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Customer Reviews for

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Its been a really long time since I read a book by Mary Downing

Its been a really long time since I read a book by Mary Downing Hahn but when I was younger I used to devour all her middle grade ghost stories. I was always fascinated by how easily she could scare the crap out of me and still keep me glued to the page. I think the sam...
Its been a really long time since I read a book by Mary Downing Hahn but when I was younger I used to devour all her middle grade ghost stories. I was always fascinated by how easily she could scare the crap out of me and still keep me glued to the page. I think the same thing can be said about her new YA novel but instead of using a scare tactic to pull the reader in, it's the story's raw emotion that will grab you.

Although the novel is told through the eyes of several different characters, including Buddy and Mister Death (the killer), you spend most of your time with Nora. Nora is an empathetic character who is easy to care about. Her internal struggle to deal with her friend's death is really what drives the novel forward and if you don't feel a connection with Nora it's likely this novel just isn't going to work for you.

The novel has a slow pace which I think works well in showing how the characters and town deal with the crime's aftermath. This is NOT a crime novel but rather a coming-of age story built around a tragedy with some mystery elements thrown in. I think the 1950's small town setting adds a lot of intensity and atmosphere to Nora's own belief that bad things only happen to other people who live somewhere else.

When I first picked up Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls I was only vaguely aware that it was based on an actual crime, as well as the author's own personal experience of that event. I think this fact adds greatly to the emotional depth of the story. You can feel the author's emotions leaking through the page and the weight of the story seems to have a greater importance.

I was really surprised by just how much I enjoyed this book. Though it is heartbreaking, I do think the novel has something important to say about how people deal with tragedy. The novel is likely to only attract people who like coming-of age stories or historical fiction, but I do hope it finds a larger audience.

posted by StalkinTheBooks on April 4, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Confession: I've had a longtime obsession with crime stories. I

Confession: I've had a longtime obsession with crime stories. I blame my
family (and too much old A&E TV shows as a child, and maybe a few
too many years of CSI more recently) for this. I'm fascinated by it. I'm
horrified and disturbed at times. But there's nothing ...
Confession: I've had a longtime obsession with crime stories. I blame my
family (and too much old A&E TV shows as a child, and maybe a few
too many years of CSI more recently) for this. I'm fascinated by it. I'm
horrified and disturbed at times. But there's nothing scarier than some
of these real life stories. Needless to say, Mister Death's Blue-Eyed
Girls caught my eye for exactly this reason. And I think it was also
because of this that led to my unfortunate disappointment with the book
as a whole. It really wasn't the crime story I was hoping for, not at
all. Reasons to Read: 1.A coming of age story: I might have liked
this book more if I had had a better idea that I was supposed to expect
a coming of age story rather than a crime story. And it's a fascinating
look at one turn of events that tragically impacted a large number of
people. But our narrator, Nora, finds this stage of her life to be
almost completely defined by this murder - it really does end up
triggering a number of life changing decisions and realizations for her.
2.The setting: 1950s small town: I absolutely loved the vintage feel of
the book - from the pop culture, the little bits of fashion talked
about, the ideas, the struggles, the societal changes, etc. It was
fascinating for me to read about and a time period that YA doesn't
typically feature. The real problem with this book for me though was
that it didn't feel like fiction. Instead, it felt more like a memoir
which makes sense if you read the Acknowledgements of the book, where
Mary talks about how this book was inspired by an event which actually
happened to her as a teenager. And she lays out the truth of what
happened - which is actually VERY, extremely close to what happens in
the book. So rather than feeling like fiction, Mister Death read to me
like (a biased) account of Mary's experiences with the murder of two
teen girls she knew. And normally this wouldn't be an issue. Except
for when it comes to who the killer is - Nora has doubts that the
ex-boyfriend, Buddy, killed the girls even though the entire town
believes it was him. Mary explains how she has the same doubts, so this
read to me (without seeing any real evidence of who committed the
murders) as if this book was supposed to portray (what she believes to
be) what ACTUALLY happened, even if no one believes it. Then the book
was labelled as "fiction" in case anyone was upset by the
message. I'm not a fan of this. But regardless, I still felt like much
of the book revolved around external experiences rather than the murder
itself, which is why I wanted to warn you that it really isn't a crime
story. After the murders occur, the story breaks off to Nora's life.
About her relationship with boys, about her doubts regarding her faith,
and growing up and losing friends. But I had a difficult time piecing it
all together, and along with the numerous other points of view (there
were 8 in total, I believe, including Nora's) made the story feel far
too convoluted for me. Review copy received from Thomas Allen &
Son Ltd for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

posted by EverAfterEsther on August 26, 2012

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Its been a really long time since I read a book by Mary Downing

    Its been a really long time since I read a book by Mary Downing Hahn but when I was younger I used to devour all her middle grade ghost stories. I was always fascinated by how easily she could scare the crap out of me and still keep me glued to the page. I think the same thing can be said about her new YA novel but instead of using a scare tactic to pull the reader in, it's the story's raw emotion that will grab you.

    Although the novel is told through the eyes of several different characters, including Buddy and Mister Death (the killer), you spend most of your time with Nora. Nora is an empathetic character who is easy to care about. Her internal struggle to deal with her friend's death is really what drives the novel forward and if you don't feel a connection with Nora it's likely this novel just isn't going to work for you.

    The novel has a slow pace which I think works well in showing how the characters and town deal with the crime's aftermath. This is NOT a crime novel but rather a coming-of age story built around a tragedy with some mystery elements thrown in. I think the 1950's small town setting adds a lot of intensity and atmosphere to Nora's own belief that bad things only happen to other people who live somewhere else.

    When I first picked up Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls I was only vaguely aware that it was based on an actual crime, as well as the author's own personal experience of that event. I think this fact adds greatly to the emotional depth of the story. You can feel the author's emotions leaking through the page and the weight of the story seems to have a greater importance.

    I was really surprised by just how much I enjoyed this book. Though it is heartbreaking, I do think the novel has something important to say about how people deal with tragedy. The novel is likely to only attract people who like coming-of age stories or historical fiction, but I do hope it finds a larger audience.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Omg!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It sucked me in on the sample. IT SOUNDS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! CANT WAIT 2 READ THE WHOLE BOOK!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Best book for a bookworm

    It all started when i went to the library and i saw the book. i couldnt imagine what it must be like for those girls i heard it was based on a true story.yet we see these deaths happen every day this story gives you a background on how those beloved people are just killed for no reason.it was so emotion i even had a big huge tears coming out.this book is amazing i hope ou will enjoy as much as i did!<<<¿33333333333333

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Overall I think this was a very good book, the ending was not wh

    Overall I think this was a very good book, the ending was not what I was expecting, but I loved the element of surprise.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Girls love it

    THis book was purchased as a gift for a 10-year-old, who loves the other works by the author. She liked it very much. Since she lives in a different city I haven't been able to borrow it yet, but she was happy to get it along with a gift card so she can make other choices.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Good

    It sounds like a very very good book

    2 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Favorite book

    This book is amazing! I was a little surprised when I read it though, because all the other books by this author are ghost stories so when I started the book I thought it was going to be a ghost story but it is even better and much sadder my other favorite book by this author is Deep, Dark and Dangerous it is awesome too

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Best Ever!!!

    I've never read such a facinating book by Mary Downing Hahn.This beats the other super duper awesome book of hers,which is Deep,and Dark and Dangerous.Its awesome for all of the world's mystery loving, suspense breathing people.Who ever didn't read this book yet is CRAZY!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 26, 2012

    Confession: I've had a longtime obsession with crime stories. I

    Confession: I've had a longtime obsession with crime stories. I blame my
    family (and too much old A&amp;E TV shows as a child, and maybe a few
    too many years of CSI more recently) for this. I'm fascinated by it. I'm
    horrified and disturbed at times. But there's nothing scarier than some
    of these real life stories. Needless to say, Mister Death's Blue-Eyed
    Girls caught my eye for exactly this reason. And I think it was also
    because of this that led to my unfortunate disappointment with the book
    as a whole. It really wasn't the crime story I was hoping for, not at
    all. Reasons to Read: 1.A coming of age story: I might have liked
    this book more if I had had a better idea that I was supposed to expect
    a coming of age story rather than a crime story. And it's a fascinating
    look at one turn of events that tragically impacted a large number of
    people. But our narrator, Nora, finds this stage of her life to be
    almost completely defined by this murder - it really does end up
    triggering a number of life changing decisions and realizations for her.
    2.The setting: 1950s small town: I absolutely loved the vintage feel of
    the book - from the pop culture, the little bits of fashion talked
    about, the ideas, the struggles, the societal changes, etc. It was
    fascinating for me to read about and a time period that YA doesn't
    typically feature. The real problem with this book for me though was
    that it didn't feel like fiction. Instead, it felt more like a memoir
    which makes sense if you read the Acknowledgements of the book, where
    Mary talks about how this book was inspired by an event which actually
    happened to her as a teenager. And she lays out the truth of what
    happened - which is actually VERY, extremely close to what happens in
    the book. So rather than feeling like fiction, Mister Death read to me
    like (a biased) account of Mary's experiences with the murder of two
    teen girls she knew. And normally this wouldn't be an issue. Except
    for when it comes to who the killer is - Nora has doubts that the
    ex-boyfriend, Buddy, killed the girls even though the entire town
    believes it was him. Mary explains how she has the same doubts, so this
    read to me (without seeing any real evidence of who committed the
    murders) as if this book was supposed to portray (what she believes to
    be) what ACTUALLY happened, even if no one believes it. Then the book
    was labelled as &quot;fiction&quot; in case anyone was upset by the
    message. I'm not a fan of this. But regardless, I still felt like much
    of the book revolved around external experiences rather than the murder
    itself, which is why I wanted to warn you that it really isn't a crime
    story. After the murders occur, the story breaks off to Nora's life.
    About her relationship with boys, about her doubts regarding her faith,
    and growing up and losing friends. But I had a difficult time piecing it
    all together, and along with the numerous other points of view (there
    were 8 in total, I believe, including Nora's) made the story feel far
    too convoluted for me. Review copy received from Thomas Allen &amp;
    Son Ltd for my honest review; no other compensation was received.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Very good

    Well i read the sample and it sounded good so i went to books a million and started reading it.I completly forgot it was based on a real event but it like idk.i didnt read the the whole thing but only the mere first couple of chapters.it was still good.usually,i think of mary downing hahn as only an auther who writes awesome stories of ghosts and wierd happenings but this book is different in an awesome way.of course it has some curse words so it is YOUR choice if you want to read it.it kind of makes you feel like you were there by the very good descriptions.i hope you might want to read the book though:) besides some stuff in the book,i dont see why you wouldnt want to read it.if you are a huge fan of mary downing hahn (like me) then what are you waiting for? :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Anonoynous

    Best bookk ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    I loved this book, but the ending is sad and I would not want

    I loved this book, but the ending is sad and I would not want it to end up that way. However, it is interesting. It is from multiple point of views. From the killers (Mr. Death and Mr. Death's brother), people in the town(Nora, Buddy, and once Charlie), and dairies (Cheryl, Bobbi Jo, and once Ellie.). It is mostly from Nora&quot;s though.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    I only wonder...

    I love all Mary's other ghost stories but id love to know the age recamendation to read this im 12

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Hmmm

    Sounds ok i might read it not sure though

    1 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    LOVE IT

    omg i loved the detail the est book i have read!!!!!! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    Okay

    I really liked this book, and i love mary downing hahn and all her books, but i have some issues with this one. First of all, i liked the main character, but halfway through she just got plain whiny and too sad. Second, the ending was not Hahn's best. It was anticlimatic, and i know it was supposed to be 'chilling' that we never got to know Mister Death's name, but it seemed too overdone. Otherwise the book was chilling and sad in all the right ways, though sometimes i just wanted to slap the main character and say, snap out of it! I suggest you rent this book from the library first instead of buying it right away, because it might not be your favorite.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    Amazing <3

    This is a beautiful, heartfelt read. Since it is based on true events, it is well detailed. This book is set apart from Mary Downing-Hahn's childrens books. This is a book that should be rated 100,000 stars! So worth every penny.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Good book, iffy ending

    I read this over the summer. I loved the book in general but the ending was very anticlimactic. I wish i couldve gotten at least a name!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    I read just about all of her boks

    So good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    jaq

    Y

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