Sunday, September 23, 2012

Early Review - Death and the Girl Next Door (Darynda Jones)

Darynda Jones takes a step away from her Charley Davidson adult series and tells the story about 16 year old Lorelei McAlister. Lorelei is an interesting character to say the least. She longs to know what happened to her parents who disappeared 10 years ago. She has random flashes of what she calls inconsequential visions one of which introduces her to the most interesting male character of the book in Jared Kovach. More about him shortly. She’s also true to her best friends, and she has moments that rival Charley Davidson in scope and detail and hilarity.

Lorelei actually has things pretty good even with her visions. She is surrounded by loving and caring grandparents who she lives with. She has two best friends in Brooklyn Prather (Brooke) and Casey Niyol Blue Spider (Glitch) who have been together since the third grade. I actually loved the fact that Lorelei isn’t alone with her thoughts. I love the fact that both Brooke and Glitch are with her when things are good and when they go sideways. I found the banter between the threesome funny, yet at other times, irritating. Of course, I am not the target audience for this particular book so I am in the minority with my thinking.

Things change like the seasons when Lorelei meets the devastatingly handsome Jared Kovach after accidently touching him and seeing a vision of him fighting some sort of demon. Jared arrives on the scene just in time to save Lorelei from being sidewalk splatter. Jared is an interesting character. He’s charming; he forsakes his vows and changes the course of history by saving Lorelei’s life. He’s also got a large secret which I shall not spoil at this time. Jared’s character is also dark, and can be brooding at times when things don’t go well.

The second man in Lorelei’s life is Cameron Lusk who she has known most of her life. Cameron has never made any effort to show any affection towards Lorelei until Jared comes into the picture and then he becomes stalker boy and protector. Cameron has serious issues when it comes to Jared. That’s putting it mildly. Cameron actually hates Jared with a passion, and again, it’s not something I can spoil for you. Let’s just say that you need to read the book to find out what happened in these characters pasts to cause so much hatred and antagonism. Some of it is misguided as with most things between male characters either in books or in real life.

Since this is a Darynda Jones novel, there is romance involved. There’s not 3-way love triangle that are prevalent throughout YA novels these days even though Cameron believes that he's better than Jared in every way possible. Lorelei and Jared are good together; yet, they still have issues of trust and understanding the unknown that surrounds Lorelei’s abilities and her parent’s disappearance which was explained somewhat.

The first part of this book was actually slow to read. It's not expected when you're talking about a first book in a series. The second half of this book gets interesting and the ending will rock your socks off. Once again, this is Darynda Jones we are talking about and she can spin a tale like nobody’s business. I actually love the fact that Jones decided to take time away from Charley and write this series. I absolutely look forward to reading Death, Doom, and Detention when it releases March 5, 2013 to find more about Lorelei, and crew.

*ARC received from St. Martins Press via NetGalley.

Title - Death and the Girl Next Door
Author - Darynda Jones
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Release date: October 2, 2012

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