Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pub. Date: September 14th, 2010
Trilogy: Personal Demons, #1
Age Level: 15+
Source: For Review
Synopsis via Goodreads
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to 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 is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—-all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.
Despite it's flaws and having brought to light my previously dormant dislike of love triangles, Personal Demons was a book that still had a lot to offer.
Personal Demons had huge potential as far as its characters were concerned and it almost fulfilled that potential. Why did it fall just short for me? Frannie. I know she's the heroine and all but I just could not form any connection to her character. In the very beginning I liked her pretty well and her general demeanor and wit are appealing. But none of that mattered when Gabe and Luc entered the picture. Listening to the way she went on about the two of them became so aggravating that I really found it hard to like her. It got to the point that I really just couldn't see her as a strong heroine with the way she obsessed over Luc and Gabe and how one was always having to save her. Don't get me wrong, she had her moments, but I just could not seem to form any kind of bond with her. Now Luc, on the other hand, I spent every chapter that I was reading from Frannie's point of view anxiously waiting to get back to reading from Luc's perspective. He was hilarious, having some of the best lines, dangerous, and a bit arrogant but I oh so loved getting to be inside his head. In my opinion, Luc is what made this book special, what made it stand out to me. Gabe, in many ways, was a lot like Luc except for the fact that he batted for a different team. Heaven, that is. What I particularly found interesting about Gabe was that even though he was an angel, he wasn't what I'd call angelic. Some of the other notable supporting characters were: Frannie's family; Belias; Riley & Taylor.
As far as I can recall, I have never read an angel & demon paranormal story like Personal Demons. However, all throughout, I had this feeling that I'd read it before, or at least something similar, and I'm not really sure why that was. That being said, I still found the plot to be engaging and fun. While there were some unforeseen twists, I'd have to say there was just as much predictability as well. This wasn't a major problem for me though, as I kind of liked the balance. True, it isn't the most original premise out there, but there were still more than sufficient, advantageous qualities about it to keep me eagerly turning the pages. I believe one of the only serious plot flaws for me was the romance aspect as the whole love triangle thing just was not doing it for me at all.
Lisa Desrochers's writing style, for the most part, was relatively well done. It was consistent throughout with every word flowing pretty smoothly into the next, providing me with a fast pace. It was descriptive and did a good job setting the tone and atmosphere of the story. While nothing about the writing in general really stood out to me as being particularly memorable, there were a couple of things that annoyed me. Luc often describes each human emotion as having a unique smell. For example, grapefruit would be fear. However, this was something that actually annoyed me, especially the further on I got in the book. It was just a bit over kill, in my opinion, and I still don't know why YA characters these days are so obsessed with smells. I mean I can see where Frannie could think a guy, Luc specifically, might smell like cinnamon. Ever hear of Big Red gum, anyone? But summer snow? Someone, please tell me what the heck that is supposed to smell like. I also thought there was some over usage of certain words that seemed thrown in there for 'big word value points'. The one I noticed most was lascivious. Aside from these small issues, I still liked the writing well enough.
The ending for Personal Demons was very suitable. It wasn't an eye-twitch inducing cliffhanger or anything like that. However, I did get a bit of a surprise and thought things were left set up quite nicely to leave me anticipating the next book, which I thankfully already have in my possession.
All in all, while not spectacular, Personal Demons is an entertaining and humorous paranormal read great for just curling up with when you want a good read. If you like paranormal books then I'd say give this one a shot. I know I'm looking forward to seeing where things head in the next book, Original Sin.
1st in Trilogy: B-
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