on worrying about typical high school drama, when she really should be focusing on finding her killer, and I didn’t think she was anything to praise, and I honestly don’t think it was a good decision in my part to compare this book to Deadly Cool, and compare Charlotte to Hartley. (Because this book can’t stand up next to Deadly Cool. Deadly Cool is cute and funny without trying so hard, unlike The Dead Girls Detective Agency.)

That being said, if you’re looking for a fun, witty and quick read to pass the time, I’d go with Deadly Cool, and take a pass on The Dead Girls Detective Agency. The ending of this book clearly sets up for a sequel, and possibly a whole series, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to read more of Charlotte and The Dead Girls Detective Agency.

*Looking back on review*

Hmm… For a book that I didn’t have much to say about, this is a pretty long review!

22 comments :

  1. There is nothing worse when it comes to humor than trying to damn hard. So irritating and it never works! And the acronyms used in dialogue always make me roll my eyes too, I've never heard someone say LOL or WTF so stupid, happy you read this before me, now I don't have to ;) Great review Blythe!

    PS. Love your blog design! It looks like a Wordpress blog but it's NOT! <--- See what I did there with the capitals that I now know you love so much.

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  2. I agree how there is nothing worse when humor tries too hard. It just makes it awkward for everyone. Thanks, Jenni! I love your blog design, too! (I was actually thinking of getting the same one, but I emailed the person behind Parajunkee with questions and never got a reply, so I decided to look for other designs.) Happy Friday!

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  3. Too bad it didn't turn out like you'd hoped. It's really hard to get through a book where the humor isn't natural. That said, I do hear teenagers using acronyms in speech all the time. Or "abbrevs." But it'd be hard for me to get through a whole book of it.

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