Lackluster and Upsetting | Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Friday, March 04, 2022

 Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Scholastic Press
Publication Date: 9/24/13
Pages: 296
Source: purchased

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots. But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette. Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger . . . Acclaimed author Katie Alender brings heart-stopping suspense to this story of revenge, betrayal, intrigue — and one killer queen.
Colette is embarking on a trip of a life time to Paris, France. She is going to visit all the amazing tourist sights, finally understand where here family is originally from, and hopefully meet some cute boys along the way. The only problem? The ghost of Marie Antoinette is murdering teens. And Colette is next on the list. Will she survive?
  • When I first picked this book up, I was intrigued. The cover is so colorful that it gives off contemporary vibes. I tend to go into books without knowing much about them at all. So, I was incredibly surprised when Marie Antoinette actually does turn out to be a contemporary, set in present day. To be honest, I was expecting a historical drama, filled with colloquialisms. Both, the cover and the title entirely drew me in. I needed to know what this book was all about.
  • First few pages in, I could tell this may not be the book for me. Most of the characters introduced were incredibly superficial. It made them come off as fake, annoying and mean. Even the protagonist, Colette, seemed to have very little redeeming qualities. Most of the time, she seemed almost as bad—if not worse—than some of the other cruel characters. She continuously put down other characters, who she believed were inferior to her clique, and went along with her friends’ mean comments. 
  • And her friends! Why is Colette even friends with these two girls? There are several times when Colette mentions that if she goes against her friends' wishes, then she’ll be booted out of the friend group forever. And I didn’t see the loss here. Most of the time, Colette was trying to avoid her friends anyway. There was no reason and no explanation as to why these girls had become friends and why they continued a friendship that was more like a monarchy than anything else. I couldn’t stand it. Peer pressure is the worst but this was absolutely terrible and incredibly unrealistic. And Jules was the only person to point this out in the book, so thank you, Jules!
  • The descriptions of characters were filled with details about clothes and accessories, not much else. I was hoping for some depth when it came to the descriptions. However, readers, again, only got a superficial view of the characters.

  • The theme of Marie Antoinette Serial Killer that kept butting its way into the spotlight was all rich children were rude and snobs. Colette’s narrative and her friends’ dialogue continued to spout this nonsense. Since Colette’s family was no longer rich, she was not only inferior to her friends but also the nicer of the group. This generalization grated my nerves to no end. Because, no. 
  • I have never DNFed a book in my life but I, honestly, thought about not finishing the book. Though, being such a short read, I struggled on.
  • I did not like the writing. Some of the choices Alender made, whether it was with her unlikable characters or the direction the plot took, the writing did not grip me further into the story. However, the chapters of the murders balanced out the flow of the story since those chapters seemed shorter than the chapters with our protagonist.
  • I’m completely sold on all novels set in France. I've never been to France myself but I love reading about the setting, being engulfed in the country's charm. Despite not loving the book, I still appreciated the setting. 
  • The climax was lackluster. It built the reader up, anticipating this huge show down and didn't deliver. I was left feeling disappointed and wish it had ended differently.


In Marie Antoinette Serial Killer by Katie Alender, the unlikable characters, superficial descriptions, and disappointing ending created a book that fell entirely flat for me. While the setting of France adds a certain charm, the book is too short to truly get anything else out of it. 

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