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, Suzy Jackson

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When it comes to guys, the Giordano sisters sure know how to pick ’em: Rose is dating an undertaker. Poppy is dating a ghost. And Daisy is still with her longtime love, Ryan . . . or is she? Prom is only weeks away and Ryan still hasn’t asked her to be his date.
But there’s a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High who has his eye on Daisy:…  See more details below


When it comes to guys, the Giordano sisters sure know how to pick ’em: Rose is dating an undertaker. Poppy is dating a ghost. And Daisy is still with her longtime love, Ryan . . . or is she? Prom is only weeks away and Ryan still hasn’t asked her to be his date.
But there’s a gorgeous new guy at Nightshade High who has his eye on Daisy: 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!

Editorial Reviews

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

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

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Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Dead Is Series, #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)
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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Meet the Author

Marlene Perez is the author of Dead is the New Black, Love in the Corner Pocket, and Unexpected Development, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Her work has been featured in Cosmo and Seventeen magazines and reviewed widely. She lives in Orange County, California, with her husband and four children. Visit for more info.

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