Saturday, 6 November 2010

Book Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers.

Product details:
Publisher: Tor Teen.
Paperback, 364 pages.
Release date: September 14th 2010.
Rating: 2½ out of 5.
Ages: Young Adult.

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

When I first heard of Personal Demons I thought that it sounded like all kinds of wonderful. I loved the premise of this one, and I was really looking forward to a great story of good versus evil featuring a beautiful angel and a dangerous demon, both fighting for the soul of a girl they love. I also love a hot love triangle, and I‘d heard this one was smokin‘. So far, this one ticked all the right boxes. Why then, when I read Personal Demons, did I feel really let down on quite a number of levels? Although I’ve read a lot of good, even glowing reviews for this one, I’m sorry to say that it just did not work for me.

First off, we are introduced to Luc - a demon who has been sent to earth to tempt catholic-girl-with-an-edge, Frannie, into doing all sorts of bad things with him so that he can tag her soul for hell. Desrochers uses a dual narrative here. We get the viewpoints of Luc and Frannie, but almost no world or character building. The book is lacking description and the first person point-of-view throughout the book made it difficult for me to connect with the characters at all. I’ve read a lot of Young Adult books lately where this tactic is employed and it’s not a writing style that does a whole lot for me unless it‘s done really well. Here the voices of Frannie and Luc sound too similar. At times I felt there was no distinction between the two, apart from the fact that Frannie annoyingly says ‘whatever’ in response to most anything anybody says to her. She also uses slang speak which annoys me quite a bit, so Frannie was off to a bad start with me, and it just got worse for her.

I love feisty female characters, and while I guess she is that, at least at first, I just couldn’t connect with Frannie. First off, Luc is hot, so it’s understandable that she is attracted to him. The fact that Luc can ‘smell her ginger’ whenever she’s thinking about how attractive she finds him is a little off-putting, but lets move on. Frannie moves from demon Luc to angel Gabe at an astounding pace. This girl has raging hormones and then some! At one point, Frannie declares her love for Luc, and then makes out with Gabe…in front of Luc. And both guys just put up with this behaviour? Luc is meant to be a badass demon, but when Frannie’s around, he’s like a puppy dog. I really didn’t get much of a bad boy vibe from him, while I found Gabe a little boring and unappealing. In his defence, Gabe doesn’t have much of a voice here. Even though he’s part of the love triangle, he doesn’t get to narrate, and so is more of a secondary character. The reader will root for Luc all the way.

While I really think that Desrochers had quite a number of good ideas here and an original concept, overall this one just didn’t work for me. I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy this book, and judging by some reviews I’ve seen it’s already quite a hit, but I had too many issues with Personal Demons to really enjoy it. Desrochers writing style is engaging at times, and there are a number of humorous and sexy scenes, so, while overall it’s a good debut,  it just wasn’t the book for me.


  1. Really nice review, I've been waffling on this one since I've read mixed reviews, but the things you had problems with are most certainly things I would have problems with as well so I think I'll pass. Thanks for your honesty!

  2. Thanks for the honest review! I thought I would read this book next week , but after reading your review I think I will push it further down my TBR pile.

  3. That's EXACTLY how I felt about this one, was quite disappointed as I had been looking forward to it as well.

  4. So sorry PD didn't do it for you, but thanks for reading =)

  5. I've also been a bit hesitant about reading this one and after reading your review am even more reluctant to read it. Think I may pick it up at the library, but won't go out of my way to purchase a copy!

  6. Oh... P.S. I already mentioned how awesome you are on twitter, but thanks again for the books I received this week :) I can't wait to read them all, especially Finding Sky :)

  7. Sorry this one didn’t work for you. Thanks for the honest review.

  8. Not sure yet if I would want to read this...and I'm not a huge fan of that cover. Great review :)

  9. I really enjoyed this review. Thanks Leana! Sorry it wasn't as great for you as it was for others. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a dissenting opinion about some popular books.


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