Cover image for Famous last words
Famous last words
Alender, Katie, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Scholastic Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
312 pages ; 22 cm
High-schooler Willa has just moved to California with her mother and film director stepfather, and she will be attending a private school--but her real problem is that she keeps seeing things that are not really there, like a dead body in the swimming pool, and her visions may be connected to a serial killer that is stalking young girls in Hollywood.
Reading Level:
660 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.7 11.0 169150.

Reading Counts RC High School 3.8 18 Quiz: 63976.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.

Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies.

Author Notes

Katie Alender is the acclaimed author of several novels for young adults, including the Bad Girls Don't Die series and MARIE ANTOINETTE, SERIAL KILLER. A graduate of the Florida State University Film School, Katie now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her daughter, and her very spoiled dog, Winston. She enjoys reading, sewing, and eating delicious high-calorie foods. To find out more about Katie visit

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Willa is wracked with guilt over her father's untimely death, and to make matters worse, she has to make nice with her new stepfather, famous movie-director Jonathan, and adjust to the luxe life a far cry from her small-town home in Connecticut. But that's not all: after she and her mom move to Jonathan's tony mansion in Hollywood, Willa finds herself plagued by a violent, ghostly presence. She's afraid people will think she's losing her mind or worse just begging for attention so when the ghost seems to be sending her messages about an ongoing series of murders, she needs to decide whether to stay inside her emotional barricade or take action. With the help of her worldly-wise new friend Marnie and Jonathan's handsome assistant Reed, Willa must uncover clues to reveal the identity of the murderer. Gothic horror meets Hollywood glamour in this satisfying mystery-thriller with a supernatural twist, perfect for readers of Kendare Blake or Kami Garcia.--Willey, Paula Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Willa's new stepdad, Jonathan, is a movie director, which is how she finds herself transplanted to Hollywood from suburban Connecticut. Willa isn't particularly thrilled about her mom remarrying-she is still reeling from her father's death two years ago. But for her mom's sake she is determined to make it work. On the plus side there's Marnie, a new friend at school, and Reed, Jonathan's cute, young assistant who seems to like Willa as much as she likes him. Unfortunately, there's also a murderer, aka the Hollywood Killer, on the loose who enjoys re-creating iconic scenes from classic movies, such as the final attack scene from Hitchcock's The Birds. The murderer's victims-always young aspiring actresses-play the starring roles. Wyatt, Willa's unfriendly chemistry lab partner at school, seems oddly obsessed with the crimes. As if that weren't enough, Willa's new house is haunted. The ghost is desperate to tell her something; Willa thinks it might have something to do with the Hollywood Killer. The plot moves at a breakneck pace as Alender has jam-packed her latest novel with murder, ghosts, and romance. At the heart of this story, however, is Willa coming to terms with her father's death. Fans of the author's "Bad Girls Don't Die" series (Disney-Hyperion), as well as readers who enjoy suspense and supernatural elements with their romance, won't be disappointed.-Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.