Title: Personal Demons
Author: Lisa Derochers
Publisher: Tor Teen
Rating: 3 Stars
I really wanted to give this 3.5 stars. Personal Demons started out really, really well and I was reading it super fast - always a good sign. I enjoyed Frannie and loved Luc. I'm a sucker for a leather jacket and a pierced eyebrow. ;p The fact that he registered emotions as scents was a little odd and could have been awkward in its obvious attempt to be 'different', but for the most part it worked.
Although, I've never thought of ginger as being particularly lustful.
Lisa Desrochers walked the fine line of being a book about religious themes without becoming a religious book and I appreciated that. The only character that ever preached at me was Frannie's younger sister Grace and she was supposed to be zealous, so it worked.
I kind of felt like the switches between Luc and Frannie's first person POV were cheating a little, but I really liked getting into both of their heads, so I let it slide.
The only problem I had with the book was Gabe. I understand why his character was important. There needed to be a player from Heaven in the mix, not only to give Luc a little competition, but to save Frannie. As much as I like the badboy, this was not a book where Hell was some misunderstood place for castoffs and outsiders. It was Hell in every sense of the word. Frannie did NOT belong there.
The issue comes with the fact that I never got a clear picture of Gabe's feelings for Frannie until I was told - by Luc - that yes, he was in love with her and yes, he'd risk his wings for her. That's all well and good and I was expecting as much, but having to be told something I should have been shown is never good. I think Ms. Derochers made a mistake with Gabe in one of two ways - either he shouldn't have really fallen for Frannie or she should have written from his POV as well.
I was hoping it would come out that while Gabe sincerely cared about Frannie and wanted her safe, the way he made her feel was all a ruse - that Gabe was pushing his power on her to woo her like Luc did to humans. Given the fact that we don't get a Gabe POV, I think this would have been the better way to go. In the sequel, Ms. Desrochers could have delved into Gabe's love for Frannie and surprised everybody with the fact that he really was in love with her.
Ms. Desrochers writing style was very accessible and easy to read. Personal Demons had quite a few references to Top 40 Pop which is fine, but it will date the book in a couple of years - it kind of already did - and I'm not sure that's worth the risk, so to speak.
While I'm not surprised there's a sequel, the book ends in a very satisfying way, so I'm curious where the next installment will take us. I'm assuming we'll learn more about how Frannie is supposed to use her Sway and how Luc deals with being human - a plot point I'm rather 'meh' about, but I'll deal with it as long as he doesn't lose his edge.