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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Hell Week - Rosemary Clement-Moore While the main conflict of this installment does lift…well, everything from clichéd B movie plot (Sorority girls from Hell!), Clement-Moore still manages to make the second book in the Maggie Quinn series entertaining and funny.To begin with, tangent: Quite obviously, the majority of YA books deal with the fact that high school is pretty much every single teenager/young adult’s life. What grinds my nerves, however, are the ones that treat high school as the end-all, be-all. Does high school suck? Good God, yes. But there’s this fantastic thing after high school (should the kids choose this route): college. Unfortunately, there’s a good chunk of YA that doesn’t really acknowledge this magical place. So, I tend to like books that go for a bit more young adult and deal with the early college years (because, let’s face it, a lot of the high school drama still happens in post-secondary education, but there’s a whole new game to play there). So, getting into this made me smile, because I could relate with Maggie about starting over in college. Sure, she doesn’t exactly get all of the dorm drama, but everything else—the new social schedule, the class load, getting knocked down by professors because you don’t have the credits yet—it brings a new level to the atypical YA book. I also liked watching Maggie going through Rush; again, it’s something that feels actually realistic (sorority girls from Hell aside), and the stress of Rush plus classwork plus demon-slaying manages to play a role in the plot. Unfortunately, much like the last book, there really isn’t all that much to the villains. Victoria and Juliana are pretty much the Real Housewives of the Ninth Circle, who ensnare naïve pledges to further their own wealth and power. (It’s actually described as a demonic pyramid scheme, but seeing as how they’re at the top, yeah, it’s their show.) There’s no real depth or explanation for their actions, aside from being blonde and perfect and being bitchy.Generally, I liked the current members and pledges of SAXi. Devon’s probably my favorite, as she’s the most willing to mentor Maggie. Also, the death of her boyfriend made me really feel for her; out of all of the girls, she’s the most sympathetic. I liked Holly, although I didn’t grab onto her story and history with her mother. She’s snarky and plays off of Maggie well, but there should have been more to her character. My big frustration with the SAXi girls is that, by book’s end, almost every single one of these new friends leaves Bedivere U. If there’s anything good about a college experience is meeting new people and making connections with them. The fact that all of these girls, who just had their souls saved by Maggie, got unceremoniously dropped at the end of the book irked me; is it a problem for her to have another friend aside from Lisa and Justin?Aside from that, I liked how Maggie approached the idea of doing Rush and how it effects her Seer powers. It’s interesting that when she mentions that she had visions of Greek letters, Maggie tries to get something positive out of her visions. Her first thought isn’t completely “Crap, have to go defend the world from evil,” but rather, very reporter-like, “Well, we’ll check it out, and maybe I can get a column out of this.” While Lisa doesn’t show up until the end of the book, she suddenly gets another depth to her characterization. I’m still not a fan of how her sexual assault was handled, and while it’s nice to see her try to redeem herself after summoning a demon, it does bother me that the issue at hand is pushed aside. I would have at least liked a hint of Lisa’s progress with dealing from that aftermath, not just “I summoned a demon, I’ve got a reserve seat in the handbasket to Hell.” I wanted to know a lot more about this in general.In the last review, I mentioned that Maggie’s relationship with her family also felt natural. It really feels like she’s closer to her dad, and how he’s willing to help out with her more intriguing questions. It also helps that he does get worried whenever she entangles herself in one of these Evil-busting schemes. Maggie’s mom got a little more development in this book; again, she cares and worries about her daughter, even if she’s not completely in the loop. I do have a nitpick about her mother being all upset that Maggie doesn’t have a boyfriend and isn’t interested in girly things and that means she’s not normal. I think we’re a little beyond that. And I generally like Gran, but there’s really not much more to her than being the mentor figure. She’s a fun adult figure, but with not much substance.Despite my issues, I still really enjoy this volume. It’s a fun read, while putting Maggie in a new element that actually does affect her powers (demonic or not). Aside from the fact that there’s no real cast expansion (which would have been a fantastic edition), I loved reading this book and really wanted to know what happened next.