They say to be an author you have to grow a thick skin. Elephants have thick skin, and I don't really want to look like and elephant--or a aligator--or a hippo--or any of those things. But I get what they mean. There's a lot of rejection and then, when you think that you've finaly made it and everyone is going to get to read your awesome book, you find out that not everyone loves it as much as you do. So it's really wonderful when you read a review of your book and just know that the reader really got what you were trying to do. I have to say that I wrote Personal Demons for teens, and even though I appreciate every single one of my adult readers, it's the teen reviews I take most to heart. I have yet to read a review written by a teen who did not like Personal Demons, so that makes me feel pretty good.
There are so many wonderful reviews to choose from that choosing just five was hard. The first is a review that so totally understood everything I was trying to relate that I have to put it in here even though it was written by a professional reviewer, but the others I chose from a huge pool of teen reviews. So, here are excerpts from my fave five PD reviews of 2010 with links to the full review:
Barnes&Noble.com review by Paul Goat Allen:
While comparing an unassuming debut novel to an international pop culture phenomenon may be unfair, the reality is this: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers is better written than Twilight, has more well developed and realistic characters, and is decidedly more edgy and existentially weighty. Yes, I completely understand the mass appeal of Meyer’s Twilight saga – and while angels and demons may not be as “sexy” as werewolves with abs of steel and brooding vampiric James Dean wannabes, the profoundly deep questions raised in Personal Demons (about the existence of God, the inanity of organized religion, the healing power of forgiveness, etc.) make it a much more forceful read.
As the novel progresses, the decidedly YA paranormal romance element expands into a storyline more indicative of an adult paranormal fantasy – Frannie, with the help of her friends, must figure out her place in the world and is forced to make decisions that will not only affect her but the entire mortal realm…
I was pleasantly surprised with this debut novel. Personal Demons was Twilight with a soul – I’d recommend it not only for young adult readers but anyone who enjoys paranormal romance.
The Naughty Book Kitties review by Brent Taylor
Frannie Cavanaugh, the sweet Catholic girl having doubts about her faith, doesn’t know what in the hell to do with herself when she starts catching an eye for the two new boys in town. There’s Luc, who works in the acquisitions department of Hell, tagging souls to be sent to Hades. Both Luc and the King of Hell want her bad… but so do the Angels, and they’ve sent one of their best to get her. Gabe. But does Frannie know any of this shit?! No. All she thinks is, “Damn, Luc’s pretty dark and sexy, but Gabe’s gotta nice ass.”
I loved the use of humor in Personal Demons. It kind of keeps it from being melodramatic, while still upholding the high tension levels. Lisa Dez did that perfect, as well. She added new elements to an old storyline, Heaven vs. Hell. Good vs. Bad. Which is eaxactly what writers are supposed to do. Each story has already been told, so writers tell these stories with a new spin and original voice. Lisa is definitely an author I’ll be following. :)
I know this sounds corny, but I loved every page of Personal Demons. (Please don’t call me a YA blogging hooker! I try not to sound corny, but sometimes I’m unable to!) The characters were real and funny, the plot was “Damn, girl,” and the ending was like “F#@k, now I gotta go hooker myself out to the publisher so I can get the sequel SOON!”
Mini Bookinista Review by Kylie Jefferis
Lisa Desrochers tells an intriguing tale in Personal Demons. Teen readers (especially the females) will identify with Frannie, the protagonist, from the get go. Being the only member in her large Catholic family to ever be expelled from school makes her just enough of an anti goody-goody to not be boring. She also suffers from chronic boy issues, which I can relate to.