Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Out Now
Synopsis: Quinn Littleton was a mean girl–a skinny blonde social terrorist in stilettos. She was everything that Emma MacLaren hated. Until she dies.
A proud geek girl, Emma loves her quiet life on the outskirts, playing video games and staying off the radar. When her nightmare of a new stepsister moves into the bedroom next door, her world is turned upside down. Quinn is a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way. Teachers, football players, other cheerleaders–no one is safe.
Emma wants nothing more than to get this girl out of her life, but when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone realized.
The cover and premise both caught my eye when I saw Dead Little Mean Girl on NetGalley, but sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations. The best part of this book is Emma. I absolutely loved her! She’s smart, spunky and a self-confessed nerd with a great sense of humor. She definitely needs a confidence booster though, and that’s even before Quinn moves in. I also loved her friends, especially snarky Nikki and Emma’s love interest, Shawn. But then there’s Quinn who invades Emma’s home when their two moms get together. “Mean Girl” nowhere near comes close to describing this girl. There is something seriously mentally wrong with this girl which leads me to my biggest issue with this book. It is so obvious that Quinn is dangerously unstable, yet none of the adults do anything. There’s lots of threats, blame and hand-wringing, but no one actually does anything to not only stop her from ruining people’s lives, but also to get her the help she so desperately needs. When I read the afterward, the author talks about why she was inspired to write this book. She wanted people to see that even bullies at times are hurt and frightened and don’t know how to deal with their feelings or ask for help which results in them lashing out. I really do admire what she was trying to accomplish here. The problem is that Quinn is so one-dimensionally toxic that by the end it’s impossible to feel any sympathy for her. At this point Emma supposedly realizes that there was more to Quinn than people realized, but honestly, there really wasn’t. She was just a horrible, possibly psychopathic girl, who because she was angry over her parent’s divorce, set out to destroy the lives of anyone who had the misfortune to get in her way. I’m giving this 2.5 stars because of Emma (who loves Harry Potter and Supernatural by the way) and the diversity that was shown. Otherwise, I’m sad to say that while Eva Darrows’ intentions were honorable, the idea behind this book was far better than the actual execution.