Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (September 14, 2010)
Source: Purchased at Books-A-Million
Cover: I like this cover a lot. I like the yellow background and really like the placement of the models. However, I don't feel like this looks very YA. It's not a bad thing at all, just something I found interesting.
First Sentence: "If there's a Hell on Earth, it's high school."
Mini-Review: Unique characters, a strong dual perspective and a divine struggle combine to make one hell of a debut novel!
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him.
What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself 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. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.Book Review:
Personal Demons is everything the cover promises. It's steamy, intriguing and addictve. The dual perspectives work to clue the reader in, the writer's invention of Limbo and Hell is interesting and the characters are easy to fall in love with. Reader's beware, Luc might literally charm the pants off you and be grinning about it the whole time.
I'm a sucker for dual perspectives and is an example of a novel that needs it. Luc's head was interesting, intense and just foreign enough to give him that air intrigue. It's great to read character that are full of confidence and Luc's got confidence in abundance, being the spawn of pride and all. His thoughts are generally pessimistic and humorous and his tongue is loose enough to let out some of the quick wit. What I found most interesting about Luc was that he was techinically on top of his game in the beginning and was rapidly losing his powers which is a complete 180 from most paranormal novels. Frannie was a firecracker herself. She's was sure of what she wanted and didn't let things hold her back. I was afreaid she might be too harsh for my taste but then we get the scenes with her grandfather which really work to show her sorrow and soft side. She was the perfect blend of sweet and sour, and it made complete sense why both Heaven and Hell would be vying for her.
While I loved the dual perspective, I think I would have liked to see Gabe's side of the story too. I almost wish I'd gotten three sides-- heaven (Gabe), hell (Luc) and limbo (Frannie). More of a preference and Luc was so much fun, I'm not sure hearing Gabe would have changed my mind. From the beginning there was no question for me who to pick!
The descriptions of Hell were really vivid and creative. I liked that sins smelled like certain things for Luc (and all demons) so they knew when people were ready to sin. I also found it really interesting that Luc was always hot and that each demon had their own "human shell" they could morph into. The most creative thing for me was that demons were born of hell not created, but angels were created from human souls. I'm hoping book 2 dives into this a little more.
Ms. Desrochers' writing was easy to read and humorous. She was meticulous in her heaven/hell references from Frannie, Luc and Gabe's perspectives and the dialog out of their mouth and often made me chuckle. Lus was always "hotter than hell" to Frannie and Luc always thanked Satan. These touches really worked to drive the point home. I also really liked the conflict in this. I really felt the stakes even though they were simplified down to "tagging". If anything, the nonchalant way Luc came to tag Frannie's soul helped to intensify the stakes.
My only issue with this was how many guys were into Frannie. She didn't seem overly popular but she had four guys falling at her feet. I understand that she's beautiful but I'm not sure how realistic it was for me. That could have had something to do with her confidence and in all fairness, two of the guys were new and trying to get her soul. It just felt a little too perfect sometimes. However, Frannie did have real issues to work through and they were big which also helped ease a little bit of the perfect bubble surrounding her.
All in all, Personal Demons featured realistic characters that struggled with different issues and told a steamy and touching story of two people finding each other and striving to stay together even though they likely had a snowballs chance in Hell in doing so. The dual perspectives worked, adding that special spark to the story, and the writing was clever. I'd definitely reccommend letting Personal Demons perch on your shoulder for a few days. Luc might even let you thank him!
Personal Demons Book Trailer:
For the Light Side:
For the Dark Side: