Monday, September 24, 2012

Death and The Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Title: Death And The Girl Next Door 
Author: Darynda Jones 
Series: Darklight #1 
Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy 
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: St. Martins
Source: Netgalley

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? 

When I heard that Darynda Jones was coming out with a new Young Adult series, I was super excited because I love her Charley Davidson adult Urban Fantasy series. I dove into this book thinking that I would love it. Sadly though, this book just didn't work for me.

One of the reasons I had trouble with this book was because I never really connected to the main character, Lorelei. I loved that she was tough and strong, but there were so many questions as to what was going on to her in the beginning that I spent more time confused by her actions then connecting to her.  For example, we're told that one of the Cameron that has been following has been doing it to protect her, and while she does get upset with him for that, he immediately becomes a part of the group even though it's obvious that he distrusts Jared, the love interest for Lorelei.  I kept waiting for one of them to believe Cameron when he tells them that they can't trust Jared, but they never do. Instead, Cameron and Jared just keep fighting one another and leaving it Lorelei to break up their fighting. While scenes between the three them were cute, I need more action. The action did eventually come in the second half, but for me it was a lot to take in, and I had a hard time believing it.

I also had problems with the fact that they kept bringing up an events that happened to Cameron and Glitch (one of Lorelei's good friends) in the second grade and how after that Cameron was never the same, and he and Glitch stopped being friends. What happened to them is never really fully explained, and is supposed to lend an air of mystery to both of the guys, but to me it made me feel disconnected to them. I realize that the characters are only Sophomores, but honestly I can't remember things happening in the second grade that made such a big impact in my high school life. There other events mentioned as well that happened to the characters in the third & fifth grades, and they just made me feel like I was much too old to be reading this book. (which I am, lol)

This is going to sound silly, but another problem I had with the book was the names of the character. I just could not get Lorelei Gilmore out of my head and kept somehow trying to connect this book to the Gilmore Girls show, even though the two are nothing alike. Another name I had trouble with was the nick name Glitch, of one of Lorelei's good friends. Every time his name was mentioned I thought of Alan Cummings playing Glitch from the 2007 sy fy movie Tin Man.  Knowing these names also made me feel old, because I realized that the age of most of the readers for this book probably would have no clue as to the aforementioned tv shows and not have a problem with the names like I did.

While I did have a hard time with this book, I did like how strong and independent all of the characters in the book were. I liked how Lorelei's friends did everything as a group, and supported each other through thick and thin. Even though Lorelei lived with her Grandparents, I loved how they were there for her and how she was constantly afraid of disappointing them & afraid of getting in trouble. I really think if I had read this book before the Charley Davidson series, I would have liked it much more. As it was, I already had an idea of what the grim reaper should be like and couldn't get that image out of my head. This book was a fast read, and if you like Angel stories and good vs. evil then I recommend this book-it just sadly wasn't for me.