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Literature / Dead Is

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A series of young adult mystery novels that also includes some supernatural elements. The books are written by Marlene Perez. The hero of the series is Daisy Giordano, the daughter of a well known police department psychic. At the beginning of the first book, Daisy is the only non-psychic member of her family, with the exception of her father Rafe, who isn't around. She has two sisters, Poppy, who goes to school with her and could best be described as "somewhat bratty", and Rose, who attends a local university and can generally be counted on to be the reasonable one in the group. The story is set in Nightshade, which is home to a rather sizable population of paranormal beings. (Including every member of the city council, many of whom are descended from the original founders.)

There are currently seven books in the series:

  • Dead Is The New Black (2008)
  • Dead Is A State Of Mind (2009)
  • Dead Is So Last Year (2009)
  • Dead Is Just A Rumor (2010)
  • Dead Is Not An Option (2011)
  • Dead Is A Battlefield (2012)
  • Dead Is A Killer Tune (2012)
  • Dead Is Just A Dream (2013)

Tropes in the series include:

  • Action Girl: Daisy counts as one, as does every member of the Virago group. The most extreme example is Andy, who goes a little stir crazy when there's not an enemy for her to fight.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Circe's pet pig, Balthazar. Lil the jukebox. Both the victims of Circe's jealousy. The story goes something like this: Balthazar Anthony Merriweather and Lily Varcol were engaged, but Circe was in love with Balthazar and wanted him for herself, so she cursed Lily, turning her into a jukebox. She also cursed Balthazar, causing him to become a pig. As punishment for her actions, Circe was charged with taking care of Balthazar, while Lily eventually ended up being the jukebox at Slims diner. They return to their original forms in Dead Is Not An Option
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  • Big Bad: Spencer Deveraux, much to the shock and heartbreak of his daughter.
  • Big Fancy House: The Wilder Mansion and Merriweather House.
  • City of Adventure: Considering that the city is populated by supernatural beings of all persuasions, this is pretty much guaranteed.
  • The Cheerleader: Subverted. Samantha is the most popular girl in school and does occasionally act pretty bitchy, but she's also fiercely loyal to members of the squad and even tried to protect them when she suspected that they were in danger, despite having no abilities of her own. In fact, most of the Squad are more or less decent people. Penny Edwards is kind of nasty towards Daisy, but that goes away with time.
  • Companion Cube: The Jukebox, whom Daisy nicknamed Lil in the first book, has a mind of her own and plays whatever song she damn well pleases. She sometimes sends Daisy messages through her choices. In the fourth book, it's revealed that she was once human, but a curse turned her into a jukebox and no one can figure out how to undo it. Oddly enough, her human name is Lily
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  • Disappeared Dad: Rafe Giordano, but he comes back. He was being held captive by a group dedicated to the destruction of supernatural creatures.
  • Doppelgänger: They form the plot of the third book. They are also addicted to sugar, making them fairly easy to recognize and capture.
  • Fallen Princess: Samantha. Her family used to be rich, but then they lost all their money.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Samantha and Daisy were best friends until Samantha spread a rumor that Daisy's dad had run off with another woman. Near the end of the first book, Samantha apologizes for it and Daisy accepts it. By the second book, Daisy says that they're working on becoming friends again.
  • Goth: Samantha starts off the school year sporting a Goth look and dragging around a coffin. Since she is the most popular girl in school, the majority of the student body follows suit, causing the genuine Goths to protest by wearing bright colored t-shirts and shorts. She drops the look later on.
  • Local Hangout:
    • Slim's Diner. Later on, Daisy gets a job there as a cook and a waitress.
    • The Black Opal, an all-ages nightclub.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Samantha Deveraux, eventually.
  • Muggle: Daisy at first, but then her powers start to come in. She gains telepathy, mind reading, and telekinesis, but that last one is difficult for her to control.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: For starters, you don't have to be bitten to become one. Most werewolves in town are born into the bloodline, but one book has the football team taking a combination of performance enhancing drugs and werewolf blood, which ultimately causes them to become raged out werewolves. Also, younger werewolves phase even when it's not the full moon.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A city in California populated by various supernatural beings. Sounds familiar, huh?. The big difference is that the town is actually a safe haven for said beings and there's not some blonde chick out to kill them. (Unless they start, say, sucking the life out of local cheerleaders, in which case they should watch out.)
    • The celebrity chef who comes to Nightshade in the fourth book is named Circe Silvertounge. Appropriate when you consider her powers.
    • The invisible owner of Slim's diner is named Griffin, though he's generally just called "Slim."
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music:
    • From "Dead Is The New Black" until "Dead Is Not An Option", the jukebox at Slim's plays song choices that are bizarrely appropriate to whatever case Daisy is working at the time. Justified because a girl's soul is trapped in the jukebox and she's choosing the songs specifically to give Daisy clues.
    • Dominic Gray, the new lead singer from Side Effects May Vary in "Dead is a Battlefield" does this too. Sometimes, when the band is performing, he'll randomly start singing a song that isn't on the band's setlist, but is related to something in the story's plot. Justified again: Dominic is a Seer and the songs are his premonitions.

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