Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Review: Misfit by Jon Skovron

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419700219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419700217
  • List Price: $16.96
  • I finished this book on February 22

Okay, so I picked this one up because I really like Skovron's last effort, Struts and Frets. I saw Skovron speak last year at the Rochester Teen Book Festival, and saw on his website then that we was writing a book about a demon girl, quite a departure from his last book (a realistic fiction about a teen boy in a crappy band). You know I hear demon and I'm in, so...

Jael, our heroine, is a half demon. That's right, her priest dad and a cool demon chick got it on and she was the result. Don't worry, it's cool though, cause he left the church and married the demon. (Romance!) Unfortunately, her mum died and Jael has grown up with her strict father and pretty much no understanding of her demon side. On her 16th birthday her father gives her a gift that allows her to reconnect with her demon side. Unfortunately her new demony goodness also sicks blood hungry racists demons on her, bent on keeping the race clean by destroying halfbreeds.

Oh, by the way, super strong demons are out to get you...Happy Birthday!

As if it weren't tough enough to deal with new demon powers, Jael also has a skater/scientist love interest. Also...her uncle is a fish monster. Oh, and the whole demons trying to kill her thing. I like Jael because she's pretty tough and learns to stand up for herself. Also, the scenes where she uses demony magic are really cool.

The story is written in third person present tense, which is unusual but kind of cool. There are lots of flashbacks to Jael's father's life which might be jarring for some readers. Overall I thought it was a pretty neat take on demons, with lots of historical references. I could have used a little more resolution with Jael's relationship with her father, but you can't ask for everything!

If you want a lighter, more cupcake filled version of a demon in school story, you could try Maureen Johnson's Devilish. If you're into the whole teen girl finds her place amongst her people thing try Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus (but avoid the movie).

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