Title: Death and the Girl Next Door
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Darklight, book 1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Review copy from publisher
“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 instalment.”
Death and the Girl Next Door is the first book in the new Darklight Series by Darynda Jones.
As a fan of the Charley Davidson series when I heard that Darynda Jones was coming with a new YA Series I just knew I have to read it; but sadly Death and the Girl Next Door didn’t meet my (high) expectations.
I’m going to try to tell you why without giving too much away but it’s going to be hard without some spoilers. You have been warned.
My biggest complain is that Death and the Girl Next Door is too similar to her Charley Davidson series; I wanted something new, no a YA version Charley Davidson.
The main character Lorelei is easily a younger version of Charley, her best friend Brooklyn could easily be a teenager version Cookie and Glitch could be the younger version of Garret. They even have a caffeine addiction. Also Lorelei love interest Jared is a younger version of Reyes; he is dark, mysterious and older than sin. If I don’t think about the similarities I may say I kind of liked them.
Lorelei has had a hard life, her parents disappeared when she was only six and has been raised by her grandparents. She is not bad at all for a teenager girl; she is smart and witty. She loves her grandparents and respects them. I liked that they were involved in her life. I didn’t like that they kept secrets from her but I understand it was their way to protected her and they thought they were doing what it was best for her.
Brooklyn and Glitch are a nice pair, they are real friends who have been together in good and bad times.
Their dialogue was fun and smart but still it felt like the dialogue in Charley Davidson only passed through a YA filter. There is another character with an important role in the story, Cameron; he is a boy with many secrets and a serious grudge with Jared. I suspected the why of his feelings towards Jared. I was hoping for a change of his attitude when it was brought to the light, but it didn’t happen. On the beginning their animosity was kind of entertaining, there was even a nice fight scene between them but when they kept fighting and fighting it became tiresome to watch. I just wanted them to take a chill pill and relax a bit.
Another thing I had a problem with *spoilers ahead*
Is that the big L word was mention. When Lorelei said she was in love with Jared I may have said “no, no, no, no the L word this early in the story”. I could have believed she was infatuated with him or had a big crush on him, that was natural and very obvious but no the L word, especially when she didn’t know much about him. I would have preferred if Mrs. Jones would have kept that magic word for the second or third book or… I don’t know, at least no that early.
The pace is a little bit slow on the beginning but it picks up towards the middle and it the perfect style of Mrs. Jones there are many twists and turns in the story. Those twists and turns were what saved the book for me because I wasn’t expecting them. I liked when an author surprised me and Mrs. Jones did it in Death and the Girl Next Door.
Many questions were answer, some left unanswered, one of those is about something that happened to Cameron and Glitch when they were in third grade, something that ended their friendship and made Glitch afraid of Cameron. I think after mentioning that “event” many times I was expecting to learn what was what happened, but sadly it was never explained.
I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t read Charley Davidson series I would have loved this book, I’m also sure many would love it, so please give this book an opportunity, don’t let this review discourage you about reading it.
I may no stalk the bookstores for the second book of the series, Death, Doom, and Detention, but I’m sure going to read it when it’s released.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Stars
Other books in the series
Death and the Girl Next Door
Death, Doom, and Detention (March 5th, 2013)
Death and the Girl He Loves (2013)
Other reviews Goodreads