Thursday, 20 January 2011

Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Series: Personal Demons series
Genre: Paranormal > Heaven Vs Hell
Age Group:Young Adult
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
RRP: $18.99 AUD
Source: Thank you to the publisher, who provided this book for an honest review,all opinions expressed are my own.
Cover love? I’m not a huge fan of the cover because it looks too adult for me and overtly categorises the book as a paranormal romance, but I like that it gives us an image of the three main characters, and that the cover designers have stayed true to the author’s description.

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 like 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.

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


Mary Francis “Frannie” Cavanaugh is an ordinary girl with a secret that haunts her every day. When the dangerous, mysterious, gorgeous Luc, (short for “Lucifer” and pronounced “Luke”) comes to Haden High, Frannie finds herself an unexpected object of attention. But unbeknownst to her, Luc is a demon sent to tag Frannie’s soul for Hell. Soon enough, Heaven sends its own messenger, Gabriel, an angel – literally. Both boys fight for Frannie’s soul, because of a special talent she owns, but their relationship soon develops into a complex love triangle.

At first, I admit that I wasn’t too impressed by this book. The synopsis set off the this-is-clichéd warning bells for me, and as I first read through the writing, I raised an eyebrow at the excessive use of “whatevers”, “ ‘Cause”, swearing and sexual observations. But as I read on, I grew closer to the characters and was stunned by the thematic matter in this book. And the writing visibly improved.

Frannie attracts both hotties with her good looks, snarky remarks and…I don’t know, out of necessity because they’ve both been sent to acquire her soul?  I couldn’t find anything (aside from her supposed good looks and superpower) that made Frannie an admirable person…she’s more like the slightly upgraded version two of Bella from Twilight. 
Luc, I loved. He shared the narrative, and I could really feel his subtle changes throughout the novel as he discovers a less demonic side to himself. The smells Luc used to describe mortal feelings was very interesting, a clever device to portray feelings, but left poor Frannie like an open book. There were a lot of spicy odours coming outta that girl. Gabe didn’t have such a big role (maybe in book 2?), but I liked that he was still willing to help his enemies. 
But…Frannie’s best friend Taylor was two-faced and lacked depth of character, really getting on my nerves. Another thing that agonises me is the way that Frannie is hot for the two studs within a week of meeting them both, and ends up flitting between the two so easily. They’re both over 5000 years old as well. Scandal.

 But, Lisa Desrochers brings a lot of unexpected maturity to this book. Sure, there’s some risqué, dubious scenes here and there, but she puts a lot of religious questions into perspective, especially redemption. Can a person be forgiven, no matter what they did, and achieve redemption?

I can’t wait to find that out in the second book, Original Sin, because despite my criticisms, I really enjoyed it. This book grows on you. Lisa Desrochers adds a gripping novel to the Heaven vs Hell paranormal subgenre that will get you caught up in the whirlwind of romance, action, and raw teenage emotions.


Personal Demons at Pan Macmillan | Lisa Desrochers' Blog | Goodreads

Pretty excited... here's the cover for Original Sin (click to enlarge), which is book two and comes out July 5, 2011!