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October 10, 2012

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones - Juhina

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1)
Title: Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)
Author: Darynda Jones 
Publication date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre(s): Young Adult (Paranormal)
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
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.
Death and the Girl Next Door had a promising synopsis and I had high hopes for this novel, however I was mildly disappointed. From the first page I felt this novel was lacking in maturity, whether in characters or plot. The characters were a bit childish and two dimentional while the plot felt a bit slow and then very rushed and confusing in the middle and the end.  
Characters: I personally could not connect or even much care for any of the characters in this novel. The main protagonist Lorelei was forgettable, I honestly don't remember much about her and I've only read this novel a couple of days ago. She was smitten at first sight by Jared and I just didn't comprehend how they have surpassed their confessions of love and went straight into angst over how they can ever be together and if their love is strong enough to go through it all. I did however enjoy Cameron, he was funny, and while he did feel a bit of a boy with the way he picks fights left and right, he was at least better than the brooding Jared. Don't get me wrong, I love brooding bad boys but Jared just couldn't pull it off. Plot: oh boy, I really didn't like how the author randomly jumped into action when one second they were sitting down chilling and the next windows are breaking and blood is being splattered. Then the next second the two main characters are kissing each other while everything else broke loose. I just felt I couldn't really follow the action and I just felt it was a bit absurd with the way the plot developed. 
While I had a ton of issues with this novel, I did enjoy it and never thought about stopping the novel. I just hoped that the plot was complex enough but didn't leave us wondering on the intentions of all the characters and I just hoped the characters and romance were better developed. All in all, I know many people who have enjoyed this novel and if you are a paranormal fan, then you should check this one out! 


  1. I have been seeing some very mixed reviews for this one. I'm not sure how I will feel about it but since I do have a copy I think I will give it a shot. I've heard really good things about this author's adult series. Great review!

  2. I haven't seen much of a buzz about this book but I'm looking forward on reading this myself. But if you can't connect with a character... how much more will I? I think of myself as a shallow reader and if I can't connect with anything I might do a dnf, but ill give it a shot! thanks for the very insightful review :)


  3. LOL, I get your point about absurd plot, Juhina! I just don't understand when one second, they are fighting other beings and the next second, they are kissing. My mind just can't follow their logic. :P Anyway, I heard good things about the author so I think I'll still check it out later. :)

    Awesome review, Juhina! <3

  4. Aww, I'm sorry this one didn't work out for you! I'm on the fence about reading it, so perhaps I'll check out Jones' adult books first. Fantastic review, Juhina! :D

  5. I'm sorry that you didn't like this as much as you wanted to. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  6. Aww I'm sad you didn't like this one more, Juhina. I enjoyed the humor and the characters quite a bit but I know that if you don't like the characters a boo just doesn't do it for you.

  7. I can understand how it's hard to like the story when you don't feel connected with the characters. Thanks for sharing your sincere thoughts!

  8. I think Lorelei is somewhat forgettable too. I just finished this the other day, but I'm having a hard time recalling the details already. I did mostly enjoy it though, so I'm hoping the next book is even better. Great review! :)

  9. I agree with exactly what you said about the characters. Cam was also my favourite....way better than Jared. I personally thought, Cam had the personality that should fit the main character, which obviously Jared was lacking. Plus, the romance was also a downer for me. It was very I didn't enjoy it that much. I did mostly enjoy though, so I am excited for the next book to come out! I have my fingers crossed, the next one will blow me away! Brilliant review! :D

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  10. It's too bad that you didn't like this more. I didn't really like either Cameron or Jared. I did really like Brooklyn though. I think she was the best character in the book. There were a few things in the plot that bothered me, and the over descriptiveness of a lot of things, but in general I thought it was a fun and enjoyable book. Great review!!

  11. Ah, that's too bad! Forgettable characters are such a shame. I think I'm going to give her other series a try first, before I dive into this one. Thanks for your honesty!

  12. I really enjoyed her adult books so it's too bad this one wasn't so great. I've been looking forward to reading it but I've seen some slightly negative reviews and I'm thinking I might get it from the library. I'm definitely curious to see if I feel the same way as you though!

  13. I can see how it's a little jarring to have a normal situation in a book and then BOOM they're fighting demons or something.

  14. Oof, that seems to mesh with what I've seen around the blogosphere. I still want to read Darynda Jones, but I'm definitely going to go for her adult series.