Book Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Personal Demons is the YA debut novel by Lisa Desrochers. It was released in October 2010 by Tor Books and it is 368 pages long.
Frannie Cavanaugh comes from a very Catholic family only she is the black sheep. Enrolled at a regular school, she doesn’t have many friends and generally keeps herself to herself… that is when she isn’t at parties anyway. When new boy Luc enrols, Frannie’s life is turned upside down. Luc is extremely hot, charming, sarcastic and most importantly, very dangerous.
Luc was sent on a mission and Frannie is his target. The King of Hell himself wants the extraordinary skill that Frannie has (even if she isn’t aware of it yet) and has sent one of his best to tag her soul for Hell. Luc doesn’t think it will be a hard job at all but as he begins to spend time wit Frannie, he realises something is incredibly wrong. Then Gabe turns up, who also has a mission. He has to tag her soul for Heaven. The age old battle of good vs. evil is upon Frannie but which side is she going to choose?
What I thought
Personal Demons was a book that got a lot of positive reviews around the blog scene and because of that, it quickly become a book I was dying to read. It is unfortunate that this series hasn’t been picked up over here in the UK though. On a trip to London earlier in the year, I made it a point to venture into Foyles, knowing that they had a range of US imports and more specifically, a few copies of this book. While I did buy others as well, this was the book I wanted to find before any others.
Lisa Desrochers doesn’t waste any time in getting right into the story and Personal Demons starts with a bit of a bang. I instantly felt immersed in the world she had created and wanted to know more about what was going to happen and why Frannie was so special. Frannie didn’t seem all that special to me to begin with and although I knew that Luc needed to tag her for Hell, I couldn’t understand his ‘normal’ attraction to her. As the story went on though, I really got to like Frannie and wanted thing to work out well for her, even when it seemed like that would be impossible. There is also a lot more to Frannie than I first thought, she has her own baggage to deal with before she can even contemplate the bigger things in her life. The twist on her story was fantastic and I ended up feeling quite sorry for her a lot of the time.
Due to the book being told in a dual narrative, from Frannie and Luc’s point of views, we never really get to know enough about Gabe. Considering that he was supposed to be such a large part of the story, with Frannie having to decide between him and Luc, I would have thought that he got just as much time as Luc did. I felt as though, compared to Luc, I knew next to nothing about Gabe. Yes, he is smoking hot and wants Frannie just like Luc does, in different ways, but that was about it and because of this, I never felt like he was really any competition for Luc. There wasn’t anywhere enough character development for Gabe but hopefully this changes in the second book in the series.
Being the bad boy from Hell, it was quite obvious to me that I was going to love Luc. Even if Gabe had been better explained and given more time, I don’t think there is any way that I would have swayed from what side I was on. Luc was one of the hottest bad boys I have read about in a long time and I loved the fresh ideas given to his character. Immediately, Luc stands out as someone that shouldn’t be messed with in any way and someone that a nice girl should definitely stay away from, which is probably part of the reason for my attraction towards him. As half of the book is written from his point of view, I got to know more than I thought I was going to about Luc. He definitely has different sides to him compared with what you would probably think and I really enjoyed getting to know more about who he really is.
The chemistry between Luc and Frannie was extremely well written and I truly believed in their connection to one another. Some of the scenes regarding this are a little steamier than some YA books but that is far from a negative thing in my opinion. A lot of the time, I don’t think these scenes are written realistically when it comes to teenagers but Desrochers makes it very believable and like something that would actually happen. It was refreshing to see teenagers act like they really do without anything being dumbed down or too safe. I loved that there was a lot of passion in this book although it doesn’t go over the top at any point either.
While I loved this book, I did have one problem with it. As much as I liked Frannie, I also wanted to give her a bit of a slap. She is so indecisive when it comes to Luc and Gabe and that was something that drove me mad. The indecisiveness of Bella Swan comes to mind when talking about Frannie and she was a character that I couldn’t stand one little bit. Frannie seems to change her mind every two seconds between both guys, even when she knows her friends wouldn’t mind a chance with either of them. To me, she was quite greedy and should have been a bit more thoughtful when it came to her friends.
Personal Demons is an amazing debut and I cant wait to read the second in the series, Original Sin. After the way this book ended, I have so many questions about what could/ can happen. There are so many possibilities and I’m hoping that Desrochers pulls something amazing and exciting, as well as unexpected out of the bag! A must read.