The spirit of Buffy is alive and kicking in this bloody debut for teens from an author better known for her children’s books (The Princess of Trelian, 2012, etc.).
Cyn is a backstage genius with an unrequited crush of epic proportions on popular, talented Ryan, the sort of boy who seems to move “in slow motion like some stupid sequence in a bad summer movie.” She’s got a best friend, she enjoys a healthy relationship with her own carnal desires, and she’s snarky and smart and generally the kind of heroine everyone wants. Which is handy, since the hot new librarian is a demon in search of souls to suck as well as a child bride—and he’s got his sights set on Cyn’s best friend. Luckily, Cyn has a sort of natural demon immunity. And, it turns out, she’s got support from Ryan, so she takes on the evil librarian—and then the demonic new principal and a host of other demons, too. Bloodshed and creepy rituals abound, but the horror is always campy and carefully undercut by the entirely realistic, slightly silly nonprogression of Cyn and Ryan’s romance (when they finally kiss, it’s cathartic for all). Snappily narrated, tightly plotted and generally just right.
Forget paranormal romance; this horror-humor-romance pastiche is where those in search of hot nonhumans should set their sights. (Humorous horror. 13 & up)