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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Author: Lisa Desrochers
Pages: 365
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series or Standalone: 1st in trilogy
Genre: YA Paranormal
Reading Level: 14 years+
Dominant Themes: Demons, Angels, Hell, Heaven

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. 

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—-all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

Personal Demons is completely enthralling, full of demons who are both naughty and nice, and angels who may not be as angelic as everyone thinks. A scorching hot novel that grabs you and doesn’t let you go until the very last page. It’s one hell of a thrill ride.

All right, the terrible puns aside, I really loved Personal Demons. I’ve been on an angel/demon reading kick lately, and this was one of the best, if not the best novels I’ve read in this genre in a very long while. I read it at hyper speed, finishing the pages faster than I can flip them.

Frannie was a likeable main character, although she did annoy me at times. I think one of my biggest peeves is when people say they don’t believe in love, mostly because that’s total bull. What do you feel for your family, your friends? People who say they don’t believe in love are just liars, or trying to protect themselves from getting hurt. I think the latter is what Frannie was trying to do, because she had suffered a terrible trauma when she was 7 in losing her brother. The pain she felt about his death made me feel for her, and there were times when I wanted to reach into the book and just give her a big hug. Overall though, she was rational, well-fleshed out, and full of spunk with an underlying layer of pain hidden away.

Also, she can flip full grown men over her shoulder. Seriously. Awesome.

One of Frannie’s love interests, Gabe, who is an angel, was completely loveable. I’m still confused as to whether he is the angel Gabriel, or just an angel also named Gabriel. (Sort of like Luc is Lucifer, but not the Lucifer.) Either way, Gabe was hot, but I just didn’t see him as love interest material. To me, he seems much better older brother protector material. And since the story wasn’t told in his perspective, I feel like his character suffered and we didn’t get to see the full side of him. Because of this, I didn’t feel a strong connection to him, but I’ll be very happy if we see more of him in the second book. I liked Gabe very much

But the main lover boy, and the one person that I absolutely LOVED, was Luc. Oh dear sweet goblins, that boy was hot, and that’s not just because he’s a demon. Everything about him was alluring, from the way he talked, to the piercing on his eyebrow. I’ve always been a sucker for bad boys, and I guess he’s the ultimate form of a bad boy. He is a demon of pride, born from sin and very powerful. It was fascinating to see the gradual shift in his personality and outlook as he tried to carry out his mission. The sexual tension and obvious chemistry between Luc and Frannie was electrifying. I got tingles all through my body when I read about them together. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how Frannie and Luc fare in the next book

What made this novel so addicting for me was that it wasn’t just told from Frannie’s point of view.  We also got to see inside Luc’s head, which made the story so much more real. Without that insight, I would have just thought “Oh, it’s the big bad demon. Screw him, go with Gabe.” But being that intimately attuned to Luc’s thoughts and reasoning, as well as seeing his transition from his perspective gave Luc as a whole more depth and believability. If I had not actually read about his love for Frannie first hand, I would have just accused him of lying to get into her pants and brushed him off. While I do feel that Gabe’s perspective could have supplemented the story also, it was perfectly well with only Frannie and Luc’s points of views.

Novels like these need to be read with some objectivity. Dealing with religion is a very brave and difficult thing to do, moreover to do so well, but Lisa definitely delivers. I’m a hypercritical person when it comes to religion, especially heaven and hell and the like, but I always make it a point to prepare myself when reading novels like these, and distance myself from my own thoughts on the subject. I’m simply warning you that it does have religious content that may offend some people. (It offended one of my friends, even though I tried so hard to get her to see it from a different perspective.)

This book overall was splendid. Lisa Desrochers is an exceptional writer, and I’m VERY eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel, Original Sin.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Uniqueness\Creativity: 5/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Overall: 5/5

Personal Demons on Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing


  1. Thanks so much for the great review, Ashley! I'm glad you're looking forward to Original Sin =)

  2. Looks good! It sounds familiar though - anything like Sharon Shinn's books?

  3. I've heard a lot of great things about this book. I've had it on my tbr/wish list fora while. I think I may have to bump it up a bit. :) Great review. Glad you loved it. Thanks for the review!


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