Death and the Girl Next Door
Author: Darynda Jones
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: October 2nd 2012
My rating: 3.5 stars
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?
Darynda Jones is an author whose books I’ve always been curious about. With my friends singing high praises of her Charley Davidson adult series, I was given the extra push when I heard she was dipping into the YA, something that was completely new to her. I like it when authors try something outside of their comfort zone. So I was willing to give it a try.
Lorelei has been living with her grandparents for the last 10 years after her parent’s disappearance; there’s never been any clear evidence as to what happened, so Lorelei lives in the hope that one day they will return. Lorelei is lucky to have two best friends Glitch and Brooke to help keep her sane through the stressful times. They know what she’s been through and what she’s capable of yet are still there for her constantly. When strange things start happening with Cameron Lusk the school loner suddenly stalking her and a gorgeous boy Jared starting their school, Lorelei is creeped out but excited at the same time. She’s happy as she likes Jared and he seems to want to spend time with her too, but Cameron constantly keeps butting in, she has no clue what’s up with these two and she doesn’t really want to find out. But despite this she is dragged into the middle of it, if Lorelei thinks her life was bad it takes a turn for the worse.
What I loved about this book was that I was immediately drawn into Lorelei’s world. Books which take such a long time building up to something big which isn’t even big at all I tend not to have the patience for. But Jones sure knows how to get things kick started; she’s not one to beat around the bush. Lorelei finds herself smack bang in the middle of a tug of war competition between Jared and Cameron. Usually I’m quite quick to pick sides between two male characters, but I found that neither Cameron nor Jared were fully able to win me over. As the book progressed I did like the character development of both characters but neither of them made a massive impact on me. I admit Jared occasionally made me swoon (one favourite scene which comes to mind is the shower scene ;). He was always the gentleman in my eyes despite Cameron’s accusations. Cameron on the other hand just bugged me; he had this huge big secret which I’m still constantly thinking about. He seemed to know everyone’s life story but didn’t seem to want to share it. Consequently most of the time Cameron had me utterly baffled! I think another reason Cameron and Jared didn’t work for me was because they were constantly in each other’s faces, not one time did they agree with each other, the constant manning up and puffing their muscles did eventually lead to a few eye roll moments.
This book was definitely made for me by Lorelei’s friend Glitch and Brooke, with these two around there was never a dull moment, the constant banter, winding each other and Jared and Cameron up lightened the mood loads, when you had two big giants squaring off all the time, a joke from these two would have me cracking up.
Despite the great start, this book did drop off quite a bit in the middle I found it hard to pay attention with the repetitiveness, but thankfully the book picked up its brilliant pace it originally started off with in the last 30% or so. It also threw a nice couple of surprises in the mix which I for one didn’t foresee. Death and the Girl Next Door was a very promising to start to this series, I’m quite eager to find out how things will pan out in the next book; Death, Doom and Detention.
Thank you Sam for reading this with me!