Read Die Softly by Christopher Pike Online


HE MAY HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED A MURDER. Herb just wanted to photograph the cheerleaders in the school showers. He planted his camera high in the corner where no one could see it, and rigged it to a special homemade timer. He did that Thursday night, and he hoped that by Friday night he would have an exciting roll of film to develop.But a girl dies Friday afternoon. On the surfaHE MAY HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED A MURDER. Herb just wanted to photograph the cheerleaders in the school showers. He planted his camera high in the corner where no one could see it, and rigged it to a special homemade timer. He did that Thursday night, and he hoped that by Friday night he would have an exciting roll of film to develop.But a girl dies Friday afternoon. On the surface it appears to be nothing more than a tragic car accident. But when Herb finally does collect his roll of film, he develops a picture that shows a shadowy figure sneaking up on the girl who has died -- sneaking up on her with a baseball bat.It makes Herb wonder if the girl was dead long before the car accident.But unfortunately for Herb, he doesn't wonder if the murderer knows he took the picture....

Title : Die Softly
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743424233
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Die Softly Reviews

  • Donna
    2019-04-06 21:07

    It's not often you get a creeper as the MC whose eyes you read through. But even despite the fact that this guy rigged up a camera to take pictures of his naked classmates, Pike wrote it in such a way that Herb was still an appealing guy. I didn't get skeeved out at all while reading. In fact, I empathized with Herb a little. He was just setting himself up for a stupid prank but he ended up getting handed a lot more.Pike has an excellent way of teetering guilt from one character to another. You can't tell who's lying, who's being genuine or who has some tracks to cover. Everyone (except Herb) looks guilty. I just love how it's all woven together so seamlessly. Until it was made obvious who the culprit was, I was constantly trying to figure out who was the big bad in this story. And why. Now I'm not the best at these kinds of whodunnit type of stories but I'm able to connect the dots decently enough. But Pike's dots were masterfully all over the place in a kind of organized chaos. I truly think that the truth is hidden so well that not too many people would be able to figure it out until close to the reveal.The only thing I'd change would be the villain dialogue at the end. It's kind of classic in a cliche sort of way how the villain ultimately suffers from verbal diarrhea and just can't shut their damn mouths, destroy evidence and be done with it. It was a definite unload that I think could have been better worked into the plot but I'm over it. I liked the rest of it too much.Pike did a great job of keeping all of the characters (except Herb) at arm's length. Each had something about them that I could empathize or sympathize with but each had a motive, just a little hint of guilt that kept me from getting them too close. I had no idea who I could trust. That feeling of unease that Pike created isn't found often, I don't think, and it really made me uncomfortable at times. As do all good creepy thriller books. And don't go in expecting a cookie cutter ending either. Pike is fearless with his characters. No one is safe and he sticks to that.While it didn't have anything paranormal in it, it still rates pretty high on the creep scale. Good horror doesn't need paranormal elements in it to make it horror. Just amazing writing that makes you uncomfortable and some level of afraid. Die Softly did just that.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-18 00:05

    This book was better than most Nineties YA crime thrillers, focusing on a realistic plot and featuring characters that have more depth than usual.

  • Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
    2019-03-29 17:04

    Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.Pros: Believable depiction of a male teen...up to a point. Photography makes for an original plot device.Cons: Unlikeable characters. Not particularly engaging prose. Some paragraphs could have benefited more editing.WARNING! Some gruesome deaths. Sex is mentioned/implied; drugs are heavily featured.Will appeal to: Those who love a classic teen thriller '90s-style...only a lot darker than average.Well, yes, this isn't one of my favourite Pike books - obviously. I'll state my reasons for that in a moment. But one thing needs to be said in advance...even when YA was still in its infancy, Pike never shunned the darkest angles of human psyche, nor the most gruesome outcomes of human emotions. In a way, this book is mature YA, right because of that. On the other hand, it's still a kid of the '90s, in what it lacks sophistication and conciseness. The best teen novels out there nowadays would never spend pages describing the wiring of a camera to a tape recorder and their location on a ledge, or the development of a roll of film. Not cool ;).But my main problems with this book are the characters and the tone. I'll get to the characters in a few lines...but I'm starting with the tone. The story is told in third person by Herb, an eighteen year old "nobody" (that's how he thinks of himself) with one single talent - photography. The chapters alternate between the past, when death struck Herb's small clique of friends and acquaintances, and the present ("In the End"), when Herb is on the phone with Sergeant Fitzsimmons, recounting the events. The book ends with an epilogue. Now, Pike's typical style is made of short sentences, on the descriptive side. While it works for his most interesting stories (especially those told in first person), it tends to get a bit dull and simplistic here. I get it that we are in Herb's mind, so the writing style probably mimics his mental processes quite accurately, but it also sets a flat tone on the whole. [...]Whole review here.

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    2019-04-03 23:21

    Christopher Pike generally creates plots that are different enough to enthrall, with his other real strength lying in creating compassionate, genuine characters. In this case we have stumbling, bumbling Herb, being the typical teenage boy in that he's 'horny', yet being unique because of actual tenderness.Die Softly is one of Pike's darker stories, ending with a twisted finale that leaves one depressed and stunned. There are so many curves in this road it should be blockaded. It never stays stagnant, popping up continuously with new nail-chomping situations. Was the girl he's been in love with for years involved more than she says? Is she being framed by his best friend, jealous of his relationship with her? Did the best friend do it? Is it because of his love's demented, drug addicted friends? Did one of them turn on each other? And what is the deal with his other best friend's brother's car accident a year earlier? You get the picture.It's one of those novels that starts at the end, with Herb telling it how everything went to hell to a surprisingly amicable detective. From there out it's a mystery where you get a good idea, but just aren't sure. There is an inkling of blood, but suspense isn't focused on. My attention was grabbed and I hated putting it down. The powerful ending wrapped it up perfectly. Bad points? Well, the middle did lag a bit, even if things were happening. Herb was a 'great guy' but the circular actions grew slightly - and I said slightly - tiresome. The beginning could have been sped up also. The dream sequence was useful and did interest, but it went on too long and became stale. My mind drifted a few times, but thankfully in the end Pike's words brought me back home.Like most of Pike's books, while labeled as young adult, the very grown-up themes shine through. I was left thinking about how far some people go for people they care about, even when they know better. It's not the general story of the protagonist trying to figure out whodunnit before it's too late, but a different animal altogether. A book that leaves me thinking, even if it's depressing, can never be a bad thing.

  • Avery
    2019-04-16 21:54

    WARNING THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS but not in the first and last paragraph Die softly by Christopher Pike was an interesting book through and through exceeding in great Entertainment and Emotional value but lacking in Literary and Educational value nonetheless. With that, the book is definitely a great independent novel as it succeeds in making one attached to the plot and entertained throughout. With its failure in Educational and Literary value however, this book should stay banned in schools because of its explicit scenes, drug use, nudity, and lack of teaching anyone anything useful in the classroom. Before I begin I want to remind everyone once more that there will be spoilers in this review and if you want you can skip to the very last paragraph there will be no spoilers at that exact point. For entertainment value the book did a great job in keeping me hooked and happy to read more. I could relate to the main character Herb as I love photography and sometimes have allusive dreams like he did in the prologue. The story heavily involved around a photo Herb, an abstracted teenage boy, had taken on the night of Lisa’s death only because “he wanted to take pictures of the cheerleaders” in the girls locker room in order to have nude photos (Pike 12). Though this is very inappropriate, backing me up on why schools shouldn't allow students to read this, it kicks off the story with a bang as Herb ended up taking a photo of the murderer in the act. Once again, for Entertainment value, Die Softly succeeded in keeping me hooked until the end and may provide relatable content to some viewers thus doing good in this category.For Literary value the book lacked many, if not all, of the qualifications needed to be considered stable in this category. Though it was very interesting with its complex plot the book has not been established as having any artistic qualities for a literary community. Meaning it's not regarded as heavily creative in any way to those who often read books either as a job or in their freetime. Which is most likely the reason why it has also not stood the test of time as before even thinking about reading this book I had never even heard about it to begin with and just trying to purchase the book in general is difficult within itself. So basically meaning the book has been blown to oblivion. As for thematic depth Die Softly was somewhat in the clear. This book can be read from any kind of culture and at anytime whether it be ten to one hundred years in the future. That is so because the book takes place around, what I thought was, the stereotypical “teenage boy with nonexistent self esteem” which many are used to (Pike 13). Nonetheless the book doesn't communicate any artistic manner whatsoever and had no social, political, or ideological impact during the time the author published it. After all of this I can confirm that Die Solfty failed in Literary value as it is considered to not be as creative compared to other books, it has not stood the test of time, it had no impact on the world when it was published, and it has not been recommended for the literary community.For Emotional value Die Softly actually did somewhat good in some of the areas around this category. I personally think that this book grew on me as by chapter 10 I was practically screaming at Herb to not do certain tasks like help Alexa or confront the person by “hiking directly up the hill” to see who shot Sammie (Pike 176). Still, the book did not present any authentic perspective about cultural, social, or diverse groups as it only focused around a big mystery of who killed Lisa and why. None of which affected the perspective at all. Regarding significance to emotional impact the book prevailed in utterly shocking the reader. Though some may suspect who the murderer is the book still surprises many on the reasons to why and how the murder was committed that “no one had the answer to”(Pike 245). As a murder mystery book Die Softly needed to have an ending that answers all the questions, ties everything together, and do so reasonably. This book clearly did so and will definitely shock anyone as the clues all come together. Don’t even get me started about how Herb ended up dying in the end but also solving his and Lisa’s own murder. If any life lesson came out of Die Softly it is that good looks don’t mean good intentions and that murder is not worth anything. For the Emotional value I believe Die Softly passed in this section because of its emotional impact that will eventually grow on the reader as time goes by and because of the mini life lesson learned at the end. Finally, for Educational value Die Sofly did the worst in this than any other category. I think this was as to be expected but the book had nothing that could be used to teach a classroom. The only thing taught in this book is how to develop photos for a really outdated camera which is not useful to many if not all people. They even went as far as describing the “three chemicals Herb used to develop photographs”(Pike 95). Discussion wise I think many will love to express their feelings toward certain characters and who they suspect to be the murderer but school wise this book should stay far away from any library shelf as the book constantly mentions drugs use and contains explicit scenes including nudity. All of which are definitely not school appropriate whatsoever. Even right at the start of chapter one the book literary mentions how much Herb wants photos of nude women. So yes Die Softly might keep a discussion afloat but for all the wrong reasons when regarding school appropriate content as it will make some students uncomfortable and the book has nothing to teach in classrooms in the first place. In the end, I admire Christopher's skill in being able to end the book and tie everything together as neat as he did. Die Softly is something I recommend anyone in reading if you have time to kill but the book still shouldn't be in schools as I have proved. So failing in two out of the four categories this book should get a 2 star rating but because of the great ending I give it a 3 star rating instead. Seriously, if you're a fan of twist endings this is the book for you.

  • Stefani
    2019-04-11 17:09

    This is another Christopher Pike book that I purchased to put on my classroom bookshelf. Christopher Pike was one of my FAVORITE authors as a teenager and I'm hoping that, even though these books were published before my students were born, some of them might find his stories as intriguing as I did. I gave this book a low rating based on my thoughts on it as an adult. It's very predictable in the fashion of 'Scream' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'. Teens start dying, each one is a suspect and then is killed, and then the one you are supposed to least expect, ends up being the murderer. It's a pretty basic plot line but an easy read - I read the whole thing in about 4 hours last night.

  • Leigh
    2019-04-01 00:09

    Teen sex, cocaine, murder, voyeurism... All components of a proper YA novel. ;)Reading these again in my 30s is extra fun because they take about as much time to get through as a movie adaptation would take to watch. In retrospect, reading these as a young girl probably colored my perception of life a bit. A fun jaunt down memory lane.

  • Laura
    2019-04-01 21:21

    Sarah & I have decided to rekindle our cheesy teenage reading habits by having a CEFS co-blogger throwback read-a-long of this one.

  • Lori Kircher
    2019-04-23 23:58

    5/5 stars. A great, fast read. This book is about Herb, who took a picture of a girl’s locker room and how that picture involved more than what was on the photo. I loved how all the loose ends were tied up nicely and the ending was great; everything came full circle. I loved everything about this book: the plot, characters, setting, the writing, the ending, everything. Some of my favorite scenes are: when Herb and Alexa are at his bedroom toward the end, when Theo saves Herb from Stephen at an intersection, Herb’s dream, and the funeral scene (what happened to the antagonist). This book isn’t about sci-if, it’s more of a contemporary/ murder-mystery book. Overall, a great read, I would recommend it, is a favorite of mine, and I will be picking up more books by this author in the future.

  • Carol
    2019-04-16 22:04

    Well as a teen back in the late 90's and early 2000's I read a ton of Christopher Pike. Now I decided to go back and re-read whatever I could find. I remembered why teen me was so obsessed with these books and they kind of do resemble the adult fiction I read now. Nostalgia has been satisfied! On to The Immortal.

  • Kathy
    2019-03-29 15:55

    I forgot how gripping Pike was! So good to delve into his mind again.

  • K.l.
    2019-04-02 20:19

    Utterly loved this as a young teen, and am pleased to say I enjoyed it as much now as I did then!

  • Christy Sherrill
    2019-04-09 17:14

    From age 11 until 14 , Me and my best friend spent many an hours reading and talking about R.L' Stine books. We felt the all other "authors" like Christopher Pike was inferior. I don't know how I came across this book, I remember that I picked it up because of the cover. I book I have was the original, not the reissued , and it has a camera on the cover. This was my first exposure to the process of developing film and printing photo's in fiction or nonfiction writing. I remember reading that and thinking: I want to do that, I am going to do that!Years later I was flipping though tv channels and landed on a movie with Tori Spelling. I watched it and realized that "they" had either stole the plot from this book or it was based on this book( "back then" if you missed the begin of a movie on t.v., you really had no way of figuring out the name of the movie). Either way it was a really crappy movie, and did the book no justice.This book's plot was based in reality. After this book I quit reading R.L. Stine books because they had started out based in reality, moved to reality and ghost realm, then to sifi, and then the just went bad with the ridiculous plots. I guess the publisher started publishing the the worst entries for this seiries last , as a desperate attempt to keep selling R.L.Stine books. Shortly after Goosebump came out.

  • Kailey Brennan
    2019-03-29 18:15

    Die Softly is a book by one of my favourite authors of all time, Christopher Pike. Die softly is about Herb Trasker, who only wanted to take a few picture of some naked cheerleaders in the school showers but the pictures he gets back are not the ones he expected. A girl dies after driving off a cliff, it all seems like an accident but theres more to it when Herb’s pictures show that same girl only an hour or two before her death in the schools showers with a shadowed figure creeping up behind her holding a baseball bat. This picture makes Herb rethink the accident for a murder and just to top it all off his friends are suddenly acting weird and his crush is clinging to him for comfort. What does this all mean?I gave ‘Die Softly’ a rating of 4.5 because I found it really hard to get into, so I gave it a year break and decided to pick up where I left off and looked at it from new eyes. This book left me wanting more and it still does even after its finished. I found Herb to be annoying and an idiot but it worked for the story and I ended up liking him. I loved all the characters and found it was a shame how many of them ended up. I wish there could have been a different ending but it still well was mind blowing and sick, wish I could keep reading it over again. Christopher Pike definitely doesn’t disappoint.

  • Sabrina
    2019-03-28 18:10

    Ok this book was super good!! I loved loved loved it!!!! This book i find though makes the main charcter Herb a complete idiot because the proof of the killer was right infront of him but he kept denying it!!!Spoilers!When Herb died i was so sad. I didn't want him to die but i guess he deserved it baceause of his stupidity. I hate Alexa! I'm happy she was caught but they should have killed her for all the problems and death she caused. Her and her drug addiction can rot in hell. Lol but it was still a great book!!!I also liked how the book revolved alround his pictures and found it funny how it all started with him wanting to get a peek into the girls change rooms. Although i knew who the killer was the whole time, how the story connected with other characters was really interesting and i enjoyed it very much. Christopher pike did it again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One last thing i noticed was that the copy i got from was a bit strange, i dont know if its just this one because i have bury deep in the same type of edition and its completely fine. My copy of Die Softly has this squished thick print that looks smudged. Also on one page Alexa's name was spelled without the a. Alex. It was ok with me though. I dont mind, like i said it was still a great book!

  • Jaimie
    2019-04-04 17:12

    Christopher Pike is a hardcore R.L. Stine. That's how I like to think of him. His novels go where you wish R.L. Stine's Fear Street novels would go. They have sex, drugs, teenage drinking and very gory deaths! Yes, R.L. Stine has teens dying in his books and the occasional beer, but Christopher Pike takes it up a notch. And in Pike's books, more than only one person dies and it's not always just close calls. I know, all of the above may not be for everyone, but I like reading about that stuff. And I was definitely satisfied when I was done reading this book.Die Softly is only the second Pike book that I have read. And I fucking loved it! It had me hooked from the very beginning all the way to the end! The characters were great, the story was easy to follow and it was all very well described. The ending was amazing! I'm not going to say much, but the mastermind behind everything that when on, was one twisted fuck! It also left me feeling a little sad. You'll know why if you read it. Christopher Pike definitely knows how to write a great horror novel! I really can't wait to read more from him!

  • PurplyCookie
    2019-04-01 19:09

    Herb Tasker, a teenage photographer, was assigned a project to take pictures of the high school cheerleading team. For some reason his friend Sammy suggests him to set his camera in the girls shower to take pictures of them after their practice. He goes through with it but starts to wonder why she has a specific time, day, and spot for the camera to be in. He gets more than he bargained for when he catches a murder on film. An interesting Pike book that is not about the supernatural, but instead about evil in its most earthly form. The characters really come to life, but they are extremely disturbed human beings.The story line doesn't unfold until the end, and no amount of guessing gave it away. The death in the end was a shocker; makes the book even more memorable.Book Details: Title Die SoftlyAuthor Christopher PikeReviewed By Purplycookie

  • Christine
    2019-04-06 22:51

    Maybe it's only because it's old--and old books tend to somehow be disappointing and quite predictable mostly because much has changed since they've been published and the next generations have a somehow different way of thinking--but I really really hated this book. My friend warned me to be open minded with this book because it's, I dunno, maybe because it's terribly terrible or something, because I'm pretty sure she warned me that the topic was somehow off and this. is. not. off. I just, dang it, I hated how predictable this book was. The killer was easily identifiable. I couldn't connect with the main character. And though I'm a little happy that, *River Song voice* SPOILERS, he was killed by the killer at the end (which was the reason this book still has a one star rating), I still didn't like him. Nor was I able to empathize with him or any other characters in this book. It's just disappointing. Kind of like having the tenth doctor regenerate disappointing.

  • SaturNalia
    2019-04-25 15:54

    3.5 Herb is the epitome of a high school loser; average looks, average grades, unpopular with girls but he takes great photographs. He puts his skills to good use by setting up a camera in the girl's shower to take some nude shoots, unfortunately he photographs a murder in process. Lisa is killed and Herb suspects Alexa because pictures don't lie. Alexa is so beautiful and nice, Herb has been crushing on her for years, there's no way she is the killer. All the suspects are devious with motives to kill, they all have weapons and are filled by drugs. This was pretty interesting but was slowed down by a lot of technical stuff like how to develop film and how to set up a time lapse camera. (view spoiler)[Alexa was the killer and her method of murder was pretty smart. She forced her victims to overdose on cocaine. The main narrator is murdered too. (hide spoiler)]

  • Sydney
    2019-04-16 22:19

    Once again I knew it! I liked this book, it didn't disappoint. I liked the characters and the way it all worked together in the end. The characters were well written and it will keep you guessing from start to finish. Herb (protaginist) was funny and caring. (view spoiler)[ I totally called that it would be Alexa. She wasn't caring or kind. She was annoying. But how about that ending! Wow... that I didn't see coming.(hide spoiler)]. The background characters were interseting as well. Sammie was written well, and she seemed to genuinly care for Herb. Alexa was really something else. She was so nice to Herb even though she was really popular. I liked this book, but it wasn't my favourite. But still another great Pike book!Rating: 5.5/10Parental Rating: 14+

  • Holly
    2019-04-02 23:11

    Herb just wanted to photograph the cheerleaders in the school showers. He planted his camera high in the corner where no one could see it, and rigged it to a special homemade timer. He did that Thursday night, and he hoped that by Friday night he would have an exciting roll of film to develop.But a girl dies Friday afternoon. On the surface it appears to be nothing more than a tragic car accident. But when Herb finally does collect his roll of film, he develops a picture that shows a shadowy figure sneaking up on the girl who has died -- sneaking up on her with a baseball bat.It makes Herb wonder if the girl was dead long before the car accident.But unfortunately for Herb, he doesn't wonder if the murderer knows he took the picture.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-03 16:04

    Another book I picked up many, many years after I read it for the first (few) time(s) when I was a young teenager. Even though I disliked the ending, I enjoyed not knowing exactly what was going to happen - the benefit of picking up a book literally years later, although the writing was, at times, a bit juvenile. I think I'm comparing it to Riordan, or perhaps youth writers have simply developed more sophisticated ways of writing to a younger audience. I don't know. In its defense, it wasn't nearly as bad as Bury Me Deep and the writing of that one, which I decided to get rid of after rereading. This one is a keeper I think. At least until next time.

  • Krissy
    2019-03-28 15:51

    I read this book when I was about 13, and I just remember lending it to friends who were not readers and each time they came back saying they could not put it down until they finished it. That really impressed me, so when I was 18 working in B. Dalton, I used to recommend this book to mothers trying to force their kids to take an interest in reading (hoping all the while they wouldn't look too close at the plot description). That said, it wasn't my personal favorite of Pike's. That would be Remember Me, Book 1 of the trilogy.

  • Stacie
    2019-03-28 18:14

    This was one of the first Christopher Pike novels that I read as a teenager - it was the impetus to my obsession with his books and I remember it particularly fondly. I re-read it again recently and it was like a trip back in time reading about Herb and the "Sugar Sisters"! I love the covers of these old Christopher Pike books and this cover was one of the best. Still a keeper after all these years!

  • Meagan
    2019-03-26 17:18

    The plot was very intreeeging and really kept me thinking. What i enjoyed most was that the murder was truelly cold hearted, the way she that was really intresting. Another think i found unique was that the main charictar was rather pathetic, yet gave is life to give evidence of whom the murderer was, even though he was in love with her. It turned out much better than what i was expecting, and was pleasently suprised. =)

  • Sherri Moorer
    2019-04-15 19:08

    Call me crazy, but I STILL love this book! I first read it in the early 90's as a teen and it still sticks out as one of the best murder mysteries I've ever read. The characters are believable and the plot is complex yet compelling. I don't even care that the technology is outdated. I make a habit of re-reading this book at least once a year.

  • Lori
    2019-03-27 17:03

    This was one of my favorite books when I was around 11 or 12. It's got a lot of drugs and some sexual content, but I loved it. I loved Christopher Pike because there aren't ghosts or anything like that. This is basically a slasher, but I thought it was so good. I don't know if I would rate it so high now, but I think it's probably really good for a younger teen.

  • Serina
    2019-04-18 16:00

    i really like this book, i read it around 3 months ago. Whta i like mostly about pike books is once you begin reading them you just cant let them down. An d that is exactly what i did while reading this book. A great read

  • Abbi Dion
    2019-03-28 16:20

    All the twisted innocence of an 80s/early 90s thriller. High school boy wants to photograph naked cheerleaders in the shower. Ends up photographing a murder. Oops! Of course, cocaine is involved. And Denny's. Highest recommendation.

  • Tara Hall
    2019-04-01 17:56

    A Great book, one I enjoyed for the second time this week. I first read this book as a teen, and have been going through my old books, decided in what books to giveaway. This one is a keeper, and its staying on my shelves :)