Dead Is a State of Mind (Dead Is Series #2)

Dead Is a State of Mind (Dead Is Series #2)

4.3 118
by Marlene Perez

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A creepy, campy new mystery series

Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic

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A creepy, campy new mystery series

Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom- shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!

There’s a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High: Duke Sherrad, a fortune-teller claiming to have descended from Gypsies. Even though she’s psychic herself, Daisy is skeptical of Duke’s powers. But when a teacher who was the subject of one of his predictions ends up dead, she begins to wonder if Duke is the real deal after all.
Maybe if Daisy can track down the teacher’s killer, she can find out the truth. The only trouble is, all signs point to the murderer being of the furry persuasion. Is Daisy any match for a werewolf? Maybe she is . . . in more ways than she bargained for!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for the Dead Is series

"[Perez] delivers a wise-cracking, boy-lusting, determined sleuth of a high school protagonist . . . this quick, lighter-than-air spoof of the undead, cheerleaders and popularity is pure pleasure."—Publishers Weekly

"A fun ride from start to finish. Perez's smart and sassy style soars."—Mary E. Pearson, author of the Jenna Fox Chronicles

"[A] quick, lively romp. . . . Teens looking for a breezy read will find plenty to like here."—Booklist

"This super supernatural murder mystery is sassy, romantic, and spooky-fun!"—Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize

"Light romance and a paranormal plot are more tongue-in-cheek than scary, making this series a good introduction to the genre for younger readers."—Booklist

"Breezy style and comic-book plot. . . . Fun."—Kirkus

Children's Literature - Courtney Elrod
When a gorgeous new student arrives at Nightshade High School, the gossip of the hallways shifts from the upcoming prom to rumors about the mystery student's upbringing and psychic powers. His charm and exaggerated stories, however, do not fool the one person he hopes to win over: Daisy Giordano, the daughter and sister of extremely talented, psychic women who help solve crimes and mysteries in their community. Daisy is skeptical of the new guy, Duke, but when her boyfriend suddenly begins to act weird, her initial impression of him changes. Things get creepy in Nightshade when a teacher, the subject of one of Duke's predictions, is murdered. After the incident, Daisy decides to takes matters into her own hands to solve the unexplainable murder, but her investigation reveals a turn of events even she could never have predicted. In Nightshade, werewolves roam amongst humans and psychic powers provide protection to the citizens, but despite this surreal atmosphere, no Nightshade citizen tolerates an act of murder. The science fictional and supernatural elements found throughout the novel successfully capture a fictional town and its interesting citizens. Perez includes situations with which the reader can identify; however, by placing them in an unfamiliar, spooky setting with werewolves and psychics, she manipulates perceptions about the events that take place throughout the novel. Although the science fiction and supernatural elements in the novel could turn away readers not enticed by mysterious and paranormal creatures, they provide unique and mysterious components to the setting and the characters that could change any opposed reader's mind. Reviewer: Courtney Elrod
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

This sequel to Dead Is the New Black (Harcourt, 2008) follows Daisy and her family, residents of Nightshade, CA, where the murder of a popular teacher has the town on alert. The underground "City Council" that governs all things supernatural is working on solving the crime along with Daisy's mom, a well-known psychic. The teen is learning how to use her new powers inherited from her mom and is bonding with her sisters. Trouble is brewing in the local shape-shifter community, but no one will tell Daisy what is going on. Then, during prom, the killer is revealed. A third book will clear up some loose ends. This paranormal teen drama is a quick, light read and is similar to Ellen Schreiber's "Vampire Kisses" series (HarperCollins). Fun for reluctant readers, but not satisfying for readers of more epic series like Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" (Little, Brown).-Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Dead Is Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)
HL620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


I was running late. So late, in fact, that I didn’t watch where I was going and slammed into someone walking out of the school office as I ran by.

"Ooph!" he said as my elbow jabbed into rock-hard abdominal muscles.

"I am so sorry!" I said. I’d almost knocked over a stranger. An extremely handsome stranger who stood there smiling at me, despite the fact that I’d almost flattened him in my hurry to get to chemistry class.

"Do not worry," he said with a heavy accent I couldn’t place. "It is a pleasure to run into someone as beautiful as you on my first day."

He was dressed in a deep blue silk shirt, form-fitting black jeans, and boots. His spiky hair was really black, like someone had overturned an inkwell on his head. His long lashes framed incredible blue eyes.

"You’re new here?" I said, stating the obvious. I knew practically everybody at Nightshade High—and besides, it wasn’t exactly swarming with gorgeous new students.

"I am Dukker Sherrad," he said, "but my friends call me Duke." He took my hand and held it longer than strictly necessary.

"Hi," I said.

He looked at me questioningly. I seemed to have forgotten my name as well as my manners.

"I’m Daisy Giordano," I finally said. I paused for a minute, waiting for recognition to set in, then felt like an idiot when my last name garnered only polite interest instead of the usual curiosity. You see, my mom is a psychic. She solves crimes all over the world using her powers. She wasn’t exactly famous yet, but she’d been in the news plenty of times and I was getting used to people recognizing the name.

I blushed, amused at my overinflated sense of self-worth. "Welcome to Nightshade," I said.

Samantha Devereaux walked up as we stood there. She was blond, gorgeous, and the head cheerleader. She was also kind of a friend. Earlier in the school year, Sam had gone through a queen of the damned look, but that, thankfully, was over. She was wearing jeans I was sure would soon become all the rage and what looked like her boyfriend Sean’s button-down shirt over a lacy camisole. It was outfits like this that earned her the nickname the Divine Devereaux.

I dropped Duke’s hand. Quickly, but not quickly enough.

"Daisy, aren’t you forgetting someone?" Samantha said pointedly. Remarks like this were why she was only kind of a friend. I thought I could be sarcastic, but I bowed before the master.

"What?" I was still staring into Duke’s eyes, almost against my will.

"Ryan Mendez. Your boyfriend. He’s waiting for you by your locker," she said.

Ryan. Oh my gosh! "I was supposed to meet him before class!" I said.

"I was hoping you would be available to show me around the school," Duke said.

"I’ve got to run," I said, "but this is Samantha Devereaux. I’ll leave you in her capable hands."

As I left, Samantha said something to Duke I couldn’t hear, and he laughed, dimples flashing. I felt a slight pang at leaving such a cutie behind, but another cutie waited for me.

I bolted to my locker, where Ryan was, as Samantha reported, waiting patiently.

"I’m so sorry!" I said. "I’m running late as usual."

Ryan leaned in for a quick kiss. "I don’t mind waiting for you."

I smiled up at him. Maybe things between us were finally returning to normal. He’d been broody and distracted lately. He told me that he had been arguing with his dad a lot, which was odd since they had always been so close. I guessed it was because his dad could be strict at times—after all, he was the chief of police in Nightshade.

Broody or not, Ryan Mendez was the cutest boy in school (I pushed the memory of the gorgeous new guy out of my mind), played varsity in every sport the school had to offer, and was generally considered to be a catch by the girls at Nightshade High.

They also considered it a complete mystery that he wanted to be with me. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd, although I’d been a cheerleader for about ten seconds back in the fall.

The warning bell rang, and we hurried to our classes. Ryan and I had P.E. together last period, but that was about it.

By fourth period everyone was gossiping about the new guy.

Copyright © 2009 by Marlene Perez

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Graphia, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

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Dead Is a State of Mind (Dead Is Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 119 reviews.
Patrick Bryant More than 1 year ago
I truly dont like to read but when i wen to my book fair and saw this book it was amazing. Cant wait for Dead is so last year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has you sitting on your edge of your seat
stampymom More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the first book in this series(Dead Is The New Black) and was anxious to move onto the second and I'm so glad I did. This series so far has just been a lot of fun to read. Daisy is such a great teenager to read about mostly because, for the most part she acts like a teenager. Duke Sherrad shows up at Nightshade High and instantly sets his sights on Daisy. This definitely causes some teenage male jealousy for Ryan, Daisy's best friend gone boyfriend. Of course Daisy is feeling more and more insecure about her relationship with Ryan because he has been very secretive lately. Plus prom is coming up quick and Ryan still hasn't asked Daisy to go with him or mentioned it at all. Now throw in a ghost disrupting the Council meetings and a new murderous werewolf in town and you've got another great Dead Is novel. I checked this book out from my fabulous local library and received no compensation for my glowing report of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a good read for just whatever, but it doesn't really challenge you so you can enjoy everything. However, I think Perez does a good job with her characters which I find pretty believeable which is nice. I think that story would be better if it were more in depth, but it seems to be meant as a quick little interesting read, which it is. It's worth reading. I suggest reading it if you've read the first one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slthough this is only the secound book in the series, i am loving it. Msrlen Perez definitely knows how to write a wonderful book!
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a cute quick read. It is YA book so you have young dating drama which appeals to that audience. The quirky, enjoyable blend of paranormal, romance, mystery, and light-hearted life experiences is engaging. The main character, Daisy is likeable, sassy, and relatable. I did get a bit annoyed with her clueless assumptions about her boyfriend and how long it took her to figure things out. (they have been friends for too many years for this to happen in real life) She does get it in the end though and all is well. It is clean with only vague references to High School locker room topics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story keeps me intrigued. This is the second book in the Dead Is series and the mystery in this one is just as exciting as the first book. The characters are well written and developing amazingly as the series progresses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KelseyOakes More than 1 year ago
Dead is a State of Mind was a great book. If you like quick reads with alot of mystery this is the book for you! It had great vocabulary, while still keeping it simple. It was easily relatable, and made reading fun. One of my favorite things about this book was the language the author used. Marlene perez made it clear that her target audience was teenagers. She put alot of spunk and attitude into her characters. The main family in the book all have pshycic powers, but with the language the author uses it's easy to relate to the characters. Another thing i liked about this book was all of the drama packed into it. Daisy had to deal with trying to solve the mystery of her teachers murder, and her boyfriend, Ryan. Ryan and Daisy always seemed to be misinterpreting eachother. It made me relate by thinking to myself if i overreact about the little things, when i shouldn't. This book is a really quick read. I didn't want to put the book down! It seemed like something exciting was always stirring up in Daisy's life. Dead is a State of Mind is something i think every young adult interested in a good mystery should read at some poing! I was very satisfied with every aspect of the book, and i can't wait to read the rest of the series!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book i think it should have been alot longer to tell the rest of Daisy's story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Top says it all. Please people stop being such spoilers my god its annoying -.-
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book. You must read it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good! Reminds me of my sister's relationship! Needs to b a movie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was ok if you can overlook two major deficiencies. The teenage angst was overdone and the book itself was extremel short.
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