Saturday, July 23, 2011
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
In this steamy case of adolescent wish fulfillment, high-school senior Frannie finds herself caught between two impossibly hot new schoolmates who turn out to be a demon and an angel wrangling for her soul. Will she choose dark, thrillingly dangerous Luc (a First Level demon from his namesake’s Acquisitions Department, and her co-narrator) or blond, dazzling Gabe? Rather than go for a metaphorical level—Frannie, as it turns out, is being wooed because she possesses a psychic ability that would be invaluable to “the Almighty” and Lucifer alike—the author crafts a suitable plot for her Buffy-style protagonist, well endowed with innuendo-laden conversation, heavy breathing, and battles with hell-spawn set against a backdrop of shared school assignments and weekend parties.
Genre: supernatural; romance
People are going to start thinking I do nothing but complain about novels that I read. I apologize for being really picky. This book had several fundamental flaws. First off, nothing seems to happen with the plot for a good 3/4 of the book. Most of that time is spent with Frannie trying to decide if she wants to sex Luc or Gabe as every time she's with one of them, she seems to forget about the other. Any action is reserved for the last few chapters. Second, Frannie is annoying. She spends most of the book yanking the chains of not only an angel and a demon, but also several guys at school in the course of the book. Her justification is that she feels bad afterwards, but it doesn't stop her from messing around with everyone it seems like. Third there's the fact that we're supposed to see Gabe as legitimate rival for Luc, but the book is written in Frannie and Luc's point of view, so Gabe never stands a chance in the rival department as the writing deck is unfairly stacked in Luc's favor, which makes Frannie's wishy washiness seem even more unappealing. Every inference in the novel is that the reader is supposed to like Luc more, yet Frannie is still wandering around wondering if she's in love with Gabe. There's no real indication why every male seems to be falling all over themselves for Frannie. She's supposed to be pretty, but not the popular girl in her group and her powers don't really involve seducing every male she comes across. She's fairly mean and self pitying. Her family is portrayed as uber-religious and fairly unlikable. There's also a fair dose of sex, or almost sex throughout the whole book.
The writing of the book is actually not bad, which is the sad part to me. If the heroine (and I use that term loosely) hadn't been so unsympathetic and the plot started sooner, I probably would have really enjoyed this book. Luc is the most likable character, so much so that in parts where Frannie is the narrator, I simply wished they'd go back to Luc's voice. So this book rides in a weird place. I'll probably read the second in the series just to see if it gets better.