Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Review: Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1)
Author: Darynda Jones
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release date: October 2nd 2012
Paperback, 320 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
As a huge fan of Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series, I was incredibly excited when I heard she was writing YA. Death and the Girl Next Door is one of my most anticipated books this year, and even though it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, I’m overjoyed that Darynda decided to write it. The fact that it wasn’t quite what I expected is actually one of my favorite things about this book: if you decide to pick it up (and you should), you can throw your expectations right out the window.
Here’s what you need to know about Darynda Jones’ YA debut: First, it is about Lorelei McAllister, a 16-year-old high-school sophomore who lives with her lovely grandparents and spends time making mischief with her two best friends, Brooklyn and Glitch. Second, (and I’m sure this will come as a shock), neither Brooke nor Glitch happen to be madly in love with her. Third, there are two hot boys, Jared and Cameron, but there is no love triangle, not even close. Fourth, there are guns – several real ones and one nasty-looking water gun. Fifth, although a secret society is involved, no one gets naked to perform weird rituals. This isn’t The Da Vinci Code. Sixth, just like Charley, Lorelei has a bit of Lorelei Gilmore in her, and I don’t just mean her name.
Death and the Girl Next Door is one of those books that made me laugh so hard I was constantly forced to stifle my laughter so as not to wake my poor sleeping child. I stayed up half the night to finish it and even the toothpicks I used to prop my eyes open the next day didn’t make me regret it. Darynda’s trademark humor is present on every page, though she did tone it down a bit for the younger audience. Lorelei and her two best friends can lighten up just about any situation they find themselves in. Darynda Jones can claim all she wants that she’s not as funny in person, but I’ll have to meet her and drink a cocktail or ten with her before I can actually believe it.
I won’t lie to you and say that this book is without problems – it’s not. The first part felt a bit disjointed, I had some minor problems with the love interest, and there were a few things that made me slightly uncomfortable (revealing them, however, would reveal too much of the plot), but truth be told, I’m willing to overlook it all. I expect hilarity and steaming hot romance from Darynda, and that’s exactly what I got with Death and the Girl Next Door.
If you’re like me and you tend to run away screaming every time someone mentions an angel book (or any other book with religious undertones), get over your justified fear and give Death and the Girl Next Door a chance. Writers who don’t take themselves too seriously are few and far between, but when you find one, you’re in for a treat.