Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Title: Personal Demons
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Reading Level: Older Young Adult
Publisher: Tor Teen
Paperback, 365 pages
Date Published: September 14, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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.
Personal Demons pleasantly surprised me with its take on the age old battle between angels and demons. This one isn’t just about good vs. evil, it’s more about the fight for a soul; Catholic school reject Frannie Cavanaugh’s soul, to be more specific. And Frannie’s soul is worth fighting for, since there’s something just a bit different about her. She has a sarcastic and fiery attitude, a no-nonsense take on love – it’s not for her – and a deep-rooted belief that there is no God; that last one is with good reason though.

As much as I liked Frannie as a character, I felt the need to slap some sense into her often and with force. A pet peeve of mine is repetition in dialogue. It’s different if a character has a catchphrase, but Frannie says ‘whatever’ all the time! It drove me crazy, but halfway through, her usage of the word dissipates. Then when the boys come around, she’s a goner. For a girl who is strong-willed and independent, she tends to turn into a babbling, lovestruck girl when the dark, sexy, bad boy Luc is around and then again when the light, sweet, and gorgeous Gabe pops into her life. She’s more than willing to have a ‘thing’ with both guys, for better or for worse. Her attitude goes from smart and spunky, to a mess of lusty emotions.

Some of it I understand, because Luc sort of forces the emotions, but most of the time Frannie can fight it off, she just chooses not to. Her flip-flopping feelings can be grating, but it’s contrasted very well with steamy scenes and both the Heaven and Hell backstory, as well as Frannie’s backstory regarding her disdain with God. I was more interested in some of her personal issues with religion and her family, than with her complicated feelings for both boys, but the reveal of it all is satisfying enough.

We all know that when a love triangle is present, readers pick sides and Personal Demons is no different. And even though Luc gets much more page-time than Gabe, I’m firmly on Team Gabe. There’s just something about the underdog that tends to reel me in. Gabe is almost perfect too – I think it’s the angel thing – so he was pretty hard for me to resist.

Personal Demons is a guilty-pleasure book with a fairly predictable plot, but stands as an addicting read nonetheless. Frannie got on my nerves some, as did Luc and a few other characters, but overall, I enjoyed how everything progressed and I’m looking forward to reading Original Sin soon.

Opening line: If there’s a Hell on Earth, it’s high school. ~ pg. 11

Favorite lines/passages: 

 “You’ll see it – eventually.”
“See what?”
“Everything,” he says. ~ pg. 201

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Lisa Desrochers online:

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The Bibliophile said...

I just reviewed this book a couple days ago and lawd I did not like it. Apparently I'm in the minority though, because most people have been giving it decent reviews.

Briana said...

Oh dear... I know repetition of dialogue shouldn't be that big of a deal but it REALLY bugs me! Like the HON series. There's a lot of that in there and that really gets under my skin. I hope I like this one!

Bere said...

Hello, Nikki! Fantastic review. I have to admit that I've stayed away from this one just because I've heard some not too nice things on this one. Maybe I'll check it out later. Thank you, Nikki! =D

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiner's Book Blog) said...

Gabe is def underappreciated. Luc was too hot for me to resist in this one though.

Candace said...

I read this one last year and gave it 3 stars. It was weird. I liked it okay, but it kind of drove me crazy at the same time (not in a good way). I probably won't read the next one though I do admit I'm curious...

Briana said...

HON=House of Night =P

How do you reply to your comments?! I've been wanting to do that but Idk how! Do you need to have Wordpress?

Briana said...

Yayy! Thank you so much!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

The Bibliophile - Everyone can't love every book, right? I've read books that others loved that I just did not feel, so you're not alone.

Briana - I love you! I just had to put it out there.

Bere - I stayed away from it for a while too, but was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. If you get around to reading it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Brandileigh - I'm pretty sure Luc is too hot for most people to resist. I tend to root for the underdog though, so I'm normally disappointed with the outcome but completely smitten with a boy I know is going to end up heartbroken.

Candace - I think my curiosity is what's propelling me to want to read the next one. That, and there's another POV in Original Sin, so I want to see how that whole thing plays out.

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