Sunday, 11 September 2011

Book Review: Misfit

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books (1 Aug 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1419701207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419701207

Jael has always felt like a freak. She's never stayed in a town for longer than a year, she's never kissed a boy, she never knew her mum, and her dad's always been super-strict, but that's probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half-demon, and most definitely not a normal sophomore at St. Mary's High School. Jael thought she had it under control, though, until her sixteenth birthday, when a mysterious present unlocks the story of her family's dangerous history and Jael's untapped potential. She discovers that the reason her family moves around a lot is because they're being chased by a particularly vindictive Duke of Hell, Belial. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take him on, while also dealing with a twisted priest, best friend drama, and the spacey blonde skater boy who may have hidden depths. In this paranormal YA novel, Jon takes on the dark side of human nature and the risks of believing dogma blindly, as well as the immediate threat of the pantheon of demons that are trying to meddle with humanity. With Jon's funny, heartfelt prose, Jael's story soars.

Our story is centred around sixteen-year-old Jael. On the evening of her birthday, her strict father gives her something she has desired – a piece of her mother.

Jael’s father won’t talk about her mother – not since her eighth birthday when he told Jael she was a half demon…that she got from her mother. Jael has never felt like she has fitted in. Spending her life moving from one place to another, Jael never got the chance to properly settle somewhere and make a life for herself. Fortunately for her, in Seattle, she found best friend Britt, and geeky skater boy Rob.

Jael’s birthday gift, a necklace from her mother, unlocks her dormant demonic powers. But with this comes the risk that higher demons who despise half breeds like herself, will find her.

There was great use of theology in the novel – both demonic and angelic. Misfit was full of both action and humour with also a light romance, so there is something for every kind of taste.

In some ways, Jael was a refreshing YA character. It was nice to see someone go through a life altering change and not come to grasps with it instantly, like a lot of other protagonists seem able to do. Jael acted, quite simply, like a slightly immature sixteen year old would. She is a flawed character and often very misguided, but I felt she did grow as the novel progressed.

I felt with a few tweaks the novel could have been a lot stronger. There were quite a few shortcuts that I thought were taken and had they not been, the story would have been better for it. I found one point distracting where the story shifts suddenly from Jael to her friend, Britt, which also if it had been avoided the story would have been stronger.

Misfit gives the impression there is more to come for Jael. This series is sure to be picked up by younger teens. 


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