Review: Death And The Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones (Darklight #1 out of 3)

Death and the Girl Next Door was the ambitious start to the Darklight trilogy, but it fell short. Rating: 2/5

*This is book #5/28 for my 2014 book challenge. You can take a look at the reading challenge here.

Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister’s parents disappeared without a trace, ans she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they’re never coming back. Life must go on. She’s got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.

But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.

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, tough, sexy Jared Kovach – comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.

Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.

Welll…… this is a conundrum. I didn’t like this book, but I didn’t necessarily hate it either. Death and the Girl Next Door had a lot of potential. I like when authors take several different paranormal/supernatural creatures and put them side by side. Darynda Jones focussed primarily on Angels, Demons and Nephilim – three of my favorites. The problem was that the author threw too much at the reader and too quickly, with almost no explanation of why anything was happening. Characters would have revelations and I felt like my book was missing a chapter because I didn’t understand how they could have come to this conclusion. Things would happen and seem entirely insignificant and then turn out to be a major plot point, while the insignificant things ended up actually standing out. SPOILER ALERT: at one point they break into their classmate’s house to find a poltergeist and like, 2 seconds later the ghost goes away out of nowhere. She literally would create bullshit reasons to put the characters in one place so that something else would happen. It made no sense. Almost the entire book made no sense.

One of my biggest problems with the story was that the main character just isn’t likable. I liked every other character but her. Yes, the narration was sassy and snarky which I loved, but she just didn’t have an ounce of common sense. Here she is surrounded by all of these revelations and supernatural beings and all she cares about is that the guy that just killed her is telling her she’s attractive. That’s it. That is Lorlei’s main focus throughout the entire book. Not realizing that she is a prophet, not realizing that the angel of death was supposed to kill her and didn’t, nothing except that there is a hot guy that is paying attention to her. So all of the brownie points the book could have earned for every amazing, snarky comment that made me giggle out loud was completely taken away by the fact that the main character was so stereotypically boy crazy. Looking back through my Goodreads updates and I find it littered with comments like “ugh, gag me” and Lorlei is just the worst”. When the main character is that annoying, it takes away from the story completely.

On top of all that, the characters were constantly retelling the reader exactly what happened so far in the book as if we weren’t there reading it. The events were so repetitive it was painful (how many times were Jared and Cameron going to fight? It’s just unnecessary at that point). This feels like Darynda had a really great idea for a book but a quarter of the way through she realized she had no idea what she was doing anymore. Incredibly disappointing.

I didn’t realize until around page 200 of 274 that this was going to be more than one book. I have no interest in reading the next books, but because the author left so many unanswered questions from the first book (and because I am a masochist and curious as hell) I’m going to have to at least read the next one to try and figure out what the hell is happening.

Rating: 2 book review

If you’re interested in reading my GoodReads updates from this book you can do so here. I must say, they’re quite entertaining. It will tell you exactly what I was thinking on certain pages.

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