When you're done reading this review, type something into your address bar for me. Type, "Maureenjohnsonbooks.com." Press Go. Wait. Explore.
When you enter Maureen Johnson's website, you find yourself in an entrancing universe where reality serves little purpose. You pause on almost every FAQ and wonder. Every detail of Johnson's lifre causes a frown of confusion followed by a smile of delight; a whirlwind of adventures through blog entries. The line between fiction and nonfiction is so slippery that it's cast aside. You foret to say, "Really?", forget to reread a particularily unbelievable passage. You become a part of the craziness, and "Really?" becomes irrelevant.
Reading her books is a similar experience.
Devlish is the tail of Jane Jarvis, a bona fide genius with a mouth as smart as she is. A series of misdemeanors have led her to the edge of expulsion and prohibited her from popularity, but she doesn't mind- she'll always have her best friend Allison, an adorably awkward girl, whose social screw-ups aren't quite so cute in everyone else's eyes.
Until Little-Big day.
Allison reaches a new high on the humiliation scale when she throws up on a freshman during the most important event of the year. Hysterical in a bathroom scale, Allison meets Lanalee, a cool, sophisticated sugar-addict, who somehow changes everything.
Gone is the Allison that Jane has always known. The girl who has replaced her is well-dressed and intelligent; she posesses a social grace that neither Allison nor herself have ever come close to before. And it's not just Allison. Strange people are showing up all over Providence- a creepy but charming man who seems to be everywhere Jane is, peppering her with questions and seemingly useless trivia; a cute (but much too young) freshman stalker named Owen. Everything familiar to Jane has shifted- her old life is unrecognizable, and the line between fantasy and reality is becoming more blurred by the second.
Allison confesses to Jane that she has sold her soul to the devil. Jane, who attends Catholic high school but is far from secure in her faith, is skeptical to say the least. But when a series of unbelievable events unfold, Jane is forced to accept the reality of the situation- and put her life on the line for a possibly backstabbing friend.
Devilish is a brilliant novel that has everything you could ask for in a book: romance, friendship, adventure, perfume bottles, dead people, demons, nuns, and... (if you weren't sold by now, here's the kicker...) CAKE! I read Devilish in an hour and a half, and I couldn't put it down the entire time. Maureen Johnson expertly builds suspense while keeping the plot well-developed and intact. The concepts presented about hell and the devil are original and ingenius. The writing itself is spectacular, as previous readers have learned to expect from the
whimsical brilliance that is Maureen Johnson.
If you haven't read this or Johnson's other five novels, you are definately missing out on a whole lot of wonderful. Each of the books that I've read have been funny, intelligent, sparkly creations that I took more delight in than almost any of the hundreds of books that I've read. I'm seriously psyched for her very first series, Suite Scarlett, which is on sale NOW! Just from the first chapter, I'm hooked, so that will definately be amazing! (If anyone wants to buy me this book, I shall love you for all of eternity.) But go out and buy it yourself, as well as Maureen Johnson's other books.
Devilish recieves five cups of coffee(and a cupcake on the side.) :D