Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Age Recommendation: 14+
Length: Full Length (365 pgs)
Rating: 5 Suns
Reviewed by Fern
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.
The battle is to tag a girl’s soul for Heaven or Hell. Who will win? The gorgeous and breathtaking Gabe? Or the sinfully attractive and hot as Hell Luc? Thus is the question posed in Personal Demons, the first story in a series about good, evil, and that fine line that exists in between.
When the story begins, we are introduced to Frannie - a girl with a special talent that Heaven and Hell want so badly they have sent their very best to ensure she plays for their team. What they don’t anticipate is just how deeply Frannie’s presence will affect the two men who vie for her attention - and her soul. Told through first person narratives of Frannie and Luc (you’ll understand as the book progresses why you never hear from Gabe), Personal Demons is wrought with angst, witty one liners, and enough anticipation of what awaits on the page to keep your interest from start to finish.
Frannie was a character I wasn’t all that sure I liked until I really got to know her issues. She’s a bit standoffish and hard to relate to. As her shell cracked, and I got a glimpse of her vulnerable exterior, I found that I not only liked her but I could have been her at some point in my life. We all have things that occur that force us to retreat inside ourselves. In Frannie’s case, this something is big, and the guilt is eating away at her soul.
As for Luc and Gabe, well, they are equally intense and unforgettable. Gabe is an angel who will be there for Frannie even if she chooses the wrong path, while Luc is so burn-your-fingers-hot that you’ll want Frannie to fall from grace. I have to say, if there are teams, I’m all for Team Luc. He’s sexy, he’s smart, and in the end, he proves he’s far more than a minion from the abyss who doesn’t deserve redemption or the chance to win Frannie’s heart. That’s not to say Gabe isn’t a sexy force of his own, but rather, the way the story is written you can’t help but root for the “bad” boy.
The writing is very good and, though the start is a tad slow, once you’re immersed in the lives of the characters, you won’t want to stop reading. I recommend Personal Demons for readers 14+ and for adults who have a taste for darker YA with humor, heat, and characters that come to life on the page.