Young Adult – Devilish

Jane Jarvis is a senior at St. Theresa’s Preparatory School for Girls, and she and her best friend Ally have decided that this will be their best year yet. Smart, but odd-looking, the two girls are just off-beat and non-conformist enough that they have never been near the top of the social order. But even so, when Ally manages to projectile vomit in front of the entire school, she is devastated that she’s hit a new embarrassment low. She avoids everyone, even Jane. Then suddenly she’s back again, hanging out with a new freshman girl. And what’s more, she’s popular. Jane is suspicious. It seems just too good to be true. Of course, she’s a little angry and jealous too, since Ally, with her new haircut, new clothes and new boyfriend – who just happens to be Jane’s EX-boyfriend – is now too cool to spend any time with Jane.

Then she meets yet another mysterious freshman, a boy named Owen, who goes to the boy’s school nearby. Owen says that not only is Jane right to be suspicious, she should be worried: according to Owen Ally has made a pact with the devil. Jane is determined not to let her friend’s soul be destroyed and her life ruined. She sets into motion a plan to defeat the devil’s minion, who is at the school in the form of a friendly, cupcake munching freshman. Of course, there’s more at stake than just Ally’s soul. Pretty soon, the entire fate of the world is at stake.

Maureen Johnson’s foray into fantasy has many of the same hallmarks of her other works. The book is fun and humorous. Jane is witty and slightly snarky, a character whose voice is both amusing and realistic. While selling one’s soul to the devil is an old plotline, Johnson freshens it up with her own spin to the theme, creating devils that are both creepy and charming.

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