From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender is the second book in the Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy. I found a lot more depth and meaning in this novel than I expected to find! Beyond just containing a really creepy ghostly mystery, I think the characters’ experiences added extra layers to the story.
Teenagers have a long history of searching for a way to feel beautiful and popular. The lengths some will go to (especially girls) can get really out-of-hand. That is definitely true in this novel! Kasey, who was possessed by a vengeful ghost in the first book of the series, accidentally gets herself roped into another situation where she finds herself possessed. This time she drags her older sister Alexis and Alexis’ best friend Megan along with her.
Alexis goes to a meeting of The Sunshine Club intending to put a stop to it to keep Kasey safe – but before long finds herself pledging loyalty to the god Aralt. The members start showing up to school looking much prettier…before long they realize they are also acing quizzes they didn’t study for and attracting attention from the popular crowd that had ignored them in the past. Exactly what is Aralt doing with their lives?
I found the plot really engrossing – it is definitely a twisty-windy journey to find out exactly who/what Aralt is and how he is managing to control their lives. The plot is 100% contained in the novel, you definitely don’t have to read the first book of the series to keep up with it (although I recommend doing so just so you have more background on the characters – and because this series is entertaining and creepy).
Putting aside the supernatural, the girls learn that sometimes being popular and gorgeous isn’t worth all the trouble it takes. I’m not sure if Katie Alender meant readers to find so much depth in this part of the plot or not, but it definitely struck a chord with me. I thought the book overall gave a really great message.
I never stopped feeling like I was reading a book about characters – the writing didn’t make me feel like a part of the story or like I was reading a book about real people. So, while the writing didn’t quite live up to the plot – I definitely still recommend this series overall. Very interesting and very different from everything else on the shelves.