Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Title: Death and the Girl Next Door
Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Paranormal Young-Adult
Seres: Darklight #1

Paperback, 304 pages
Publication: October 2nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press 
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Source: Publisher
 Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace.  Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home.  For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be.  Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it,  standing outside her house in the dark, night after night.  Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school.  Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.  What does Jared know about her parents?  Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei?  And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? 

I am a fan of Jones’s Charley Davidson’s series and when I heard she was coming out with a YA series I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! Death and the Girl next Door is NOT what I expected. Our Main heroine Lorelei is your typical sophomore, who enjoys hanging out with her two best friends Brooklyn and Glitch. Things start to get weird when the school loner Cameron begins stalking Lorelei, every time she turns around she sees him lurking in the corner. Lorelei always had visions; some come true while others are just random and bizarre. Things get stranger when a boy from Lorelei’s vision shows up at her school! Next thing you know Cameron and the mysterious Jared are fighting over her. 

I truly wanted to like this book, but I found Lorelei extremely annoying, and the story’s mystery too dragged out. I’m probably in the minority who didn’t like this book. When Jared first shows up at school, Lorelei didn’t really freak out that this is the SAME guy from her vision. Instead she’s drooling over how amazingly hot he is, and he of all people noticed someone like her who is pasty white and plain (she said so herself). In another scene in the first half of the book, we have Cameron and Jared fighting over Lorelei, Cameron tells Lorelei to stay away from Jared because he’s the dangerous bad guy. While Cameron tries to get Lorelei away from Jared, what does Lorelei do instead? She attacks Cameron and defends Jared! WTH? She doesn’t even know Jared and Cameron may be the school’s loner but at least she knows of him since the third grade (or was it kindergarten, I forgot). If I was in her situation, I wouldn’t trust either dudes. 

The book’s pacing was slow, I found myself constantly losing interest or not caring about what’s going on. In the first quarter of the book, Lorelei is demanding answers to what is going on around her. Why are Cameron and Jared fighting over her? Why are they both so freakishly strong? What is Jared? etc. Instead of getting answers, the characters beat around the bush about it. This drove me nuts! I pushed on hoping that things would get better but not so much. Once I found who was what, I was a little surprised since I wasn’t expecting the book to be about certain paranormal beings but it still didn’t make up for the majority of the book.

Overall I felt this book lacking in the story, character development, and world-building. The world-building didn’t feel put together until towards the end of the book where readers finally get some answers. Death and the Girl next Door didn’t offer anything new or exciting to the YA genre, the elements found in this book can be found in numerous of other YA title in the market today. This is a start to a new series, and one I won’t be continuing. From the other reviews I’ve seen, many seem to really love this book, so while it wasn’t for me it might be for you. I suggest anyone who’s still interested in this book to maybe read a chapter sample or excerpt, or borrow from friend/library before thinking about dishing out the $10.

FTC disclaimer: St. Martin's Griffin provided me with a copy of Death and the Girl Next Door, and in return I provide an honest review.

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