Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review of Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

I've been meaning to read Personal Demons for a while, and then - luckily - I got it for Christmas. I've been following the author's blog for a few months, and really looked forward to reading her book.


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.

[Summary by Goodreads]

I loved Frannie! If it weren't for her obsession with the word 'whatever', I'd say she's a perfect character. She was clever, funny, and could hold her own. She also had the flaws that make a character real: she has doubts about her faith, she harbors guilt over her brother's death. I also admired the way she stayed strong even as the world as she knew it changed.

I liked the alternating perspective between Luc (whose name I will always pronounce as 'Luce' in my head) and Frannie. I usually dislike alternating perspectives for how they ruin the mystery that is the other character's thoughts and intentions, but both characters omitted enough for there to still be intrigue.

The love triangle didn't feel cliched, though having Luc's perspective instead of Gabe's made it obvious she'd go for him. What else felt different about the love triangle in Personal Demons is that Frannie chose which guy, rather than having circumstance chose for her.

Lisa Desrocher's writing style can be light in one sentence, and raw and intense in the next. She could be writing about anything and I'd still enjoy reading it.

What else I loved about Personal Demons was how in spite of all the religious references (that you'd expect from an angel/demon, heaven/hell kind of book) it didn't feel preachy.

The ending was neither a cliffhanger nor a complete resolution, leaving plenty of room for a sequel. Making a series from a book that could just as well be stand-alone is a pet peeve of mine.

I give Personal Demons a 4 out of 5 and look forward to the sequel, Original Sin (July 5, 2011).