Friday, January 28, 2011

The Fangirl Reviews: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Luc Cain isn’t your average new student at ( the so appropriately nicknamed )Hades High school, he also just happens to be a demon sent from acquisitions to tag Catholic girl Frannie for the underworld.  All he has to is make her sin. Piece of cake, right?

Too bad Frannie has a little bit more up her sleeve than the ability to use her judo training to control her emotions.  It turns out that this tough girl also has an “ability” that has both The Almighty and Lucifer alike vying to tag her for their respective kingdoms.

So when another gorgeous new kid Gabe, with a serious glow about him, shows up at school, it’s hard for Frannie to resist him.  But there’s a thin side between the dark side and the light side, and it turns out that it may be harder to choose between Heaven and Hell than Frannie thought.

Page Count:  368
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Similar to:  Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Recommended for:  Girls 14 + *
Stars: 4/5

The good:

*     Wow.  I have been searching for a kick-butt girl protagonist that isn’t just all about flirting and I think I’ve found her in the voice of Frannie.  Sure she may have fallen for two unearthly boys, but she doesn’t let her feelings for them get in the way of everything.  She’s very headstrong, knows what she wants and is willing to fight for it.  Authors, we need more Frannie in YA literature!
*   Desrochers was able to take the traditional Good Vs. Evil story and put a spin on it that makes you question who is really on the dark side.  It wasn’t like anything else that I had ever read before and I enjoyed the way it left me questioning everything until the heart pounding end.  By the time I was done with this book (yes I read it in one sitting on a plane ride to Las Vegas), I was instantly craving more.
*    Sometimes shuffling from two different protagonist can fall flat and instead of giving a 360 view of the story it ends up just making the writer look like they’re trying too hard to write the opposite sex.  This was NOT the case for this novel.  With Desrochers creative imagery, rooted in dark mythology, I felt like I really got to feel every aspect of the story and grew to love these characters the more I read their take on the story.

The not-so-good:

*     I think I’ve said this in every review, but I don’t like references to current pop culture in stories.  It’s just my personal preference and this isn’t something that Desrochers does a lot, but she does mention a some current music that I don’t feel is timeless.  I don’t always mind this and I do think that The Fray “You found me,” is a perfect song for Frannie, but I just can’t change my mind on pop culture references.
*   There was some language that would really take me out of this story when I read it.  It may be because I have slang issues, but Frannie’s frequent using of the word “cause” instead of “because” would throw me for a loop.  Since her slang use of the word was consistent throughout the story I got used to it, but it was the only time she really used any slang, so it did throw me a bit while reading.  Luc also used some out of date terms like “As if” and more than once said “As you wish” which brought me back to Princess Bride and I couldn’t help but stifle a giggle.  I can kind of see where he would use out of date terms since he is an older demon, but it’s just something that stuck out to me as I read.
*    Gabe *swoon*.  Maybe it’s because I like blonde men in literature, but even though I did swoon over Gabe…I wanted more of him.  I felt like his relationship with Frannie sort of fell flat.  I could see why she was interested in him (hello angelic glow) and I could see why he was interested in her (that whole “gift”), but it just really didn’t push my buttons to think that he had the same heart pounding attraction to her that was being presented.  There are two more books in this series, so maybe we will get to see more of how this relationship grows…or maybe she will leave them all for her ex, Reefer.  (Note:  I just found out that the sequel is going to be from THREE points of view, so you may have to ignore this whole point.)

All in all this book was definitely more than I expected.  Not that I was expecting anything bad, but the concept intrigued me so I thought I would give it a shot and wasn’t expecting to be blown away like I was.  It’s definitely worth a read if you are looking for a change from you’re A-typical paranormal romance.

*With that being said I noted why I rated this novel for age 14 plus which is something that I rarely do.  There is A LOT of mythology in this novel, especially religious and Greek mythology with references to The River Styx and Dante.  I didn’t learn much of this mythology until freshman English and even then some people don’t learn it until much later on and that’s even if they do at all.  You don’t necessarily need to know the mythology to understand the novel, but it definitely helps.

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