Manga novels are really popular for a large number of teenage readers and I think that this one would be a favorite. Reluctant readers could easily be persuaded to read a book that has so many images and so little text. The plot is also intriguing and I think teens would like to follow the story of Light and the Death Notebook.
The book addresses questions of morality (should Light use the notebook?), pressure to conform and do well in school, justice, and growing independence.
I didn't think the characters were particularly believable, but it is a comic book. Certainly, the shinigami are make-believe and not the most credible characters. I can see how a teenage boy, such as Light, could get wrapped up in using the Death Notebook like he does, though. I thought that was believable.
I know that The Death Notebook has been made into a television series (although I wasn't all that impressed with it), so it might be interesting to play a clip of the show for teens before recommedning the book. Telling the basic plot line of the story would also be interesting.
3Q, 4P, J/S