Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book 18: Devilish

I just realized that right after a book called Godless, I'm blogging one called Devilish, as if reading some series. As you'll see from this post, though, the subject matter couldn't be more different.
Devilish is actually a work of Young Adult fiction by Maureen Johnson. I came across Maureen Johnson through some other authors I have read, and decided to pick this one up. Or rather, download it. This was an audiobook I listened to this week.
Set against the backdrop of a Catholic girls' school in Rhode Island, without giving into every Catholic Girls' School cliche, Devilish tells the story of Jane Jarvis' quest to save her best friend, Ally, after Ally sells her soul to a demon for popularity and panache.
Johnson's characters are well-drawn, believable. Even the immortal ones. She writes with a sense of realism, without being overly dramatic, or using that teens-talk-like-adults approach. You feel like you probably knew these characters in high school. I had flashes of Buffy, the TV version, as I listened to it. There's just the right mix of wit and angst, sarcasm and silliness. Our heroine is not tall and thin and rich and beautiful- in other words, someone normal.
There's a bit of gore, plenty of drama, some action, and cleverness, which I admire. A bit of snogging, but not the unresolved sexual tension of Twilight. This is more along the lines of Cassandra Clare, who I think has written some of the best YA Fantasy out there. Strong, likeable, characters who are flawed, but want to do the right thing.
A quick listen and a quick read, appropriate for middle years through high school, and not so bad for those of us who are somewhat older.
I'm in the process of reading two other books right now: The Seance, a creepy Gothic thriller, and Work Hard, Be Nice, which is the story of the founding of the KIPP Charter School program. These will be books 19 and 20, I think. I also have some Luke Romyn coming up, and I'm beginning to look at recommendations from some friends for the next books. Next audiobook is Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter from the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

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