Title: PERSONAL DEMONS
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 14, 2010
Number of Pages: 365
How I Got It: Bought the paperback after seeing it on so many top 2010 book lists
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.
PERSONAL DEMONS is a fun, humorous, exciting, interesting, romantic, hard-to-put-down book. I hated putting it down and couldn't wait to pick it up again to find out where the story was heading. Lisa has created a fascinating backstory of the battle for souls between Heaven and Hell and the angels and demons that are in charge of tagging and protecting those souls. Even the idea of why each side wants Frannie so badly draws the reader into the story even more by feeling the importance of the task. Sarcasm and wittiness abound and make for a more engaging and distinct voice. Because of this, the story provokes some inner-thinking about religious beliefs and what one thinks and feels about both - while also giving a human face to each side. Ultimately, it's a story about love, forgiveness, pure intentions, and redemption and how those can lead to being a "good" person. It looks at the trueness of the soul and what that means for what happens to that soul.
Frannie is a senior in high school, and has her own inner turmoils to deal with, but now she's stuck between Luc (the demon) and Gabe (the angel) as they battle for her soul and she battles to figure out her attraction to each and what's real. The one problem I had with the book was that it's another young adult with a love triangle where the girl seems to instantly fall into crush with the boys involved, but I was okay with it because Frannie is a strong girl who can stand up for herself and fight for what she wants, so I was willing to buy into the attraction - especially because it's hard not to when reading the scenes of the story when she is with Luc. Interestingly enough, I felt the story was really more about Luc's journey than Frannie's. She has her own journey to make to acceptance herself, but it was demon Luc's transformation that I was most intrigued by that made me want to keep reading. That's probably partially due to it being written with alternating perspectives with Luc and Frannie's first person storytelling. I appreciated the way the main characters were written where I was able to discover more about each one as the book went on, and became more invested in what would happen to all of them in this overwhelming holy battle. This is definitely a more mature book in the overall mood of the romance, but is a really good and entertaining read.
4 1/2 STARS for PERSONAL DEMONS
I will definitely be getting my hands on the sequel, ORIGINAL SIN, as soon as I can when it is released in July, 2011. The 3rd book, title to be determined, will be released in May, 2012.
*Interestingly, Lisa's writing critique partner is Andrea Cremer, author of NIGHTSHADE, one of my all-time favorite books. I would say there is a similar vibe to these two authors in a really good way - so if you like one, you'll probably like the other.