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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writer's Wednesday: Personal Demons Book Review and Contest

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen (September 14, 2010)
Paperback: 365 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Author’s Publicist

Frannie Cavanaugh has always been a bit of a loner. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends. That is, until Luc Cain enrolls in her school. He's hot, sarcastic, and dangerous—and Frannie can't seem to stay away.

What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission. Because Frannie isn't exactly ordinary. She possesses a skill so unique that the king of Hell himself has taken notice, and he's sent Luc to claim Frannie's soul. It should be easy: All he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and he's just started making progress when the angel Gabriel shows up. Gabe will do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for, and his angelic charm might just be enough to keep Frannie on the right path.

It isn't long before Luc and Gabe find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul. But if Luc fails to win her over, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

REVIEW:  Okay, I’ve read a LOT of angel/demon stories lately.  For obvious reasons. So when the publicist contacted me, I was excited to read this, but worried, as well.  None of the other stories ever lived up to my expectations.  Which are—to say the least—someone’s soul hanging in the balance, a fight to the death (it is a book about Heaven and Hell after all), and a clearly defined romance, maybe a triangle.

This one, however, lived up to them ALL.  It has the soul hanging, the fight to the death, the romance, and even a triangle.  I couldn’t have asked for more, but Ms. Desrochers delivered all that and more.

It starts in Luc’s view, which, I think, was genius, especially when Gabriel comes in and you don’t know who you want to root for.  I’ve never been so conflicted with who I wanted Frannie to be with.  *NOTE:  I’m still confused. *   

Anyway, it starts in Luc’s view and he works for Hell’s Acquisitions department.  His job description is usually starting people on the path to Hell, but something is different with his latest mission.  He needs to “tag” someone for Hell.  Someone who’s been hard to find.  So hard, in fact, that the last two demons sent to find this person have failed.  Now he’s the new student at a school nicknamed Hades—i.e. Hell—High and he meets Frannie. Who just happens to be his essay partner.

This is where we go into Frannie’s POV—which let me just say, I’m usually not a fan of the alternating 1st person POV, but Ms. Desrochers makes it work.  I wasn’t at all pulled out any time the author switched views.
Anyway, when they meet, Frannie is immediately interested.  There’s just some about him.  He’s tall, dark, dangerous and… completely not her type, according to one of Frannie’s friends who wants to stake her own claim on Luc—which let me tell you was a twist I was NOT expecting, but was perfect for this book.

This book was simply amazing.  I seriously couldn’t put it down.  The characterization was excellent; I completely felt all the emotions from both Frannie and Luc.  And even when I wanted to strangle Frannie several times for being stupid, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her and root for good things to happen to her.  And let’s not forget Luc. I was constantly switching my thoughts on him.  I liked him.  I didn’t like him.  I was all over the emotional scale.

And the conflict arcs in this are unbelievable, just when you don’t think it can get more complicated, it did.  But in a good way.  The characters reactions were believable, as were their interactions.  Though, I think I would have liked to see more of Gabriel.  Just because of who he is.

Characters:  Frannie is a tough, kick-ass girl with plenty of emotional baggage to make her lovable.  Not to mention you immediately feel for her when she’s worried about going after the boy she has a crush on, because she knows her friend is going to want him for herself.  Luc is exactly what you’d expect from a demon.  Tall, dark, dramatic and hot as Hell.  Literally.  Gabriel is cool, calm, collected, light where Luc was dark and it was easy to tell why Frannie would have a hard time choosing between them.

Cover:  While the layout of the cover was great and expresses the gist of the story well, I was actually disappointed with it.  The models, in my opinion, don’t really look teenaged.   Maybe the model portraying Gabriel does, but definitely not Frannie.  And that’s exactly why I hadn’t picked the book up myself, though I’d seen it around on different pages.  I thought it was an adult book.  Not a teen read.

If you’re looking for a great paranormal read and an angel/demon book that is unique, you’ll love this book.

It’s going on my favorite shelf immediately and I already can’t wait to read it again, or the other two books in the series. 

Original Sin (Book #2) will be coming July 2011


And as promised, because I've reached 200 followers, I'm also giving away a copy of PERSONAL DEMONS.  However, this contest is going to be a bit different than my usual.  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what your own personal demon is.  I'll pick a random winner next Wednesday. This contest is open internationally.

Find Lisa Desrochers 

Purchase Personal Demons