As American teenager Collette Iselin is packing for a school trip to Paris she finds an old medallion hidden in a box. The medallion bears the symbol of a key and is a link to the secrets of her family's past. What is supposed to be a simple school trip to hang out with her wealthy friends and brush up her French turns into a dangerous adventure when Collette encounters the ghost of Marie Antoinette.
I picked this one up because the silly title got my attention. What kept me reading was the characters. While the book is a ghost story, and a teen romance, at its core it is a story about female friendship. Collette has a few hard lessons to learn about how to treat other people and how friendship can be based on how two people really feel about one another instead of how the other person might be useful to you. The following passage really rang true to me:
“The reason I came here …” I took a deep breath. “I have an idea. You know how I said we weren’t really friends? Well, what if we were friends? If you come hang out with me for a while, maybe we can, like, bond. And then when we get back home, I’ll totally be your friend."
But she just laughed.
“Colette, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Why would I want to hang out with someone who treats me like dirt? So I can make people think I’m ‘cool’?” She punctuated the word with air quotes and started to turn away, shaking her head. “I think spending so much time with Hannah has actually made you crazy.”
“Wait!” I cried. “Don’t you wish you could improve your social status? This is your chance.”
I met girls like that in high school, who acted like letting me hang out with them would be doing me a favour even though we didn't like each other at all. Hopefully we've all done a good deal of maturing by now. Reading a book like this back in our school days might have helped speed up the process.
It also made a nice change to read a ghost story that didn't rely on gore, though it isn't terribly scary. If you are looking for something to make you sleep with the lights on this book will disappoint. The plot is basically fluff, but enjoyable fluff. Don't worry about historical accuracy or the existence of ghosts, just suspend disbelief, relax and enjoy Collette's journey from a self described “shallow jerk” with next to no understanding of the French language and culture to a less shallow girl who has experienced love and forgiveness and eaten some great French food.
Marie Antoinette Serial Killer is a fun light-hearted ghost story which is available through my Amazon Associate store along with other titles by Katie Alender.