Thursday, August 26, 2010

Embracing PERSONAL DEMONS with Some Bookanista Style

When I was applying to graduate school (for literature), I had to write a personal statement of purpose (explaining why I would rock in their program). In this essay, I explained that I didn’t just love books—I craved them. If there was a good story to be had, I wanted to savor it, devour it, regurgitate it, and then slurp it back up.

Actually, I didn’t really use those words (although I vaguely remember mentioning the back of shampoo bottles. Weird.)

Anyway…what I’m trying to say is that I totally lied. Because I won’t read just anything. Oh no. There are certain stories not meant for my brain. Like, stories about murderous clowns—not my thing. Or really gruesome stories involving ice cream truck guys…ew. And stories about demons, well…let’s just say, those have always been on my NoWayNoHow list.

Until now.


PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa Desrochers

 Personal Demons

Goodreads Description: 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.

The subject matter alone should have been enough to dissuade me from taking this book, because I do not DO scary. But man, I love me a good bad boy story. And a demon? Talk about the ultimate bad boy. Plus, I have a particular fixation with angels (the other paranormal in PERSONAL DEMONS), so, I wasn’t not going to read it.

Still, I didn’t dive in. I waded, keeping my guard up. But before I knew it, I was sucked in anyway. The book simply devoured me. Quite easily. The writing, for one, is spectacular. And the voice? So sharp, beautifully genuine and captivating. Though there were times I wanted to slap Frannie upside the head for being so seventeen (OMG, that makes me feel old and stodgy); and more than once, I was itching to drop kick Luc for being so…devilish. BUT, that was part of what made these characters so very real. I reacted to them as if they were real teens I knew with strengths and flaws and attitude and desires…and oh my word, was there desire. Dripping, red hot passion. I half expected steam to rise up from my pages. The romance in this is so sizzling that even at the beginning, before the characters begin to change and grow, I was rooting for them. Honestly, I found myself wanting Frannie to end up with this…demon. It’s not that I wanted her to go to Hell. But I found myself wanting her to act on that chemistry between them and, um,  “sin” with Luc just short of Hell-worthy. So, this sort of freaked me out. Because I’m not supposed to LIKE demons.

PERSONAL DEMONS was a bit scary—a goosebump-raising, stealth-creepy kind of scary, but not overly so. There were a lot of elements of suspense, but the demons weren’t really any scarier than most vampires or werewolves in YA (at least not on paper—movies? All bets are off). No, my main concern was that it was messing with my head—damn it, I was falling in love with Luc myself. And he’s a demon, people. A DEMON. Not. Cool. So hubs told me: “Just stop reading if it’s freaking you out.” To which I replied, “Are you CRAZY! It’s too good. And I have to know how it ends.”

And really, how often do you get that emotionally invested in a book, enough that even when it freaks you out, you want to keep reading? It’s remarkable. Indeed, I was completely taken by every single word. It’s just so layered conceptually and thematically. It’s funny and sexy, poignant and sad, scary and profound—an ultimate story of love and redemption. I won’t tell you how it ends, of course, but I’ll tell you that it’s a brilliant finale—a good vs. evil smackdown that will have you whipping through those final pages, reading like a speed demon.

PERSONAL DEMONS, available for preorder, will be released September 14, 2010.


Be sure to check out what some of the other Bookanistas are highlighting today:

Bookanistas_logo Elana Johnson raves about PARANORMALCY 

Lisa and Laura Roecker spread the love for GRACE

Shannon Messenger gushes about MATCHED

Christine Fonseca highly recommends GUARDIAN OF THE GATE

Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton dish about EXTRAORDINARY

Shelli Johannes Wells shares all the BOOKANISTA'S BOOK BUZZ

Myra McEntire shouts out some cover love for CLARITY


P.S. You guys have until noon today to get in your additional Skip a Starbucks entries for my ARCS Galore Giveaway and to have a chance at winning the signed hard cover of CLAIRE DE LUNE   as well as helping CJ bring her baby home. Go Here to check it out. (Clarification: The ARCs Galore Giveaway continues until September 6, but the Skip a Starbucks additional entries end today at noon.)


  1. "If Luc fails there will be hell to pay"

    What a hook! I love that!! And great review as always - it's great when you are totally converted by a book that you thought you'd not like! Wonderful!

    Thanks for the review and info on this book!

    Take care

  2. Wow, your passionate review makes me want to pre-order this right away! I'm with you- sometimes certain stories just don't appeal to me. And then I'm surprised. For me, Hunger Games was that way. Now, I can't imagine having passed on it. I'll check this one out. Thanks, Carol!


  3. This is at the top of the list of books I'm going to swipe from you when you're not looking! (insert evil laughter here)

  4. To be totally honest that cover looks a little sappy to me ... but you make the book sound great and who really cares about covers anyway. It's the story that truly matters.

  5. I was worried this would be too scary for me too - but it sounds like I'll be okay. Thanks! :)

  6. Dying to read this book! You're review has made me want it even more :P.

  7. Great review! I've already preordered!

  8. I generally don't do scary either. Especially the gross scary stuff, like slasher stories, etc. This sounds susupensful and I love a great finale. I'll have to add it to the list. :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  9. Sounds good - I might check this out!

  10. thanks for the review. sounds like something i should give a try.

  11. Hey, the character's name is spelled the same as mine!

    Shampoo bottles?

  12. This book sounds so cool! I'm always into a good old bad boy story...


  13. I've heard about this book a few times and I can't wait to get my hands on it! Thanks for another fabulous review!

  14. Love your review! I have heard nothing but fabulous things about this one. I’m marking it as a must read.

  15. That's so interesting! If I keep checking your reviews, Im gonna loose all my book money, so not fair!

  16. I can't handle a whole lot of scare factor, even though I've been known to write some scary crap, but I'm looking forward to giving this one a try... consider it added to the TBR list!!! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Now I want to read thsi book even more than before! Great review!

  18. Great review! I can't wait for this book! :)

    I have rewarded you with One Lovely Blog Award, because you are awesome :)

  19. This certainly is a fast read, and a great story!

  20. I clicked over from Crystal's blog. :)
    I'll agree with you on books with murderous themes - I keep away from them too. Knowing that you're so picky, and then hearing your review of Personal Demons, now piques my interest. I would not have considered it otherwise. Great review!

  21. Great review! You always do such an awesome job....


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