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Evil Librarian

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#EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety).

346 pages, Hardcover

First published September 9, 2014

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About the author

Michelle Knudsen

56 books330 followers
I'm the New York Times best-selling author of 50 books for young readers for all ages, including the award-winning picture book Library Lion, which was selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 Best Children's Books of All Time. My other books include the picture book Marilyn's Monster (one of NPR's Best Books of 2015) and the novels The Dragon of Trelian (VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers) and Evil Librarian (YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and winner of the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor). Upcoming books include a new picture book with the wonderful Kevin Hawkes (2023) and a new middle grade fantasy novel (2025).

I also work as a freelance editor and private writing coach and teach in Lesley University's MFA program in writing for young people.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 740 reviews
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
February 10, 2017
3.5-4 stars

When I picked up Evil Librarian at BEA, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was more of a, "Oh, I saw this book on Goodreads and I love that cover, so why not?" I hardly ever read a book before a trusted friend or two read it first, or there's at least numerous positive reviews on the internet, but for whatever reason I chose this one first out of my stack of shiny new books. Best decision ever. As soon as I read the first page I was laughing out loud, immediately sucked into the story. It's about a girl whose friend becomes obsessed with their school's new librarian, and somehow other students begin falling under some sort of trance or spell. As Cyn investigates further, she learns that he's actually a demon vying for the underworld's throne, feeding off the souls of her classmates, and looking for a suitable bride. With the help of her long time crush, Ryan, she is determined to stop him, no matter the cost.

Whether the synopsis peaks your interest or not, let me be one of the first to say that this book is hilarious and entertaining and something different in the YA paranormal genre. Not to knock those books, because I love a lot of them myself, but Evil Librarian stands out for a couple of reasons:

1. It doesn't take itself too seriously. Usually the paranormal elements in a book aren't used for humor, but, c'mon, just look at the tag line on the back of the book: "He's hot. He's young. He's also evil. He's... the librarian." You just know this isn't going to be your typical doom and gloom, gotta save the world story. Sure, Cyn's school is threatened and she has to rescue her friends, and Mr. Gabriel, the aforementioned evil librarian, is sufficiently creepy, but the levity is always there. Not many pages will go by without at least a snicker.

2. Both the girl and the boy are normal kids. Neither are secretly demon or half-demon or suddenly blessed with magical powers or have a hidden legacy. They are just very loyal to the people they care about and otherwise have average teenage concerns.

Without a doubt my favorite aspect of the book is not the paranormal story line but the main character. Cynthia ("Cyn" for short) is immensely likeable, and she seems to never run out of funny things to say. Her commentary on everything from the people around her, to the situation she's somehow found herself in, to her major crush on Ryan is nothing short of hilarious. If you enjoy the snarky narration in books like Ask Again Later then you'll love this, too. She's just so down to earth and, again, doesn't take herself too seriously. Cyn is also a really great friend, and when Annie falls under Mr. Gabriel's seductive spell, she is willing to do whatever it takes to save her. This girl has a definite heart of gold.

Perhaps the thoughts that caused the most laughs are the ones about her massive crush. Since Ryan is one of the popular boys and she somewhere in the middle, she doesn't think she has a chance with him, but that doesn't stop her from waxing poetic about how amazing he is. Or how hot and bothered he makes her. Her obsessive thoughts are exactly like the ones I had about boys in high school, which really made me smile. Although Ryan's personality doesn't shine quite as brightly as hers, and I would have liked to get to know him better despite all the time she spends with him, he's still a really sweet guy and makes some swoony moves at the end. The book is not heavily focused on the romance, though; Cyn may really, really want something to happen between them, but she keeps her priorities straight.

There's also a musical theater subplot that adds another refreshing layer to the story. Both Cyn and Ryan are involved in the latest school play, a reproduction of Sweeny Todd (very fitting). It's one of the few things left in Cyn's life that keeps her grounded, but it also sets the stage for her (very cute) first kiss and later the book's major climax. However, I do think the book could have been shortened. It wasn't that I was bored, but there wasn't quite enough story for that many pages.

Michelle Knudsen is an author I will definitely be returning to. I'm very interested to see if there will be a sequel to Evil Librarian or not. Although this can certainly stand alone, there's also room for more story. If that's the case, I'll be more than happy to return to Cyn's head and hopefully get more romantic time with Ryan. :)

This review can also be found at Love at First Page.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews205 followers
October 6, 2014

Four and a half stars, rounded up.
Cyn is crazy in unrequited love with classmate Ryan Halsey, but that's okay -- they're both 16. When her best friend Annie develops a huge crush on the new school librarian, Mr. Gabriel, it's NOT okay -- he's clearly pushing 30. Worse, he's also clearly a demon, even if no one but Cyn can see it. He gets straight to work sucking the life force from the student body and making human sacrifices every other day or so. It's up to Cyn and her resistance to his charms to stop him, but how? Especially when she's juggling her new challenges with being technical stage manager for the school production of Sweeney Todd ... and the show must go on.

I knew I wanted to read this book the moment I saw that title! And it did not disappoint. I loved nearly every word of it from the opening line onward.

Cyn has a great voice, funny and pragmatic and entertaining, and is able to spin the awkwardness of high school for all it's worth, without being overly self-deprecating or mean. She's interested in Ryan -- very, very interested -- but is also well-rounded and strongly focused on her own goals and passions, and neither boys nor demons are going to deter her from her mission(s).

The other characters are mostly well portrayed, too. Ryan starts out as a handsome cipher but is slowly revealed to be a good choice for a huge crush. Mr. Gabriel is chilling without stepping into over-done farcical demon territory. And Cyn even has a couple of other friends besides Annie who fill this world out a bit. The only character miss for me is Annie herself -- Cyn is willing to fight to the death for her friend, but because Annie goes weird and vague as of about Page 2, I never really got enough feeling for the strength of the friendship to root as hard for it as I would have liked. And since Annie is the stakes of the story, I needed to care about her a little more. But this is a minor complaint, trust me.

The pacing of this story is fantastic, with no lags or sags, and a good number of twists and turns I never saw coming. I hated putting it down! And I kept living it in my head when I wasn't reading it, wondering what could happen next and just how the heck Cyn was going to succeed in rooting Mr. Gabriel out of her school. There's a perfect mix of humor and tension, so even while truly terrible and frightening things are happening, the story is never unbearably grim -- but it doesn't make light of or try to ignore the horrible things, either. (Although at the same time, there is a major Sunnydale Effect going on in this town which I didn't find entirely believable.)

This is an action-packed, plot-driven book, but also has a nice balance of insights and emotional depth. All in all, it's one of the most satisfying and enjoyable reads I've experienced in a long time. And that makes me forgive it for strongly hinting at two sequels, because (a) it stands alone just fine, and (b) I'm eager to read whatever else this author wants to write.

I have one qualm, which is that we never find out what happens to a murdered teacher's cat. It's unlikely to have starved, since it has a cat flap -- but I do wish this loose end had been tied up. And yes, the demon does murder at least four people, which I find very sobering despite the overall upbeat tone of the story.

But I still highly recommend this book! And I want to assure all my librarian friends that it has in no way changed my high regard for all of them. :-)
Profile Image for Cyn .
129 reviews40 followers
May 5, 2018
Review: After their high school gets a hot new librarian, Cyn starts noticing her best friend, and other students, are acting weird.

You know the characters in horror movies that make all the wrong decisions and die almost immediately? Cyn and Ryan are not these characters! They are quite practical. Evil Librarian is a very outrageous and bizarre and predictable read, but omg it was so. dang. FUN!!! This is like watching one of those random cheesy-good-bad movies with my sister. I'd recommend you check out the movies GRAVY (2015) or THE GALLOWS (2015) if you like this.

Comments: Y'all, I can't even find the right words to explain how happy I am! Imma freak! I am ecstatic! There's a main character with my name! A main character! With my name! Same nickname too! I hadn't seen many Cynthias go by Cyn before! And what a fun MC she is! Her internal banter is soooo amusing! And Ryan was the name of my high school crush. *dies*

I'll also take this moment to say that I have not seen the play Sweeney Todd or even seen the movie adaptions . I mention this because the characters put on said play. But I will now find ways to go watch these. :P

I'm actually amazed that they found


Pre-review: - humor
- books
- same nickname as me
I hope I like this :D
Profile Image for hpboy13.
879 reviews38 followers
September 3, 2019
This book is perfect. I had such a great time reading it, thoroughly enjoying myself throughout. Like, huge-smile-on-my-face-even-though-I’m-at-jury-duty enjoyment. It’s so clever, and so funny, and I am going to demand that all my friends read this right now for their own good. I enjoy books that don’t take themselves seriously, and this one doesn’t!

Cyn, the demon-fighting protagonist, is absolutely hilarious. She had me laughing out loud so many times, especially as she fought in inner monologues with her lustful nerve endings (which had a mind of their own). I don’t think I stopped laughing during the entire first chapter, which thrust the reader right into the story and never let up. Cyn is also fiercely loyal and incredibly brave, facing down demons to protect her best friend. She is also incredibly smart, and I appreciated so much that when faced with evidence of demonic activity, she believed the unbelievable, rather than spending half the book chanting, “There’s no such thing as demons!”

How awesome is it that a female YA protagonist risks everything not for some boy, but for her female best friend?! Cyn’s fierce devotion to Annie made me love her so much. And seeing Cyn come out of her shell and grow as a character was great, witnessing her journey from shyness to an absolutely epic final scene where she finally achieves her goal.

Ryan shall have a place of honor in the pantheon of YA love interests, because he is kind of the perfect boyfriend. He supports Cyn through so much, feels comfortable letting her take the lead but keeps up, and challenges her when need be. And man, Ryan and Cyn’s chemistry was sizzling – her nerve endings weren’t the only ones crying out for them to kiss!

But I think what I love best about Ryan and Cyn’s relationship is how organically it develops from crush to friendship to romance. Both of them are willing to be friends in the possible absence of reciprocated romantic feelings, which is a good thing – yes, there is value in a friendship with a potential crush, it doesn’t have to be True Love or nothing! Both of them have their priorities straight – save the high school, put on an awesome musical, and then figure out love life. That said, I do ship them so very much.

Cyn and Ryan have to be the most sensible high school demon-fighters since Buffy herself. Step 1: Seek help from authority figures. Step 2: Seek help elsewhere. Step 3: Take matters into own hands. They form sensible plans for getting rid of the evil librarian, then form more plans as needed, making compromises and scary deals to save their school. It’s so refreshing!

The final moral dilemma presented – should you honor what your loved ones want, or should you protect them from themselves? – is brilliant and thought-provoking. It really challenged me to reexamine the standard of saving people because the protagonist always knows better, because Knudsen shows us this heroic impulse in Cyn mirrored and thus directly opposed in Ryan. For a fun book about an evil librarian, this book has surprising depth!

It also gets surprisingly dark at times, when the body count starts mounting. I was really thrown off by death early on – it totally circumvented a well-worn trope and caught me off-guard. I had to pick my jaw off the floor, and duly applaud Knudsen for truly surprising me.

As if so many wonderful things in a book weren’t enough, there is also a huge emphasis on musical theater in the book. That was the cherry on top for me, officially making this book one of my absolute favorites. Cyn and Ryan both have a deep appreciation for musicals, and Sweeney Todd in particular. I feel like I would be very good friends with them, as we would talk about musicals for hours. I loved reading about the making of a musical. And the fact that all demons are ridiculously in love with Sweeney Todd – GENIUS! It made me laugh, but it also makes so much sense!

In fact, a lot of the world-building with the demons was very good. It was simple and to the point – there is a demon realm, there is currently a power struggle to be demon king, and demons can do X, Y, and Z. This isn’t high fantasy and has no illusions about that, and I found the world-building to be sufficient in quantity and good in quality.

I love how the demons are characterized – reminded me of Buffy. They are scary and bloodthirsty and very evil. They are also quite intelligent for villains (almost no Evil Overlord syndrome here). But Mr. Gabriel is also sassy and down-to-earth, funny even as he’s being scary. A perfect blend!

Lastly, the writing – oh, it was so good! Cyn’s voice is perfect, and very realistic for a high school girl (I’m 22, not too far removed in age). I liked that the book didn’t shy away from swearing and occasional dirty thoughts – because seriously, have you met teenagers these days? Tonally, it reminded me of Stacey Kade’s “Ghost and the Goth” series, and I mean that as a big compliment.

To sum up: this book is one of my favorites, one of the best books I’ve read in years. Go read it, enjoy, and thank me later.
Profile Image for Tiffany .
444 reviews11 followers
November 11, 2016
4.5 fabulous stars. I loved this quirky read. I really liked the main characters Cynthia and Ryan. Especially Cyn with all her kick ass saving the world heroine personality.
Profile Image for Margaux.
1,496 reviews29 followers
October 16, 2014
I absolutely adored this book. Obviously my profession dictates that I hold any book about librarians to a higher standard than your average story, but this one really takes the cake. It's a mix between Twilight satire and Giles from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and The Awakening.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan or paranormal or books that deal with supernatural high school drama at all. It makes fun of itself but is, at the same time, poignant. The protagonist's best friend, Annie, is in love with the school's new librarian, Mr Gabriel. The only problem is, Mr. Gabriel is a demon. The real romance in the story, though, is that Cynthia refuses to give up on Annie even though Mr. Gabriel has brainwashed her. Cynthia's love interest is literally cast aside (after she stabs him with a demon tool protractor) in order for Cyn to save Annie. True friendship, there, guys.
Profile Image for Victoria Scott.
Author 57 books2,906 followers
September 21, 2015
One of the best villain's ever. I loved Mr. Gabriel! This books reads like an 80s comedic horror flick, and I absolutely loved it. I can't think of a single other YA title that's similar. Kudos for originality, voice, and an authentic "teen" feel.
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,468 reviews291 followers
July 14, 2016
My husband, the sounding board.

So this is what happens when I’m not in proximity of another person passionate about books. My husband receives the brunt of the abuse. The poor man. I don’t think he can take any more of my hissy fits in the name of frustrating books, so I suggested all too sweetly that he invest in one of those noise cancelling head phones.

“Have you considered reading from another genre?” He asked.

As if I haven’t been trying! I just…I really need to get out of this YA funk, or I’m in trouble. Because 80% of the books on my TBR are YA!

Help. Me.

It’s like Hellmouth, except…not.

Evil Librarian is the story of how satan found his own personal Hellmouth at the school’s library. What does he want? Well, besides total world domination, he wants food. And what kind of food? Not pizza, that’s for damn sure. Souls. He eats the souls of the students weak enough to be captivated by satan’s charms. Cynthia, for some reason, is immune. Her friend Annie, however, was not. Soon, and almost predictably, he started killing teachers. The human race’s problems worsens when Cynthia learns that the doorway from hell to Earth is open like a 7-11. Between trying to save her best friend, preparing for the school production of Sweeney Todd, and trying to garner up the courage to talk to her crush, Cynthia also has to find a way to close the doorway. But hey, I’m sure with a little bit of time management and determination, she’ll manage to achieve world peace and eradicate poverty before the year is out. This girl is buhh-sy.

I am not impressed.

First, I’d like to apologize for the glib tone of my review. I don’t know how else to write this without a serving of sarcasm. So please move on if you’ve had enough. Otherwise, keep reading.

What didn’t work for me here? Well, it wasn’t horror. It wasn’t even funny either. Romance? What romance? I felt like Knudsen kept putting her readers on the edge of something but doesn’t really come through for us. Like the ominous background music is on, indicative of the coming heart stopping scene only to watch someone…eat a banana.

There was a generous helping of swooning from Cynthia and Annie, but honestly? I don’t get it. Most of the time, Ryan (Cyn’s crush) was oblivious, and maybe even spacey. Because of that, I never really felt like there was anything resembling a spark between the two. And what’s with the overly contrived tension that wasn’t really there? It was just plain awkward. The “hot” librarian looks to be in his twenties, but apparently, this has no bearings because, well, he’s the devil. And who gives a flip about laws, moralities and such? No one, that’s who. Anyway. Demon magic or not, that is just…gross. No matter how hot he is. Especially if he’s planning on making Cyn’s friend into the bride of Satan himself. Ick.

Why was Cynthia immune to satan’s hypnotic mojo, but the rest of the school is not? Beats me.

I can’t find anything redeeming about this book. Mostly, I thought it succeeded in stating the obvious: Demons are evil. The end.
Profile Image for Pop Bop.
2,475 reviews101 followers
July 30, 2016
Eeeevill versus Friendship, Love and Loyalty, (With a Few Grins)

I like edgy smart-mouth teen heroines. Wise-guy, smarmy, dark, snarky, full of vinegar. But sometimes a change of pace is good for you. Enter our heroine Cyn.

Cyn is smart, practical, upbeat and grounded. She doesn't carry around a lot of baggage and she isn't a drama queen or a victim. She is no more angsty or tormented than normal. She has a best friend, Annie. She has other school buddies. She's neither super popular nor an outcast. She does well in class; she's active. She has a huge crush on a guy, Ryan, and she's very funny when worshipping, in her head, his crushworthiness. She is, to pick one description - wholesome.

Then, a new librarian shows up at school. He's cute; but while Annie immediately develops a zombie-like obsession with him, Cyn is creeped out. This guy seems somehow evil. (This is not a SPOILER; the book is titled "Evil Librarian"). Actual MILD SPOILER - ultimately Cyn and her crush have to save Annie, and then everyone else, from the evil librarian.

Apart from the fact that Cyn is a funny, observant, alternately frantic and then deadpan, heroine, the other thing this book has going for it is great pacing. We get a brief but adequate intro to Cyn, Annie, and Ryan. The Librarian shows up early on. The reveal of what the story is with the Librarian happens fairly quickly. This is not one of those books that takes forever to get going, yet it doesn't just drop you into a zombie/vampire/werewolf horde on page 4. It also doesn't drag you through 150 pages of "no one will believe me when I tell them what I saw", which gets old very quickly. And when it's time for action you get swift, decisive action.

In addition to engaging characters and a nice fast pace without a lot of filler, the book has, or more specifically Cyn has, a consistent and fairly realistic tone. Since we're dealing with an evil librarian we aren't going to get kitchen-sink realism, but what we do get is a stylized but authentic feeling of high school teendom. There are some sharp observations and some sly jokes in here, and the hallways, lockers and classrooms feel authentic. That's important because it takes a while for Cyn to realize what's going, to organize her buds and then to take on the bad guys, and if all of that is going to take place in a normal high school, then you better feel like you're in something approaching a normal high school.

So, a nice find. You get a few big grins, a lot of little chuckles, appealing characters, some cheerful romance, a little drama, eeeevil, more hero action than you might suspect, and a few dead-on zingers. I'll take that school assignment.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Profile Image for Kaethe.
6,404 reviews462 followers
February 25, 2015
Paranormal romance is way better when it follows a Buffy outline with clever teens fighting evil and still maintaining their grades. I like it funny. In this case, the librarian is evil, is stealing bits of souls or whatever, and is planning to destroy everyone in the school. Fortunately, that's not going to happen until after opening night of the school musical, Sweeney Todd, which of course demons just love.

More than anything, this book glows with the love of putting on a show. It also highlights how important the stuff kids learn outside of class is. This is for people who don't believe all the drama in highschool has to do with mean girls, in fact, friendship among Cyn and her girls is more important than anything else.

Library copy
Profile Image for Tink Magoo is bad at reviews.
1,248 reviews194 followers
November 1, 2017
3.7 stars

This grew on me the further into the story I read. The start was filled with a bit too much of the heroine daydreaming about how hot/dreamy her crush was which gave the whole thing a young YA feel. Thankfully, things started to improve when the evil demon aspect came into play, I could even imagine the sarcastic evil cackling voice of the librarian pretty well.

As a side note, I don't really know why it's tagged as horror as there weren't any gruesome or gory scenes, but who cares, it was still enjoyable.
Profile Image for Angie.
195 reviews5 followers
April 9, 2014
For library geeks, theatre geeks, fans of the occult, demons, barbers, demon barbers, high school students, school librarians, library students, Sondheim fans, Italian speakers, actors, singers, prop mistresses, yeah pretty much everybody.
Profile Image for Liza Wiemer.
Author 5 books658 followers
August 31, 2014
Cover: Clever – I like the overlay of the devilish outline and fangs with the title in the middle. Red on black = perfect.

I really, really like this. A demon (Mr. Gabriel) gets the job of a school librarian, ends up sucking the essence out of students, and gets girls to swoon, especially Annie, Cyn’s best friend. Cyn, the MC, is immune to the demon’s powers and she’s determined to stop him, whatever the cost.

Things that I liked about this novel:
1. Cyn’s crush on Ryan, the boy she ends up fighting demons with.
2. Cyn’s loyalty as a friend. She would walk to the ends of the earth (or to a Hellish place where demons dwell) for her best friend. I love how she doesn’t give up on Annie, even when Annie is under a spell.
3. The invasion of demons into the school and their murderous ways. Strangely, I was totally into the murder of teachers etc. That’s what’s great about a fiction. It’s make-believe!
4. The development of Ryan and Cyn’s relationship. It wasn’t insta-love. Even though Cyn has crushed on him for a long time, they don’t get together too quickly. I like how they talk with one another, learn about each other. (And sharing banana bread!)
5. The inclusion of the play Sweeney Todd. Cyn is in charge of props/stage crew and Ryan plays lead. Love that the demons are into the play and can’t wait to see the production.
6. The description of the store Books of Darkness: Your One-Stop Shop for Magic, Mystery, Hidden Secrets of the Universe. I could completely visualize the place.
7. Cyn is a strong female character, and I loved that she stood her ground, wasn’t swayed to change her mind once she decided what she felt was right.
8. The tackle!!!! Swoon. (You have to read it to understand!)

I really believe that young adults will enjoy this one very much! Even though the cover says 14 and up, I wouldn’t have a problem giving this to a seventh grader to read. And YES! libraries should absolutely carry this book!
Profile Image for Kim.
286 reviews778 followers
July 20, 2015
“An evil librarian is taking over the school. He appears to be making my best friend his special evil library monitor.”

Come on. You HAVE to continue reading after that, right? Especially if you are a book nerd with a penchant for hot librarians

Yes, this does have that Buffy feel to it. Sorta. But Cyn is no Buffy, not really. She is just an average girl who really really loves her best friend and would save her from becoming a demon child bride---who wouldn't do that for their BFF? Of course in this situation I would most likely be the BFF who would totally fall for the aforementioned evil librarian than the one doing all the ass kicking and I guess I'm okay with that. I'm kind of lazy.

What was also endearing was Cyn's crush on the high school musical star, Ryan.

“He said my name. He knows what my name is. He spoke it out loud and used it in a sentence.”

Oh, and yes... I have been there. I remember the loins calling out and the secret stalking and the wow. Especially the wow.

The story is clever in its writing but not earth shattering, it was a cute quick read and made me miss my Buffy days. Or, my Willow days because I was more like that (until she became that bad ass witch--hello??!! corsets!!!!).

I say give it a shot. GMBA gave it a finalist spot and they are usually pretty good at catching worthy YA reads.

Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,131 reviews271 followers
January 20, 2020
21 Stars and "Wow! Wow! Wow! " I was totally absorbed and riveted by this absolutely wonderful book, which surpasses all my expectations for the YA genre. Forget high school drama, these students have real trouble: DEMONS!! Forget suspension of disbelief; believe me, you WILL believe. Well-written, strong on friendship, love, and loyalty--I SO hope this will be a series!
Profile Image for Laura Jean.
1,021 reviews14 followers
January 4, 2019
Really enjoyable. It started out a tad slow, but it turned out to be such a fun read. I'm glad I gave it a second chance.
Profile Image for Megan.
51 reviews6 followers
October 19, 2014
The premise of a demon librarian slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body sounds like a plot straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Awesome. Sign me up for that! Unfortunately, this book didn’t really live up to its potential. Aside from the total ick factor of a high school librarian seducing a student (demon magic or no demon magic), I probably would have enjoyed this book more as a younger reader. I was hoping for dark, fun, and hilarious, but all the crushing and swooning made it feel kind of juvenile. Too bad, because the cover is really cool. But in all fairness, my 13-year old self probably would have given it five stars.
Profile Image for Melanie.
119 reviews
May 29, 2015
When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!.

Sounds like a job for,


Just in case you don't know who those two guys are that's Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural. I don't really watch the show that often, but all of my friends do so that makes me an honorary Supernatural fan and plus this book has demons so I kind of have too.

As you can see this book has demons


Except way uglier when they're in human form. Evil Librarian is told from Cynthia's 'Cyn's' point of view and her best friend, Annie, has fallen head over heels for the hot yet demony new librarian Mr. Gabriel.


Due to the fact that Cyn loves her best friend she can't just stand by and watch her best friend fall for a demon and plus Mr. Gabriel is sucking the life source and killing the students and teachers aat her high school, so she kind of technically has to save them.

With Ryan (Cyn's hopeless crush) and a determined attitude Cyn attempts to banish the demon away from her school, all while working on her school's play of Sweeney Todd (which I've never seen).

I really liked reading Evil Librarian, while it is a book that is mainly directed at teenagers, I'm pretty sure anyone would enjoy reading this, but don't take my word for it, it's Sam and Dean Approved.


This book had me laughing at every page, mostly at Cyn's thoughts and actions, she's amazing. I wasn't expecting to like this book at much as I did. I really loved this book and the ending is somewhat of a cliffhanger, so I'm hoping for a sequel.

Overall you should definitely read this book.
Profile Image for Morgan.
1,681 reviews74 followers
August 14, 2015
Here's the thing... Some books just manage to hit so many of your "like" buttons that they shoot upwards in your esteem.

This is one of those books.

It isn't perfect, but...

- Humor -- The self-deprecating type of humor, at that! It doesn't take itself seriously. But that's not all that makes it funny.

- Paranormal -- It was like Buffy, but demons instead of vampires. And she's a super-roach and not a Slayer. lol.

- THEATER GEEKERY -- Yeah. Sweeney Todd theater geekery.

It's about friendship above all.

And maybe a little bit about hot, male librarians and the high likelihood that they are soul-sucking demons. [Just say, "Christo" a few times around them or accidentally spill some holy water on them just to be on the safe side.]

And that cover is just so great.
Profile Image for Kathy.
398 reviews89 followers
October 30, 2014
This book frustrated me to no end! I have read many young adult books that I enjoyed very much, but this book aggravated me immensely! This story probably would've worked very well as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something...maybe even a 2 parter, but not otherwise.

First of all, the main character spent half her time mooning over a boy. I get it, she's a teenager and teenage hormones can go crazy, but there's a lot going on, people are in danger! I wanted to shake her...."Really? Your best friend is in danger, you might lose her forever...but you want to know why he didn't kiss you???" Ugh!

Now, teens may read this and love this. Maybe it's because I'm not one that I didn't love it. It's very possible. I hope that's true!
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,710 reviews701 followers
October 4, 2015
This came as a recommendation from a friend and was a lot of fun.

I really liked Cyn. She had a great inner monologue and I enjoyed being in her head. There were some other fun secondary characters as well. Hands down, the best part of the entire book was that every single demon was obsessed with Sweeney Todd. There was one specific conversation about it that had me cackling.

All in all, it was a quick read with an amusing premise.
Profile Image for Perfektionaise.
289 reviews7 followers
June 10, 2022
3.5 ⭐️
This was a fun and light read but I couldn't really connect to the characters. Cyn as the MC is the best fleshed out character and it was enjoyable to read about a girl who is in love in a stupid, drooling way. Pretty refreshing.
But the rest of the characters fell a bit too flat for my taste.
Nonetheless it is a solid YA story, it's fun.
Profile Image for J.D..
462 reviews18 followers
July 30, 2021

When a new librarian starts at her school, Cynthia notices her best friend Annie starts acting strangely. And she's not the only one.

It soon becomes obvious that the new librarian has sinister plans and Cynthia may be the only one who can stop him.

I had a really hard time getting into and staying interested in this one. It might just be me as I've seen quite a few good reviews before starting it.

I found the writing to be a bit too amateurish for my liking. I would have probably loved it as a teen but now I found it to be a bit too unrealistic. The MC is obsessing over her crush for a good portion while her best friend is being hypnotized by an evil librarian who is planning to kill both Cynthia and her crush.

Also I'm not sure exactly what category this book really fits into. Judging by the title I was hoping for at least a little horror but it wasn't really scary at all. The romance aspect was more of a typical high school crush situation. I've even read a couple reviews that said it was more a humor laced book but I didn't really find much of it funny at all.

Overall I was really underwhelmed with Evil Librarian and won't be continuing on with the series.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
314 reviews139 followers
October 12, 2014
Read my full review here.

Evil Librarian is a fantasy novel with danger and evil and drama (and some musical theatre for good measure). It is also a comedy and a romance and a tale of friendship. It doesn’t take the Fantasy genre too seriously which makes it a fun read.

Knudsen has a pretty distinct prosaic style. She seems to be a fan of run-on sentences and experimental punctuation. While this might annoy me in other novels, it works quite well here. Indeed, it gives the narrative a rather conversational feel - along with the conversational language - and makes the story seem more personal. It also gives us access to Cynthia’s inner thoughts which tend towards the hilarious side.

Cynthia is a wonderful character. She’s hilarious. She has a crush on Ryan (which also makes for hilarious narration and dialogue). She’s also a really good friend. She is willing to risk her own life to save her best friend, Annie from the evil librarian. She also is the tech director at her high school theatre.

The inclusion of the theatrical plot-line is wonderful. I can’t say I’ve seen that a lot in novels, so it’s certainly fresh. Also, the production they are working on and holding is Sweeney Todd. The reference to the Johnny Depp film adaptation is hilarious and reminded me of the fact that my good friend and I went to the movie theatre to watch that film. The theatre aspect also serves as a way to connect Cynthia and Ryan together. They have a common interest besides killing Mr. Gabriel (the evil librarian). The musical adds to the comedy, too, since all of the demons are super excited for the play. Well done, Knudsen.

Ryan is a sweetheart. He eventually goes along with Cynthia. He’s pretty much her only ally (human, at least) in this difficult situation. He’s also a pretty reasonable guy. The two begin spending more and more time together. There are subtle hints of the growing attraction and care for one another, so when we get to a turning point of their relationship in the novel, it’s believable. And cute. Also, that final scene in the novel! Love!

Before you go thinking this novel is a complete comedy, there are lives lost, people get hurt, and deals are made with demons to save everyone. Cynthia - and Ryan - put a lot on the line to save Annie and their school.

Mr. Gabriel is pretty creepy, but he’s not a black-and-white villain. He loves Sweeney Todd, he actually explains himself to Cynthia when she asks him to, etc. He’s an odd villain, that’s for sure. But he’s a very interesting one, too. He’s convinced himself that he ‘cares’ about Annie, but he doesn’t really. He just wants to use her so he can be the demon king. Again, he’s a pretty creepy guy.

Overall, Evil Librarian is a fun, dramatic, sweet, and romantic novel. I’m glad I spotted it because it definitely kept me entertained. It kept me thinking afterwards about how awesome it is. I expect these things from a novel.
Profile Image for Halle Watson.
192 reviews7 followers
March 2, 2017
3.5 stars. Funny, charming, and overall pleasant. Not some sort of amazing story, but with a title like " Evil Librarian," you know what your getting into.
Profile Image for Sharon.
551 reviews2 followers
May 24, 2017
If ever I'm hypnotized by a demon from Hell, I would hope to have a friend like Cynthia who will fight dirty to save me from a fate worse than death!

Librarians aren't evil, but Cyn is absolutely positively sure the school's new handsome hottie Mr. Gabriel is a demon. With horns. And definitely interested in Cyn's best friend Annie -- sweet unspoiled never been in love and heartbroken Annie.

When Annie is caught up in a daze, Cyn must find a way to stop Mr. Gabriel from his evil plot to steal the souls of everyone at her school. She gets a little help from Ryan, her crush who is also the lead in the school play Sweeney Todd. Ironic and appropriate.

Cyn is wisecracking hilarious even in the midst of high drama, and her rampant thoughts of making out with Ryan while battling evil had me in stitches. So there's the occasional f-bomb and the overall creepiness of the librarian interested in a girl way too young for him, but this is a rollicking good fun, young adult read.
Profile Image for Sara.
434 reviews3 followers
March 7, 2015
Since I read this book a few month ago, I have finally started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And my original assessment that this book is basically a long Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode is now completely reaffirmed.

This book was fun. I think fun is the best word for it. It made me giggle multiple times, I really liked the sarcastic theatre geek main character, and the evil librarian was pretty badass. I would definitely give this book to teens who are looking for something light and fluffy and entertaining, filled with a little bit of paranormal and romance, but not too serious. A nice way to pass the afternoon.

Profile Image for nuzha.
108 reviews35 followers
October 21, 2019
randomly remembered I read this, today... read it back in 2017 when I found it at my high school library... 3.5 stars, not quite amazing but a pretty solid read
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