Catchy titles are really important. Titles in general are crucial to catching that readers attention. And you know what makes a great title. A pun. A play on words.
So instantly when I read this books title, I pressed request before I even read the synopsis. I mean the play on words had me giggling in the waiting room of the building I was in. Plus the cover! It’s a lemon with a devil doodle on it. I was sold sold sold.
So how did this impulsive request work out for me? Read on and find out.
When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pub Date: July 17th, 2018
Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.
High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.
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*I was sent an ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review!*
I did not expect to like this as much as I did to be honest. Like I expected some really cheesy and cliche plot, with cooky characters and supernatural elements that I like to make fun of. But nope. I mean it was a little cheesy yes. But it was also quite fun!
What I Liked:
Shelby. I liked her a lot. She was super clumsy, slightly sarcastic, but very determined. Her attitude towards her demon hunting life was pretty much what you would expect from a teenager. They don’t want to run in the family business, but they do it because they love their family. She was a fun character to journey the book with. Her inner dialogue always held a great punchline–or she did something very awkward/foolish that brightened the scene. The way she talked about crushes/romance and her reactions, was where I really connected her. It was one big #relate.
The relationship between her and her Uncle Roy was so sweet. It’s not exactly like a father-daughter relationship (nor a Father-daughter one…hehehe….get it?) They were like friends who kept discovering new things about each other, getting into silly fights and coming together to make it work in the end. It was so cute.
I have already mentioned that this book has its fair share of humour. And this is what I liked the most about the book. Going in, I thought that I would be getting all sorts of moody, broody characters. That everything would have a greying filter over it making every scene dark and heavy, but nope. This was full of fun. It was a super light read and yes there are those dark moments, for those who really need them. I personally loved the lightness of it and how easy it was to read.
Honeybourn’s writing style isn’t anything haunting or rather special, but it does it’s job and keeps you hooked. The pacing is great and it doesn’t lag in too many places. The dull moments are very few and I really enjoyed the exciting bits!
The exorcising parts were….quite interesting. Whereas I expected something super dark and horrific, I got this bloody humour. I found it all the more entertaining.
If some of you out there are afraid of this book coming off as preachy because Uncle Roy is a priest, I can put your worries to rest. Despite the book being about a couple of Catholics running around expelling demons, I don’t recall there being any lectures on virtues. (I think the characters go to Mass like once…?) But like any story, the book has its themes, and some of them cross over with Catholic beliefs.
The romance, I’ll admit, could have been more swoonier. The love interest was great, a little flat, but I liked him for the most part. What I liked more were Shelby’s reactions when she had even the slightest interaction with him. That was funny.
What I Disliked:
It had its cheesy moments. I can’t read the words “demon hunting” without cringing a little on the inside, I’m sorry!
I would have also liked a little more complexity to the plot. The book was really short, but did that have to mean that the plot had to be super simple??? I would have liked a little more intensity and high stakes.
And don’t even get me started on the quicky chicky clean ending. I do not take those well. I need proper resolution. With underlined consequences. Thank you very much.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. It was a demonic, supernatural read. But it was super light, fun and hilarious at times. I think that Honeybourn created a great cast of characters and a fun adventure, should you ever need to read something quick and easy!
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
Recommend?: For the ones who want to go on a fun demon hunt, yeah!
Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy it? What books do you love despite them being a little cheesy?
Lovely review 💜
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