I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Vivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel
Published by Harper Collins on June 3, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery
When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine's fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he's a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won't stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn't she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?
Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can't be trusted—what could he be hiding?
Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she's running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there's no option to yell "cut" like there is on set...
Vivian Divine Is Dead was a short, wild ride of a book that started in Hollywood and ended up in rural Mexico. Vivian is convinced that she is going to be murdered, and at first I wondered if we had an unreliable narrator on our hands. Unfortunately, the unreliable nature of the story was due to bizarre plot twists that had me shaking my head more than once. It was like a plot element on way too much caffeine. The progression of the story was much too rushed and the twists seemed to come out of left field again and again. I like thrillers that take you out of reality a little bit, but this was to the point of being completely unbelievable in almost every way.
The main problem for me was that this book seemed to start in the middle of a story and never quite got me to a place where I felt like I was up to speed. I had no connection to Vivian, no connection to her family, and no real understanding of her motivations. If you can’t get those things in your head as a reader, it’s pretty difficult to care about what happens to anyone. This story might have been crazy enough to work, but the execution of the idea fell very short of what I consider an engaging read. Had we gotten to know Vivian before the critical event and then seen her journey, I might have felt differently. As it is, however, I just feel unsatisfied.