18 October 2012


Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: No, standalone
UK Publisher: HarperCollins
UK Release date: June 2012
Genre: YA
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review

The only thing that makes St. Teresa's Preparatory School for Girls bearable for Jane is her best friend Ally. But when Ally changes into a whole different person literally overnight the fall of their senior year, Jane's suddenly alone—and very confused. Turns out, Ally has sold her soul in exchange for popularity—to a devil masquerading as a sophomore at St. Teresa's! Now it's up to Jane to put it all on the line to save her friend from this ponytail-wearing, cupcakenibbling demon . . . without losing her own soul in the process. This YA take on Faust in a Catholic girls' high school is clever, fun, and full of tasty surprises.

I'm actually pretty torn about how to write this review, because I did enjoy reading Devilish. It's a quick and funny read, perfect for a long train journey or weekend read. And although it has a deeper meaning to it (which has made me very interested in reading Goethe's Faust, which this story is based on), there was something rather simplistic about the plot and characters. I stormed my way through this book, although ultimately I would have liked a little more depth and substance to it.

The plot behind Devilish focuses on one young girl trying to beat the devil (or his stylish young assistant) at their own game. The writing is humorous, clever and quick paced, with plenty of mischief, wit and cupcakes. It will certainly keep readers entertained, and have you trying to figure out a way to beat the devil's deal. It definitely got me thinking whether I would trade my soul for my best friend! I did however find the "devil" a little one-dimensional and would have liked her character and identity explored in more depth.

Jane is incredibly clever, feisty and brave, but she's been through a bit of a rough patch after breaking up with her first boyfriend. She was also an amazing friend to Allison and I felt sorry for Jane, who sacrificed so much for her friend. I did however love the humour, sarcasm, and energy her character gave to the plot.

To be honest I thought Allison was a bit of a sap. I wasn't the kind of confident girl that could stand up for myself when I was a teenager so I'm not completely against Allison. And I definitely felt sorry for her when she vomited in front of the whole school. But I just didn't see anything to show she was a good friend to Jane. Perhaps this was because the story jumped straight into Allison's new found looks and popularity. But I did think she was very lucky to have a friend like Jane and almost didn't deserve her. A little more development around their friendship at the start of the story might have justified why Jane went to so much trouble for her.

Devilish is witty, quirky and fun tale of one's girl battle against the devil.

Rating: 4*

1 comment:

Clover said...

I enjoyed this book as well.. but. And that was my issue with reviewing the book as well. I enjoyed it BUT. Interesting to see a backlist title from Maureen Johnson published over here though! I wonder if some of her others will have the same treatment? I kind of hope so.