Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones
by Darynda Jones
Published by: St. Martin
on October 2, 2012
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 was excited to get my hands on a copy of Death and the Girl Next Door because Darynda Jones is one of my favorite adult authors and I was anxious to see what she would bring to her new young adult series. As the first book in the Darklight series Jones introduces us to some interesting characters, a couple of swoon worthy guys and um -death.
It has been ten years since the McAllister’s disappears that left their six year old daughter behind. We meet Lorelei McAllister and her sidekicks Glitch and Brooklyn as they enjoy coffee at the only place in their small New Mexico town to hang out. Right away I liked the three of them and their banter was hilarious. When Lorelei goes to wash her hands she accidentally brushed up against a handsome stranger, and immediately has one of her visions. In it this boy is fighting a monster that claws his chest. The premonition scares her and she tries to warn him but he’s gone. The tale that unfolds was humorous, romantic, and action packed. It laid the groundwork for an exciting new series.
Jones has an incredible talent for bringing characters to life. I really liked Lorelei, Glitch and Brooklyn. This trio was so funny, and I found myself highlighting snarky things they said. I loved how they stood up for each other and supported one another. The language, notes and comments Lorelei and Brooklyn used to describe people (guys) had me giggling. Jared and Cameron two swoon-worthy boys are both looking to protect Lorelei. I know you just shivered. Didn’t you? You were thinking, “Oh, no not the dreaded love triangle!” Well guess what…there isn’t one! We do kind of get an insta-love type thing but I survived and you probably will too. Cameron and Jared were likeable; despite some Neanderthal tendencies and an abundance of testosterone. I loved Lorelei’s grandparents and appreciated that Jones involved them in the tale. A nosey reporter and people searching for clues shake things up and add suspense to the tale.
The world-building was fascinating, from the strange disappearance of Lorelei’s parents, to the mystery surrounded her premonitions and the boys. The tale started off slowly and felt a bit awkward to me, but it quickly picked up and I found myself swept up in the action. I like how Jones’s slowly reveals things and then throws in twists and turns keeping me enthralled. The story is not without issues but as the first book in a series, I am hoping these loose threads and unanswered questions are revealed in the next book. The romance was sweet and gooey and I am sure it will have many of you swooning. The ending was fast and furious and ohh the things that were revealed. EEP! While there is no cliffhanger, we are left with a glimmer of things to come and I look forward to reading more.
I recommend Death and the Girl Next Door to fans of supernatural suspense and snarky characters. Darynda Jones is on my auto-buy list and I look forward to Death, Doom, and Detention which is scheduled to be released in March 5, 2013. The third book Death and the Girl He Loves is also scheduled for a 2013 release but no date has been set.