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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
Devilish - Maureen Johnson I don’t want to say that I dislike this book. There’s some really good things about it—I like the concept, I love the characters—but there’s something about this book that feels off to me. I don’t want to bash Maureen Johnson for not writing solely realistic YA, but I don’t get why Devilish doesn’t entirely work for me.Part of my issue is that this is another book where Johnson writes in the first-person. I’ve read her short stories, which are all first-person, but I’ve had an issue with when she’s uses it in the full-length novels. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m so used to her writing third-person omniscient, but it’s really just my personal preference. I do really like the characters. Jane could have come off as too riot grrl troublemaker, but I like the fact that she has to face her beliefs and find something to actually fight for. She really does grow a lot throughout the book, and the growth shows in the writing. I relate to Allison the most, though, if only because I could understand her awkwardness and potentially being willing to sell her soul. And you really get the sense of how close Jane and Allison are and how far they’d be willing to go for each other. It’s a nice thing that I don’t really see expanded on in a lot of girl friendships in YA most of the time. Owen’s a sweetheart, if a little weak for being a love interest (and am I the only one who wants to guess that him really being 116 is a take that to a certain series? No? I’m just reading into this?). The only character I don’t really like is Joan—I get that she’s supposed to be intellectually Jane’s foil, but making her completely stupid felt really unrealistic to me. I felt sorry for Joan, her character comes off as a bit insulting.The villains, while I like them in general, actually lend to the big problems I have with the book. In general, I like Lanalee. I like that she’s set up as a red herring at first, and even though that she’s made out to be a danger, she’s still stuck preying on high school girls. I get why she wants Jane’s soul, and I believe the way she uses Allison to get what she wants. THAT SAID, everything else tying Lanalee to the backstory of the town and specifically the two Catholic schools feels out of place. It feels like there’s supposed to be a reason why she’s come back to Providence, but it’s never really explained. And Fields—what was his purpose aside from giving Jane some freaky dreams and being a general creeper? I do like how Jane ultimately defeats the demons in the end, but even then, the loophole is barely explained.And the biggest issue I have overall is the end. Yes, Allison and Jane make up and resolve their issues…but then there’s five chapters left and Jane’s stuck on her own. And there’s an explanation of what happened after Jane defeats Lanalee, but it feels more like an info-dump. And then the book just ends. The end’s extremely rushed and I didn’t really feel like anything got resolved. It feels like this was going to be a setup to a series (which I wouldn’t have minded), but even then, there’s not really much to go off of the end here.It’s an enjoyable and quick read, but in comparison to her more realistic work, I think this is one of the weaker of Maureen Johnson’s books. I like what I read, but ultimately, I’m left wanting more.