Kissing the Devil by Shannon Eckrich

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Kissing the Devil by Shannon Eckrich
My rating: 2.5 of 5

Every now and again a book comes along that will make an impression on me that I can not shake. 

 Kissing the Devil is one of those books and that impression (which unfortunately was not that great) has left me with a deeper appreciation for good writers as it is not an easy feat. In fact, it can be downright hard to put thoughts and feelings on paper in a way that will resonate with most of your target audience.

 For me, this book missed the mark completely. The mixture of numerous contradictions and not enough character building where mostly to blame even though the story line itself had it's interesting parts. Im trying to be as unbiased as I can when reviewing and by no means is this meant to put down the author, so I truly hope this is taken on board as constructive feedback to her future writing..

Kissing the Devil follows Serenity who has had an encounter with the New Jersey Devil as a young child (it is unclear when and how). She is 18 when she and her best friend Jezebel hear a girl has been murdered in the woods. Her friend ropes her into investigating the crime scene in those woods, together with Josh. He has a major thing for Serenity but is semi dating her friend instead.

We find out that Serentiy is able to pick up on energy/emotion? or.. whatever (again this is never really explained or delved into) and suddenly comes face to face with the devil himself when she wanders off. When she makes a dash for it, she runs into a tree and all of a sudden a strange boy who introduces himself as Sam helps her up only to disappears when her friends finally find her.

- "I think we have a crime scene to go find." I tossed her a reassuring smile even though my stomach was hurting like hell. I didn't drive all the way out here for nothing. I just hoped the myth was correct, that the devil only came out at night. Because I wasn't so sure he'd let me go this time.

When she meets Sam in the woods for the second time (why she would go back after that encounter is beyond me), she falls head of heels for him, goes swimming in a pond in this forest with him (even though she can not actually swim) and accompanies him to his hut (keep in mind that this murderer and a monster are still on the loose.
On top of the above, Serenity also has as strenuous relationship with her mother, who wished her to leave this town even though Serenity has no intention of going anywhere. She slowly uncovers a mystery surrounding her own family and delves deeper into the curse of this New Jersey Devil..

Of course there is more to the story then what I have summarized above, though you can probably pick out the struggles I had with this book. I just can not foresee a person who would ever do what this main character does. There are a lot of cliche's that pop up too. The shallow and slightly annoying best friend, a case of major Instalove, an unacknowledged power, the bad mother, this misunderstood monster. Do I need to go on? Probably not.

Serenity is not an admirable lead to me either. She is a pushover and a whinge (I really felt like smacking my head against a wall), has a complete lack of sense & self preservation and a horrible attitude toward her mother. Her behavior portrays that of a 14yo instead of the 18yo she is suppose to be. Her best friend Jezebel is not much better. Lets just say that if my best friend ever pulled one of those stunts on me, she'd be relegated very quickly.

Her love interest, Sam, is okay. He is the standard mysterious guy with the gorgeous eyes and the soft heart. Even though he is likeable, he is not interesting enough to me to feel invested in. This goes for the two of them as a couple as well. The fact that the romance was very rushed made the whole thing just feel a little awkward and not the love story it could have been.

The only character I found amusing was Josh. Yes he is creepy, and yes he is a complete jackass, but at least his behavior makes a good part of the story and keeps things from becoming boring.

Would I recommend it?
No, I would not. Even though it is relatively short (and seems to have an open ending for a sequel) I do not believe it will stay with for the right reasons.

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