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I Belong

Early Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel

Vivian Divine is DeadTitle: Vivian Divine is Dead

Author: Lauren Sabel

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: Vivian Divine is Dead (Book 1)

Publication Date: June 3, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062231952 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062231956 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


Filled with surprising twists and poignant moments, Lauren Sabel brings a fresh new voice to contemporary fiction with Vivian Divine Is Dead. Creepy, clever, funny, and romantic.

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….

Lauren Sabel’s Vivian Divine Is Dead is a creepy, witty, fast-paced adventure about family, fame, and having the courage to save yourself.

Quick & Dirty: Vivian Divine is Dead is a gripping masterpiece with a creepy, exciting premise.

Opening Sentence: My name is Vivian Divine.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Vivian Divine is a child star. Her mother, Pearl Divine, was named World’s Sexiest Woman multiple times and her father is one of the most successful directors in Hollywood. Her life should be perfect, but it’s spiraled out of control. Her boyfriend Pierre was caught by the paparazzi kissing her best friend. Her mother was murdered and her father tried to kill himself, and would have if Vivian hadn’t stopped him in time. And Vivian just got a note, the same note that her mother got days before she was murdered, that tells her of her impending death. Now Vivian must go on the run, trying to save herself from whatever had got her mother.

Vivian Divine is a fantastic character. She’s like any other teenager, struggling with self-confidence while having to deal with what might be her death. Her emotions are described so wonderfully. Throughout the book, she finds strength in herself, and realizes that she isn’t as weak as she seemed. And then there is Nick — the love interest, who by the way, I thought was perfect. This character is lovable and not too perfect, as some authors make the mistake of doing to their characters.

Right from the get go, we are immersed into Vivian’s life and hooked almost immediately. I was so glued to the pages it was almost painful to shut off the light, since it was pretty late. It doesn’t take long to really understand Vivian and sympathize with her. She has such a unique personality and yet is like any other adolescent on the face of the earth. There aren’t many calm moments in this book, but when there is, it almost makes the peaceful moment more peaceful because of the chaos that usually occupies the chapters.

If I could say one downside of Vivian Divine is Dead it would have to be the mystery aspect. It was sometimes confusing to connect the dots and piece it together, but Vivian would already completely understand and be moving on. I wish that sometimes she had clarified. It wasn’t that bad, but I certainly was confused a few times, make no mistake. It’s a good thing the story was so enthralling that I didn’t care too much! Sadly, though, that knocked it down one star to the still-killer four star rating.

Vivian Divine is Dead is an exciting thrill ride through the life of one child star just trying to stay alive. It has betrayal, mystery, and love on every other page, seamlessly threading together into an amazing novel. If you don’t love this than I would be very surprised. Plus, you get to see more into the Mexican culture, which is lots of fun. Just a note: Spanish is used in this book, but if you have a basic understanding (cómo, bueno, etc.) than you should be good. Oftentimes it is translated but sometimes it isn’t — keep that in mind. Otherwise, make sure to pick this up as soon as possible!

Notable Scene:

“We need to talk to you,” Sparrow says, pushing through the reporters. Her whiny voice reminds me of the nights we used to stay up with Mar, listening to stories about first kisses and true love. Since Sparrow went to an all-girls school and I was homeschooled by a private tutor neither of us knew much about boys, until I started dating Pierre. Before she stole him from me.  “It was a mistake.”

“Kissing my boyfriend was a mistake?”  I shriek so loudly the reporters take a step back before lunging forward again. Get is together. Never lose your temper in front of a camera. I can see the headlines: Teen Star Slaps Former Best Friend in Fit of Rage. Career Plunges.

Vivian Divine is Dead Series:

1. Vivian Divine is Dead


FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Vivian Divine is Dead. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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