Author: Mercedes M. Yardley
Released: September 27th 2014
Source: Publisher for review
"Run, Star Girl."BRYONY ADAMS IS DESTINED TO BE MURDERED, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny.Mercedes M. Yardley’s Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy is a dark, lovely fairy tale with lyrical language and a high body count. It features a cover by Hugo Award Winner GALEN DARA.
Please excuse all the fangirling that is about to ensue. If you knew what I know – how brilliant and utterly gorgeous Mercedes M. Yardley’s new novel is – you would not only forgive me, but you would undoubtedly join me in singing her praise. Before all else, it needs to be said that Pretty Little Dead Girls is a thought-provoking book that allows us many different readings. It can be read superficially and still be described as exceptional, but one could also spend months on allegorical interpretations, trying to find non-literal meanings and likely only partially succeeding.
In her strange, memorable but unassuming way, Yardley manages to raise some very important philosophical and existential issues. Her protagonist, Bryony, has always known that she would one day be murdered, and so did everyone around her. It is a simple fact of life, nothing to fuss about, and everyone who looks into her eyes even once knows that she will end up as someone’s victim. As Bryony waits for her destiny to be fulfilled, people around her keep dying instead. You see, fate tries and aims, and often misses by a narrow margin. So Bryony’s friends die, and she stays alive, at least for the time being.
Narrative-wise, Pretty Little Dead Girls is innovative and very postmodern. Yardley uses metafictive devices to constantly draw attention to the narrative itself. She keeps opening a direct communication between the book (or rather the omniscient narrator) and the readers by asking them to participate with their opinions. Third person omniscient point of view is also a somewhat unusual choice for contemporary literature, but for Yardley, it works extremely well. The effect of this simple choice on the story is tremendous and I dare say brilliant. It speaks volumes about Mercedes M. Yardley and all the things we can expect from her in the future.
Pretty Little Dead Girl is deeply, yet quietly romantic. There is love for Bryony, but like everything else, it comes without much fuss and it remains constant and reliable throughout. It is, I think, the most beautiful thing about this novel – the matter-of-fact approach to everything - life, love and death alike.
This is a weird, whimsical tale perfect for weird, whimsical people; artists and dreamers, creative thinkers and free spirits. Paradoxically, Yardley’s style is oddly formal and playful at the same time, which reflects the overall mood of the story perfectly. If you only take one risk this year, a single read you’re unsure of, choose this one. Even if it’s not your type of story, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty and the quality of Yardley’s writing.
I, however, revel in this type of thing, and I so rarely get a chance to read something so perfect for me. My heart is full, my mind is blown, and every book I try to read just pales in comparison.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.
Pretty Little Dead Girls is available NOW on Amazon for $3.99. Mercedes will be here later this week with a guest post for Something Wicked Strikes! Make sure to stop by. :)