Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

death and the girl next door (Darklight, #1)
Darynda Jones
October 2, 2012
St. Martin's Press
304 pages
Avg Goodreads rating 4.08 (at time of blog post)

Synopsis:  Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace.  Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home.  For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be.  Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it,  standing outside her house in the dark, night after night.  Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school.  Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.  What does Jared know about her parents?  Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei?  And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?  Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.

Review: When I first got this book in the mail, I was super-excited to read it. Not only because I had heard such amazing things about Darynda Jones' Grave Series, but just looking at the cover, I knew we were in for a love triangle...and oh how I love romantic tension. Well, I really enjoyed this book, but was disappointed in the romance aspect. It was there, but felt more like an introduction than anything captivating and steamy (I know this is YA, but still!) What I did love was the banter between Lorelei and her best friends Glitch and Brooklyn. It was wonderful to read teenage characters that really read as teenage characters, but also were super supportive of each other. The secondary characters in general were all refreshingly encouraging and loving - so often in YA novels, the family doesn't "get" the hero or becomes a hindrance instead of a help. I also was completely captivated with the plot: good vs bad angels, evil presences, prophets... oh my! I really had no idea where Ms. Jones was taking it and loved being along for the ride. There were many twists along the way that I did not see coming, and I love that! I cannot wait to read the next book, but in the meantime, I'm going to check out her Grave series right now!

death and the girl next door: 4/5 stars
cover: 4/5 stars
audience rating: PG/PG-13 (some violence, adult concepts - lots of talk of death)

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