Sep 25, 2012

ARC Review--Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones, author of The New York Times bestselling series that began with First Grave on the Right, brings us Death and the Girl Next Door, a thrilling Young Adult novel garnering high praise and early buzz from major authors.

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 received this e-ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Darynda Jones does it again! I loooove her Charley Davidson series, yes I only read the first book, but I still loved it, and her new YA series promises to be good as well! Of course it's a different level of good in a way. Death and the Girl Next Door is definitely the precursor for the series, as there's a lot of "intro" stuff and not a whole lot of answers.

Lorelei has a very complicated life in some ways. When she was very young, she realized she had powers, in that when she touches people she can see something from their past or future, and she has that gift to this day. Her parents disappeared 10 years ago when she was young and yet she cannot remember it eve though she was there. So she's far from normal.

To top it off, the resident "bad boy" Cameron starts stalking her. She is a little weirded out by this, but he's too brooding and doesn't really answer her when she tries talking to him. Then the new boy Jared moves into town and it REALLY sets Cameron off. 

Lorelei has a strange connection with Jared, she can't quite place it. But there is something magical about the boy. I even noticed some of his "oddness" when we first meet him. It's not long before the pieces of the puzzle come together.

This was a very fast paced read! Seriously! I was shocked when I finished it today having started it yesterday really! But I will admit, and this could just be because I was reading the e-ARC, that the pacing was so fast that I felt like I lost bits of the story. I mean one moment Lorelei is doing this with her friends and the very next sentence has it being three weeks later! But yes, I think in part this had to do with the e-ARC formatting. It was practically nonexistent.

Lorelei is accompanied by her two greatest friends Glitch and Brooklyn, who are hilarious! They both has a snark sarcasm thing going on that matches Lorelei's to boot! Although Glitch wasn't always as snarky as the girls, he was still entertaining! And I have to admit that I love that Lorelei and Brooklyn are both short! Yes, a very silly thing to say, but being short myself I was happy seeing heroines my own height! Of course I literally have like 1 inch on them! Glitch has three, if you were curious!

Honestly based on the cover I was expecting there to be a love triangle, and surprisingly there wasn't! I mean was I alone in that thought? Lorelei feels the insta-connection with Jared, while Cameron remains the hotheaded type. He knows what Jared is. What his kind is. And he is determined to stop Jared...permanently. Unless Lorelei and her friends can keep the two from killing each other during lunch!

It was surprising at how Cameron accepted being reluctant friends with Lorelei and her buddies. He is the ultimate loner as well as bad boy, but yet he does find some kind of friendship with the trio, even if he won't admit it--at least that was what I noticed! But Brooklyn on the other hand...I can't help but feel she might be the center for a love triangle, but not in the way you may think. So far it's only a hypothesis, we'll have to see how further books go.

Like I was saying about the pacing, some of it did feel rushed towards the end. BIG secrets were just popping up out of nowhere and I still kinda felt like a lot went left unsaid. They were trying to do some "ghostbusting" but never really got back to it. Then the revelations started coming and then the bad guy shows up and then bam! The end!

I was definitely left with questions running around my head. Several of them actually, but I feel fairly confident Darynda will answer most of them next time. Maybe not the ghost haunting a set of Lorelei's classmates as that had a "side story" vibe going on, I know the major parts will definitely be playing roles in the next few books!

Darynda's venture into the YA world was a good one! It felt like reading a book about Charley being a teen! With the obvious differences in plot and what not! But I meant with the snark and witty humor! All in all, a very entertaining read! 

Overall rating 4/5 stars

Death and the Girl Next Door releases October 2, 2012


  1. I can't wait to read this one! I am kind of happy it's fast paces but, a little worried that you said it was too fast. I am in the mood to jump in and just get lost in a story, I have the e-arc of this one I just need to read it!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  2. Woah, no love triangle? That is exactly what I would expect from that cover too!I haven’t read any of Darynda’s books yet but your not the only one that raves about them. Have heard good things from lots of other bloggers too. Sigh…I need more time to read. Great review!

  3. Thanks for reviewing this book! I haven't read any of Darynda's books yet but I was wondering how this book (YA) compares to her Charley series in terms of character and the switch of genre and you've answered both, I love snarky and funny characters! :)

  4. I can't wait to read this one!! :o)


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