Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Personal Demons

"Even magic can't banish her personal demons. She's got to face them down on her own." This quote from Luc, a real demon sent to earth to tag Frannie Cavanaugh's soul for Hell, gives a bit of a glimpse into the layers of this wonderful debut novel by Lisa Desrochers. Sure, it's a paranormal aimed at teenage girls, but it's also a tension-filled, romantic, scary struggle between the forces of Good and Evil battling over a soul that is already conflicted and filled with remorse and guilt. The fact that said forces themselves often blur the lines makes this story so much more than just a fun romp filled with otherworldly creatures. In fact, it's often so dark in tone that I found myself worried about the final outcome.

Frannie should be excited to be graduating high school, yet there's a dark cloud hanging over her life: her brother Matt died tragically ten years earlier and Frannie is convinced it was her fault. While her family is religious, Frannie has forsaken God because He allowed Matt's death, which makes her all the more susceptible to the charms of newcomer Luc, a boy whose dark personna and sexy overtures makes Frannie's heart race. What she doesn't know is that Luc has been sent by Satan to get Frannie to sin in order to tag her soul, and even Luc doesn't know why Satan wants her so badly. Luc thinks this is going to be easy...until angelic Gabe arrives, ready to steal Frannie's attentions away from the devil. But why on earth is there all this fuss over a teenaged girl's soul?

The sexual tension in Personal Demons literally pulsates off the page, and while there are scenes of actual encounters, it's more about the longing and the wanting Frannie experiences as she is pulled between Heaven and Hell. But lest it seem trite, this book is really about so much more...what makes a person turn from God in such a religious household? Can a person be "saved" against her will? And what happens when a demon falls in love? Can a demon be "saved"?

There's a lot of back and forth between Frannie and Gabe and Luc, which is probably the only issue I have in this story. I understand the attractions of the two guys but I wanted her to make a choice and stick with it. But the process of Luc realizing he might not be able to complete his mission is well developed, and Frannie's struggles with her own guilt are authentic. This is so much more than just a fun young adult book: it's one that's going to have me thinking about it for a long time to come. I admit it: Personal Demons captured me. Recommended.

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