Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Bad Girl Gone

Bad Girl Gone

A Novel

Temple Mathews

A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin




A recently deceased girl must solve her own murder in order to escape purgatory in Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews.

Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.

There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.

She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.

She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.

She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.­­­­



When I tried to remember exactly how I came to be lying in the cold black room, my mind couldn’t focus.

I could feel myself slowly climbing upward, clawing my way out of the clutches of a nightmare. This was usually a...


Praise for Bad Girl Gone

"Gr 8 Up—Paranormal romance meets murder mystery in this YA tale. Echo Stone wakes up alone in a cold, dark room. This is her home now, she is told—a place called Middle House. Echo and a group of other children and teens were sent here one reason: they were all murdered. And now they all must find their killers and seek vengeance in order for their souls to be set free. Mathews uses this elaborate setup to take the protagonist on a posthumous journey of self-discovery. As Echo revisits her family and friends, she sees not only the pain that her death has brought them but also the ways in which her behavior, while she was alive, hurt people. In addition, she struggles to let go of her devoted boyfriend, Andy, even as she develops feelings for Cole, another Middle House resident. For all of its high stakes, this work has a decidedly unhurried pace; Echo spends as much time contemplating past choices as she does hunting her killer. Her efforts to help other children get their revenge add action to the narrative, but scenes in Middle House itself, when Echo and her friends have to come to the aid of their imperious leader, Miss Torvous, feel oddly out of place and distract from the larger story. VERDICT A good addition to any YA murder mystery collection." —School Library Journal, Bobbi Parry, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, LA

"A 16-year-old discovers that she is a ghost and resolves to solve her own murder with the help of her new friends and their supernatural powers.Echo Stone experiences a rude awakening in a strange place she comes to learn is Middle House, an "orphanage" for ghosts of murder victims. The kids Echo meets there are "in-betweeners," stuck in a sort of purgatory until they resolve their issues, starting with the question of who murdered them. Bewildered but determined to find answers about her own death, Echo joins the ragtag band of ghostly teenagers, each endowed with unique powers in death, to participate in hauntings of their murderers and exact revenge. Bit by bit, memories of her life before death come back to her as she starts to piece together and investigate a list of suspects, coming to terms with her own actions in the process. A lackluster love triangle among Echo, her former boyfriend, Andy, and ghost love interest, Cole, feels tacked-on, frequently invoked but inorganically developed. Echo's voice is stilted and histrionic throughout, and the melodramatic turns of events feel forced and scripted. Most characters seem to default to white, though one is described as dark-skinned and another is implied to have mixed Asian heritage. Weak character development and monotonous plotting eclipse an otherwise intriguing premise." —Kirkus Reviews

"Bad Girl Gone will keep you guessing! It sucked me in and didn't spit me out until I'd turned the last page." —Iggy Azalea

Praise for The New Kid:

“This fast-paced, action-packed first novel by veteran Hollywood screenwriter Temple Mathews takes the idea of high school as hell to a whole new level. Will’s story, part wish-fulfillment sci-fi adventure and part iconic hero’s journey with a side of budding romance, will appeal to teen readers of both genders.” —Somewhere Only We Know Blog

“The pace is good, the attention to small details almost made it seem like a movie script, while the twists add character to the story.” —Tome Tender Book Blog

"Temple Mathews is a writer to keep your eyes on. Bad Girl Gone has everything a young adult wants in a book, but also enjoyable for adults who want to read. I will definitely be checking out more from Temple Mathews in the future." —Kristin Downer, #NerdProblems

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Temple Mathews

Temple Mathews is an author and screenwriter with several films to his credit, including Disney’s Return to Neverland, The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. He wrote Aloha Scooby Doo for Warner Bros. and Picture This for MGM. He is also the author of The New Kid trilogy.

Temple Mathews

Matt Misisco