Kris's Reviews > Death and the Girl Next Door

Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones
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's review
Jul 17, 2012

liked it

I am a huge fan of Darynda Jones' "Charley Davidson Grave" series, so I was tickled that I was lucky enough to win an ARC copy from Goodreads to review.

Death & the Girl Next door is a YA with all of the potential in the world! It has the same wicked sense of humor that is present in the Grave series, the same sense of urgency, but it is a bit slower getting to the meat of the story. This is really a 3.5 star review.

Lorelei McAlister is sophomore high school student in Reily Switch, New Mexico. She is just your average high school girl...aside from the fact that her parents disappeared 10 years ago without a trace & she suddenly had the ability of fragmented visions brought on by a touch. When she accidentally brushes her hand against that of a handsome stranger in the local coffee shop, she is surprised by the fantastical visions of an terribly beautiful warrior fighting off a monstrous creature under a sky that cannot exist.

But, Lorelei is just trying to get by, along with her BFF's Brooklyn & Casey aka Glitch. Navigating high school isn't as tough as she thought it would be, until the day Cameron Lusk, the foxy loner everyone at school is wary of, starts to stalk her.

Of course, all is not as it seems when it comes to Cameron & new hunky student Jared Kovach. Suddenly Lorelei is thrust into a world where time can stand still, mortal wounds are not necessarily that, and her visions mean a little bit more that seeing if someone is going to get into a fender bender. Angels & Demons are real & she just might be the key to saving the world.

Like i said, this is a fun book. Lorelei, Brookly, & Glitch are all remarkably developed. I think they are all genuinely likable, which is important for the anchor characters, especially in a YA. Darynda does a nice job of balancing "teenage" stuff with the rest of the story. There are some pretty surprising developments early on, which help with the pacing.

My overall issue is that it feels like a set up for the rest of the series. There is a lot of information in these pages, having to do with the supernatural themes, Lorelei's history, Jared & Cameron. I feel that it just slightly misses the hook that I want in a opening of a series due to the amount of history that is laid out. That's not to say I won't read future books. I will...I want to know about Lorelei's parents, her purpose in the cosmos, etc. The book does it's job getting me to want to read the next one, but when I finished the 1st Charley Davidson book..I NEEDED the next one. That is the best way I can verbalize my criticism. The only other issue people might have is the romance. So far there is no hint of the dreaded triangle for Lorelei (I do believe there may be one developing around Brooklyn, which is a nice change), but it is the eternal problem of YA novels that generally have a teenage heroine & presumably centuries old supernatural love kinda feels a little weird. I'll need to see how it proceeds before I decide how I feel about it.

All in all it is a good start to a new series. Likable characters, interesting premise, plenty of story line to last several books. I am looking forward to the next book & getting into some more meaty plots.

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