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I Belong

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda JonesTitle: Death and the Girl Next Door

Author: Darynda Jones

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Series: Darklight Series (Book 1)

Publication Date: October 2, 2012

Format: Paperback, 274 Pages

ISBN-10: 0312625200 (St. Martin’s Press)

ISBN-13: 978-0312625207 (St. Martin’s Press)

Reviewed by: Sheila


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?  Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones’s first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.

Quick & Dirty: A love triangle with a nephilim and an archangel.  And I thought my high school drama was bad.

Opening SentenceThe small town of Riley’s Switch, New Mexico, had only one coffee house, and I sat at a booth in it with my two best friends.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Best-selling author, Darynda Jones, takes on young hearts and paranormal mayhem with her debut Young Adult novel, Death and the Girl Next Door.  Small town girl, Lorelei, is about to get a crash course in all things angelic when she is saved from a fatal collision with a bus by the sexy new transfer student, Jared Kovach.  If that wasn’t enough to set her heart racing, maybe the crazy supernatural fight she witnesses right afterward will.  Things start speeding up in Riley’s Switch that includes some dark secrets, a destiny, and the Angel of Death.

Lorelei McAlister has always had visions.  It’s not something she feels makes her special in anyway.  At least that’s what she believed before she met Jared Kovach and her life was forever changed.  He saved her when she should have died, keeping her soul on this Earthly plane for reasons of his own.  Now with the help of her friends, Lorelei will find out the unintentional consequences of changing this one event in history.  Her character is smart and sassy while underplayed physically, making her very likable indeed.  The love of her grandparents and support of her friends allows her to be more self-confident than other teenage girls that might be thrown into situations beyond the ordinary.  Rather than brood and whine about her lot in life, she seizes and enjoys each moment.  Without the support of all of the secondary characters, Lorelei would come off as less than genuine.

There is a forbidden quality to the love interest in this book.  Lorelei and Jared most assuredly have chemistry but do they have what it takes to make it last?  Jared is not in the least bit human and has confessed to breaking “the rules” for her at least once.  Their relationship definitely has a “star-crossed” feel to it but I hope that there is a happier ending for them than Romeo and Juliet had.  While they do not have other characters making themselves known as contenders of affection, they most certainly have others that are against their relationship.  Cameron certainly offers a negative, both verbally and physically, aspect toward anything to do with Jared.

Cameron Lusk is a fantastic character that enriches the entire story.  Lorelei has supporters, like her friends and family, that trust her judgment.  This is not the case with Cameron.  He has known her most of his life but also has extensive knowledge of the supernatural aspects that she is just becoming privy to.  His character offers a brooding and pessimistic view of events as they unfold.  His pain and anger provide a more well-rounded emotional response to the story as a whole.  All the characters in this book represent multiple facets of human nature that give the reader a fuller overall appreciation of circumstances.

The story itself is fast-paced and the revelations never stop coming.  I ended up reading it twice just so that I had time to absorb all the information.  Death and the Girl Next Door offers a ride which leaves you breathless and longing for more.  I can recommend this to established fans and new comers alike.  If you enjoy Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick, you’re going to love this series as well!

Notable Scene:

“Okay, so I was wondering, if Cameron kidnaps you, kills you, then buries your lifeless body in a shallow grave in the desert where your remains lay decomposing for several decades until they’re accidentally discovered by some guy on a journey to reawaken his spirit at the Salinas Pueblo Missions, can I have your iMac?”

I gaped at her. “You’ve really thought this out.”

“I love your iMac.”

“I love my iMac too, and you’re not getting her.”

“But you’ll be decomposing,” she said, her voice more whiny than usual.

Fighting a bubble of laughter, I shook my head. “I had to save a whole year for iPrecious. She stays with me no matter what state of decomposition I’m in.”

“Well, I hate to be the one to tell you this,” she said, clearly enjoying the task, “but that’s a ridiculous name.” She rifled through her books. “I mean, iPrecious? Seriously? You sound like the Apple version of Gollum.”

Darklight Series:

1. Death and the Girl Next Door

2. Death, Doom, and Detention (March 5, 2013)

3. Death and the Girl He Loves (2013)

FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press graciously provided me with a copy of Death and the Girl Next Door.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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One Response to “Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

  1. Rita J WebbNo Gravatar

    Yep, angels have become the new vampire. But this still sounds interesting. I loved that excerpt!

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