Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Devilish by Maureen Johnson

DevilishBefore I talk about this read, I want to note that I read it back in February and stored the review for November because I'll be spending the next few weeks on vacation. I'm very excited, but I don't know how much reading I'll get done while I'm away!

I can't believe that I hadn't read anything by Maureen Johnson before Devilish (Penguin - Razorbill). This one gets both a fantasy and a science fiction tag, because it's the sort of story that doesn't fit neatly into either bookstore shelf.

Jane's friend Allison is a little, well, bumbly. Jane's been getting her out of scrapes forever, it seems, but one day, just a day after all the girls at their Catholic school witness Allison's mishap (which involves puking), Allison seems to have gotten it together. So together, in fact, that there are mysterious phones and clothes and other nice things. A little investigation and Jane figures out that Allison is sold her soul to the devil, and Jane, like always, will do whatever it takes to help her best friend.

It's a little funny to read this so long after it first came out. I can see shadows of today's YA, a genre that has really exploded in the meantime. One shadow: the book clocks in at about 250 pages. Today, it would be a hundred pages longer. (Maybe not the end of the world, even though I gripe about books that are too long for the stories within; I'd have liked to know more about Jane and Allison's friendship.) Also, I don't want to spoil anything, but there's a romance that presages a certain best-selling paranormal in a fairly funny way.

If you're looking for paranormal with a dose of humor and a dearth of angst, give this a look.

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