Love is challenging for any species—but things get more complicated when you’re a ghoul who wants to eat anyone who gets close to you.
In DeAngelis’ (Petty Magic, 2010, etc.) third novel, 16-year-old Maren is determined to track down her father after her mother, who clearly loves her but is scared for her own life, abandons her, leaving behind some money and the girl's birth certificate, which includes some important information: her father’s name. Maren started eating people when she was a little kid. She devoured the kind babysitter who showed her affection, and things only got worse from there. She ate a boy who befriended her at summer camp. She ate the son of her mother’s boss during a party. She ate other people. It isn’t until she sets out on the road to find her father that she finally meets one of her own kind. Sully is a talkative man, and there’s something a bit sinister about him, too. He weaves a rope out of hair from people he's eaten. Maren decides to find her dad by herself, and at a Wal-Mart in the middle of the country, she finally meets another cannibal closer to her own age. Lee is someone she quickly relates to. His first kill was his babysitter, too. But as she tells him: “I make friends…I just can’t keep them.” Lee joins Maren on her quest to find her father, and a good portion of the book is about their developing relationship. Even though there are entertaining moments, DeAngelis’ prose is run-of-the-mill and her observations, somewhat obvious.
The book reads like a cheesy episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.