Claire and Alice are sisters in high school, having what is the expected teenage lives, though they are quite different from each other. Alice is stand-offish, a horror movie fanatic, concerned about getting an internship for summer research, while Claire is involved in drama productions, always looking perfect in any clothes, constantly smiling. The two are good friends to each other, and that's the reason that the overwhelming event that knocks Alice and her parents into an tailspin is still weighing Alice down a year after.
Alice watched Claire being stabbed to death. The young woman who revels in horror films had her own created before her eyes. What happens when Alice has to testify at the trial about what she saw is the foundation of Danielle Valentine's excellent novel. The plot is extremely compelling, but what gives this book an edge is the authentic thought and language passages that come from Alice's viewpoint. She becomes a real individual very quickly.
The many references to classic horror films add another enjoyable layer to this book. While it's designated YA, anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, first-person narrative with elements of horror and fantasy will be glad they read How to Survive Your Murder.