Book Review,  Reviews

Devilish – Maureen Johnson

So this was how it ended. The revelers had deserted, leaving plates of Spanish almonds and sushi and cupcake wrappers. Now there would be no more grand ballrooms with Assyrian kinds and pampered dogs and English pop stars and the A3. No more midnight rides through the skies of Providence. No more Calculus II with Brother Frank. No more stolen moments with 116-year-old boys or staring at the golden brick mansion across the fields.” 

Jane and Ally have always been best friends, and have always only had each other. They are two odd to be cool and too cool to be odd at St Teresa’s Preparatory School for Girls, but when a particularly hideous thing happens to Ally and Jane is forced to leave her sobbing in the bathroom and run to class something changes. The next day Ally comes to school transformed. She is confident, has super cool hair and no longer has time for Jane. Jane doesn’t know whats going on, its not just Ally, there are other strange things happening and when a freshman from the neighboring boys school claims he can help Jane believes he can do just that, and they might just save her best friend from the crazy demon that she has sold her soul to. 
I have heard mixed reviews of this but when I ventured to Manchester last year to meet Maureen Johnson I read the back and thought it would be a fun read, and obviously got my sister to buy me it for Christmas! Funny that that trip to Manchester was precisely a year to the weekend ago when I finally started reading – I know, I should get round to my books sooner! – and whilst I enjoyed it, its unfortunately my least liked Maureen Johnson books to date. 
I have read a few of Johnson’s books now, she’s not been crowned ‘Queen of Teen’ for nothing and in my eyes many of her books have lived up to that title. I loved the first in the Shades of London trilogy and bounced when the second arrived on my doorstep. I thought The Bermudez Triangle was brilliant and liked the Little Blue Envelopes series. However Devilish was kinda average, and I wasn’t all that impressed. It seemed like it took forever for the whole devil thing to begin and as its a short book there wasn’t a whole lot else going on. Ally was acting a bit strange but as we didn’t really get to see the Ally prior to the soul selling Ally that exists in the book and only have Jane’s word on what she’s like I kinda didn’t care for her much. Jane spends a lot of time talking about Elton and the fact that she’s kinda a badass at school since they broke up and I liked her attitude until I realised that the breakup made her act out like that (sorry but I am on board with Catholic school rule breaking, those places sound worse than jail.) 
Once the devil stuff starts happening the book changes dramatically from contemporary to paranormal and that kinda bugged me too, not everything was explained properly and it might have been me skim reading but I didn’t really understand where Lanalee came from. There was something mentioned about the Salem Witch Trails but that was in relation to the Poodle Prom and not Lanalee herself, there was mention of her switching bodies and the guise she was using having been taken from France but  again, I don’t think that explained where it all started. 
I’m trying not to hate on this book, it’s not bad, not at all. The writings fluent and flows well. I liked Jane’s voice and some of the characters were awesome, especially Owen and to be honest Brother Frank. However thats all I can really say, its not bad but its not great either. It was meh for me but I do think others will enjoy it, I’d say its definitely one for the younger spectrum of YA readers, maybe around the 12/13 age as older readers who are used to great world building plots and scarier demons may be disappointed. 
Devilish was published in the US by Puffin/Razorbill in 2007 a UK publication followed by Harper Collins in June of this year. My copy was given to me as a gift. 

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