Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

For me, Personal Demons was a bit of a train wreck. This book is a classic example of what not to do when featuring a love triangle in a story. No one wants to read about a protagonist that every good looking male is obsessed with. Having many men vie for her affections and compete with one another to assume the role of boyfriend is not a terribly realistic concept or even an enjoyable one to read. With this type of scenario the protagonist almost never knows who to choose and often agonizes over which boy she likes and which boy she ‘like likes.’ In Personal Demons the main character, Frannie, has the gift of sight and both Heaven and Hell want to tag her soul. The demon Lucifer and the angel Gabriel are using everything in their arsenal to woo Frannie to their side. It’s bad enough that they have to race one another to be the first one to nab her soul, but they also have to deal with the human men in Frannie’s life that are desperate to prove to her that they are boyfriend material.

In terms of plot, Personal Demons doesn’t really have one. I read more than halfway through the book and skimmed the rest, but the story never went beyond which boy Frannie should choose. As the plot sluggishly plods forward, we learn a bit more about Frannie’s special abilities and why it is so vital that either side claim her for their own, but that’s about it. Aside from a few minor revelations, this was nothing more than a soap opera with a supernatural spin. Watching Gabriel and Lucifer play tug-of-war with Frannie and try to outdo the other by upping the amount of heavy petting with each encounter was not sexy or flirtatious so much as it was painful to read. There were times when I had to set the book down because I just couldn’t deal with Lucifer’s and Gabriel’s methods of seduction. It was so forced and hokey that every time Frannie claimed that she would melt from their attentions I wanted to roll my eyes and toss the book away.

I’ve been reading a lot of reviews lately where readers are voicing how unsatisfied they are with the emergence of so many love triangles in YA books. I’m one of the few that will probably never tire of the love triangle, but I have to insist that if authors are going to write a love triangle into a story they need to follow a few short pointers!

  1. Maintain the tension between the protagonist and the two love interests to keep the readers engrossed in the story.
  2. Each love interest should have attributes that the readers finds both appealing and unappealing. One shouldn’t immediately be able to dismiss one character or the other. Make it tough on us.
  3. Keep the characters down to earth and relatable. The interaction between the characters should be natural and slow building. Don’t rush!
  4. Once you’ve decided who you want the protagonist to end up with, stick to your decision! Don’t torture your readers by having the main character go back and forth between the two.
  5. Two love interests are more than enough! Adding any more into the mix is going overboard! 

If there is one thing I really liked about the book it was the cover. I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is something about the cover that really appealed to me and made me want to pick up the book again and again. It’s just a shame that the story didn’t live up to the tantalizing image on the front.

Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

9 comments:

  1. Great pointers! Agree! You've confirmed all my suspicions that I've had about this book... I'll pass.

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  2. Darn! I'm a big fan of books involving angels &/or demons but I'll be passing on this one if there's not really a great plot.

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  3. I've seen so many great reviews for this book and it's been refreshing to read yours. Somehow I've never been really drawn to it. I like a good story, but it's got to have a great plot for me to stay interested.

    Thanks. I enjoyed my visit.

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  4. Too bad on this one Laura! I actually liked this one, I think I went in knowing Frannie was going to irritate me with her indecisiveness and her swooning, so when it happened, it just didn't bother me as much. I said the same thing in my review, it's like a soap opera, but for how awful soap operas are, I still get sucked in sometimes and that's how this one was for me:) Thanks for your honesty!

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  5. Oh shoot...I've seen SO many reviews like this one that I've held off reviewing it. It's coming up soon though, and I'm worried! Great review though, and I definitely appreciate your honesty :)

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  6. Thank you for being so honest! I get irritated when a book's plot falls flat so think I'll trust your judgment and take a pass here.

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  7. This is a brilliant review (I love your review style!), even though I was hoping you'd enjoy this book more. I have a copy on my shelf already, so I'm going to give it a go anyways, but I appreciate your thoughts. I'd have to agree with a lot you have to say about love triangles, and you really broke down what you didn't like in a clear, simple way.

    Dropping by from the Book Blogger Hop, and I just became a new follower!

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  8. i've heard so many things about this book, both good and bad. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I LOVE HONEST REVIEWS :) they're the best!

    Diana
    ps. thanks so much for stopping by the other day! just here returning the love! i'll be on the lookout for your future reviews :)

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