September 28, 2012

Early Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Series: Darklight 1
Format: ARC from NetGalley
Excerpt here
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.
I've always wanted to read Darynda Jones after all the rave reviews I've read about her Charley Davidson series, I heard her heroines are witty, snarky, funny and feisty. Lorelei Elizabeth McAlister, the teen heroine of her new series, Darklight, is all of the above and more. If Lorelei isn't so enamored over Jared Kovach, I would set her up with Nick Gaultier, just thinking about their asinine banter is enough to get me excited.
We're like the Three Musketeers, searching for truth and justice and the American way.
I enjoyed the story, action and myth of DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. Lorelei and her friends Glitch and Brooklyn are funny and their chemistry highly entertaining. Even if this is YA, I didn't find it shallow and hard to like Lorelei, she's got a good head on her shoulders and her friends are good people. What I like most about her is her attitude towards everything, losing her parents at such a young age didn't make her surly and used that loss as an excuse to act out. It did the opposite and made Lorelei grateful for her life, friends and a wonderful set of grandparents to care for her.
Brooklyn, do you honestly think the heavens would create a member of the Nephilim to protect a girl whose most realized prophetic vision involved a psychotic cheerleader behind the wheel of a Nissan?
The young lads, Cameron and Jared, connected to Lorelei are likeable enough, obviously there's more to the story than a simple pissing contest over the same girl and I like how layered these two's conflict is. When the underlying story was revealed, I must say I'm both awed and worried about the enormity of the plot. First of all, DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR takes on the Christian myth about angels, Nephilims and the like and DJones' take on it is something I've never read before. If done right, this is another series bound for epic greatness however that is something I can't personally guarantee at this point.
Your energy is liquid and hot. Even from a distance you burn, you scorch anyone who gets too close. You are wine on my tongue and honey in my veins, and I cannot get enough of you. - Jared
Why? *Spoilers ahead*

As some of you might know, I'm a myth junkie and as an avid reader, I appreciate the literary liberties fiction writers take on classic tales but a balance should be kept and certain things should be kept authentic. For one, how can a Nephilim be at the same level/class as an Archangel? Second, a Prophet of God is beyond special, they are protected by Heaven and if their lives are threatened the might of God is bound to rain on you like hellfire (how do you think Jonah survived being swallowed by that whale?). If you want a demon killed, throw a Prophet in their path and you're guaranteed to defeat them. Obviously this is not the case in DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR and though this little tweak isn't a deal breaker for me, I'm left unconvinced by book's end.

To reiterate, I appreciate a writer's poetic license and maybe I'll be blown over when the next book comes out but for now I'll keep to my reservations and hopefully I'll eat my words when Death, Doom and Detention comes out next year. Nevertheless, don't take my word for it. I still urge you to get the book and read it because Lorelei and friends are wonderful company and I guarantee that they'll keep you amused and entertained throughout the story.


  1. You should read her adult books. I love them. This book was okay for me. At first I loved it then when we start figuring things out I was just not all that impressed. I will read the next one though to see how it goes.

    1. I feel the same way about this and yes, her adult books are next on my list.

  2. I'm looking forward to getting this one in the mail next week. I'll definitely keep an open mind while reading, but I always get a little nervous when authors introduce huge plots. I'm definitely intrigued, though, thanks for sharing your thoughts :0)

    1. I get nervous too because I want the author to pull it off but at the same time I'm bracing myself for the worst. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  3. I love her adult series! I cannot wait to get my hands on this. It sounds so good.
    Book Sniffers Anonymous

  4. I love Charlie Davidson series , she has the same sort of humor in them but on a more adult level. I thought this was a great start to this YA series. I laughed at the bickering trio who acted younger the way they did that but am intrigued to see where she goes with it all. You are right she has started something that could be epic. I felt that with Poison Princess by Kresley Cole , she started something there too.

    Awesome review!

    I am a bit vague on mythology etc , not sure what I was doing when that was all being taught:S So I am a bit none the wiser. I go with the flow as I don't know much about all that.I think Darynda will be up for the challenge. When you read her adult series she just has a whole lot of fun with some smexi thrown in:D I read Darynda for a laugh as I know she is going to make me smile.



    1. Hahaha! Maybe you skipped school when they taught that LOL j/k

      Myth: A half-angel vs a full angel, that should be a no brainer plus the angel is supposedly Azrael.

      I have every intention of reading her CD series.

  5. Great Review, Braine!

    I've seen a lot of people reading this one and I was like.. wooah I think I missed a good one lol. I stopped reading when you put "Spoilers Ahead" don't wanna spoil it for me ^_^ I'm definitely adding this one to my TBR pile. Sounds like a really good read & it'll be my first Darynda Jones :)

    Ana♥ @ Beach Bum Reads


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