Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door

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Death and the Girl Next Door
Darynda Jones
Series: Darklight, #1
Publication date: October 2nd 2012
by St. Martin’s Press


Ten years ago, Lorelei’s parents disappeared without a trace.  Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home.  For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be.  Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it,  standing outside her house in the dark, night after night.  Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school.  Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.  What does Jared know about her parents?  Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei?  And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real?

*A copy was provided by Macmillan for review purposes*
 I became a big fan of Darynda Jones when I read her adult series that proceeded to make me giggle spontaneously for days. Hearing about her new YA novel, Death and the Girl Next Door, prompted a lot of squealing. Within the first 20 pages, I already had taken note of a handful of awesome quotable lines; I knew I was in for a good time!

Lorelei’s parents have mysteriously disappeared, and now she seems to have a stalker… or two. Lorelei, as I already expected from Darynda’s characters, is witty and smart, and she can hold her own, which is always a plus to create a character that is easy to root for. She also has two fabulous best friends who are lively, supportive, and provide us with plenty of humoristic banter. Now the boys… Cameron and Jared – both hot, both uniquely compelling, both defensive towards Lorelei. Who else automatically thinks Love Triangle? You don’t have anything to worry about, however, this book is actually void of any love triangle. Regardless if this is good news to you or not, you can look forward to a sexy, steamy, and swoon-worthy romance.

These boys are not without secrets. Once we get a glimpse at what Jared’s powers are, a gazillion questions arise: About his abilities, Cameron’s strong dislike towards him – basically, just what the heck is happening. I found it exceedingly interesting, unquestionably original, but I was dying for answers; it takes a while before details are finally given up. I was expecting Lorelei, when observing a very surreal scene, to scream for answers, no, demand answers. She doesn’t, which was surprising for her character and a little frustrating. She was obviously in some sort of shock and worrying about the boy’s injuries, but I still felt like the information was being dragged out needlessly. Cameron makes a huge deal about how Jared does not belong here and is dangerous, he also keeps calling him an “it”, yet he refuses to answer any questions. You know, like someone who shows off that they’re “in the know” and you’re not. Maybe I’m simply too impatient, but this is how it came off. 

When we eventually get the inside scoop, we’ve got an incredibly unique spin on death, the angel of death, and how Lorelei fits into all of this. Knowing the theme of the plot, there is some mention of God and religion but it’s kept light and pertinent to the story. This is all followed by thrilling twists and turns, one in particular I found myself stupefied by how awesome and fascinating it was. It’s also one that I look forward to exploring in the following installment, which promises to be positively exciting.

Entertaining, unique, and down-right sexy, Death and the Girl Next Door is an absolute must read! The characters are convincing, their relationships and surroundings are realistic, and the parents are present – which I was particularly pleased with. It’s not as persistently sarcastic as her adult series, but there’s plenty of humoristic, sassy dialogue. For Darynda’s first foray in the Young Adult genre I was very satisfied and I’m convinced that fans will undoubtedly enjoy it.

Now to end with requisite Darynda quotables:

“We can’t fling short jokes at each other when we’re all short. It’s just not effective.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof
“Few things were more disturbing than sticky fingers. Forest fires, perhaps. And people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof
4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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29 Responses to “Review: Death and the Girl Next Door”

  1. Amy

    This sounds so fun and awesome!! I really want to read this one!! Great review chick! I still need to read her adult series. The first 2 are on my list on my library website to take out on audiobook.

  2. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Ah! this one sounds so good. Just your review has my dying for some answers. It’s too bad that she acted a little out of character and didn’t demand the answers you were looking for. But in the end happy you loved this like you thought you would. Great review!

  3. Christina

    Nice! I am so excited about this. I am also very intrigued by the fact that there are two hot, awesome, defensive guys but love triangle. Does this mean Lorelei is capable of having preferences? O_O Wow. She should teach a course for other YA heroines. lol.

  4. Ning

    so I haven’t read her adult series yet. I need to get started on that, but I got this on NG so I can’t wait to get started! It just sounds so fun and I’m definitely in the mood for some humor in my books!

  5. Kristin @ My ParaHangover

    I’ve got to do it…. SQUEEEE!!! Fabulous review, Giselle! I’m reading this right now and you’ve got me even more jazzed about it!!

    I do seem to recall Ms Jones dragging out Reyes details for a bit in Charley’s series, no? But she sounds like the waiting is worth it – I can’t wait b/c I’ve just started and I must know it all NOW!!

    (typed from my iPhone- typos will appear!)

  6. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    If you already quoting lines in the first 20 pages, you know you have a fantastic book in your hands 😀 Add a witty and smart heroin and swoony relationship and I’m sold! It sounds great 🙂 great review! ^^

  7. Kindlemom

    I am reading this one right now as well and I just passed the “surreal scene” you mentioned and I too am wanting answers!! I am glad I read this review though so I know that while I will get them, it may be awhile get before I do.

    Thanks for the great review! I can’t wait to read the rest of this one and see what happens next.

  8. kimbacaffeinate

    Sweet, I only skimmed your review, since I am reviewing this for the blog tour and haven’t read or written my review yet..but I know you are a huge fan of Jones’s adult series…*squee and I have been hoping she could bring it to YA…so glad you liked this and now I cannot wait to dive in..

  9. Eileen

    Eek those quotes are just awesome sauce! 🙂 I’m glad you really liked the characters too even though Lorilei didn’t react the way you anticipated when it came to keeping information from the readers O_O But I’m glad you enjoyed this as a whole! 🙂 Awesome review Giselle!

  10. Chel

    I thought of love triangle the moment I saw the cover but I’m so glad there’s none. I honestly wouldn’t have considered this if I only saw the cover but ah, Giselle, your review is awesome. I’m totally sold. 😉

  11. Danny

    Aahha!!!! So happy you liked it too!!! I LOVED this book, it was sexy and awesome! Just like you, I was so relieved when I found out that we didn’t get a Love Triangle.!

  12. Katie @ BlookGirl

    Ooh, I’ve been looking forward to this one and am SO glad to hear that you loved it. It’s not often that I find a book that makes me laugh, but judging by the couple of quotes you shared, it seems like this will be an amazingly funny book.

    Thanks for the review, muffin! 🙂