Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boyfriend from Hell

Megan Barnett is best friends with her mother, Suze and they do practically everything together. They start to drift apart when Suze decides to starts dating for the first time in ten years. Megan is utterly humiliated at the prospect of her own mother having a boyfriend before her. Not only that, but her two best friends, Matt and Erin, have decided to date too. Awkward! Then two mysterious men enter the Barnett women's lives. First, there's Guy Matson, Megan's new classmate: supremely hot and able to miraculously be a nerdy Mathlete and still retain a high level of cool. Next is Armando, the handsome art dealer Suze meets by chance. He's attractive, but something is a little bit off with him and Megan decides to investigate. One of them is Satan and Megan has to figure out which before either she or her mother gets dragged to Hell. Is it even possible to defeat Satan?

Boyfriend from Hell is obviously a paranormal novel, but it's grounded in reality and deals with situations that everyone can relate to. It was the normal, everyday aspects that kept me interested and reading because I had similar experiences when I was younger. Megan is a teenager and her relationships with all the important people in her life are changing. She suddenly has to deal with her mother's dating and the fact that she is no longer the sole focus of her mother's life. They used to be really close friends and now her inability to deal with the situation is putting a rift between them. Her friends Matt and Erin started dating and it puts a strain on their relationship with Megan. In both cases, Megan feels jealous and left out. Her life seems static while everyone changes and it makes her uncomfortable. The problems with her mother and her friends stems from her trying to deny and not acknowledge those feelings, which makes them grow and build until they explode over everything. Megan acts very childish and practically intolerable at first, but really matures and grows as a person by the end of the novel. I think everyone comes to a point where the relationship with their parents and friends changes just because of the nature of the transition from childhood to adulthood.

I really liked the supernatural and mystery aspects of the novel even though they weren't showcased until the last half of the novel. The devil and his creepy cult made for some good, but not too dark horror. I haven't read a lot of fiction where the devil is character that isn't over 100 years old, but the depiction of the devil was believable and dangerous without being over the top. This book had some twists and turns that I didn't expect, which is impressive. Not many books catch me off guard like that. The resolution was bittersweet and left a nice setup for the next novel, Earth Angel.

E. Van Lowe's fluid and masterful writing made this book one that I needed to finish. He captures the voice of a teenage girl authentically with Megan, flaws and all. I look forward to what's next for these characters in the next book, Earth Angel. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys young adult fiction.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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