[559]: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

12986492 Death and the Girl Next Door [Darklight, #1] by Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s Press | October 2nd, 2012
Paperback, 272 pages
Young Adult Fiction | Paranormal
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated.

Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister’s parents disappeared without a trace, and she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they’re never coming back. Life must go on. She’s got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.

But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.

Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach – comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.

Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.

What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.


I am a huge fan of Ms. Jones. She’s a brilliant story teller and a master in the art of sarcasm. Why it’s taken me a long time to read this book escapes me. Going into this book, I was expecting more of the same. I was expecting Lorelei to be like a teen Charley Davidson: hilarious, sarcastic, and one with a huge personality. I’ll tell you right now that if you’re going to keep the same expectations prior to reading this book, you’ll be in for a disappointment. Lorelei is nothing at all like Charley Davidson. She’s more reserved and a bit on the shy side. Even if they share the same beginnings, their supernatural roles differ.

One of the things that made me wary of this book was the cover. As you know, I detest love triangles. The cover certainly implies something of that sort. Well, rest assured, there’s none. What it has is a couple of boys who are — well, crush-worthy. Only one of them vies for Lor’s attention, which was reciprocated the first time they met. Basically, one is the Angel of Death (a grim reaper of sort) and the other, a niphilim hybrid who has a bone to pick with the Angel of Death. How does Lorelei fit into the all this madness? Well, she’s the last living bloodline of the Prophet, Arabeth. She’s protected by a secret society that she didn’t know of at first. I quite like the mythology here. While it may have echoes of her adult PNR, she’s done her best separate both.

The book was a fast read, addicting, even. Just don’t expect to bust out laughing as you would reading Charley Davidson. The first book was more laying out the foundation for the series, so there wasn’t much of a plot direction to speak of. So much so, that the poltergeist thing near the end looked more like an addendum than an original part of the plot. No matter, I immediately ordered the second and third book soon after reading this.

  • I didn’t really like this one, but then I’m not big on YA. I can read a little of it and I love Darynda, so I thought I would give it a try. I think it was a big case of “its me, not you” with this book. Great review.

  • I’m not a hugeeee fan of Paranormal, and anyway this doesn’t sound like my type of read, but finding books you didn’t realise you had, like this one (I think) was, is exciting! It does sound like her other series is a lot more enjoyable, and maybe I’d actually like that. POssibly I should check it out someday.
    Nice review! Even though it wasn’t the best, I’m glad you still got some enjoyment out of it! xx

  • Aw, yay 😀 So glad you liked this book Joy. <3 You make it seem awesome. Doubt it is for me, but yay for you loving it 😀 And ohhh! No triangle? Really? 🙂 This makes me veery happy. That cover made me think triangle for sure.. lol 🙂 Thank you for sharing about it sweetie. <3

  • I was a little disappointed by this, I guess partly because I was making comparisons to Charley Davidson. Plus, it seemed like Lorelei was so slow to get a clue or demand information. I still need to get to book two someday. Great review! 🙂

  • I’m a fan of her CD series, but I still haven’t tried this series. Must change that asap!

  • I actually didn’t like this book .-. And the funny thing is, it was the first book by Darynda I ever picked up! SO reading Charley Davidson was SUCH a relief!

    When i picked the book up, I was worried about the love triangle too and was glad when it turned out there wasn’t one but unfortunately, I liked Cameron more than I liked Jared 😛

    I am glad you enjoyed this book enough to pick up the sequels, Joy! 🙂 Fantastic review!

  • I read this before picking up Charley series and enjoyed it, but I think the vibe just did not draw me in and humor (plus, let’s face it – the sexy times) so I have not gone back. I’m curious enough about how book two goes though. 🙂

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’ve been meaning to pick up this series, so I’m glad you reviewed it because this is just the push I needed to get onto these books. I hope the sequels are even better but this seems like a solid start! 🙂

    • It was pretty solid, but I’m thinking that this as a novella would’ve worked better? I don’t know…

  • Jazmen

    I like the sound of this one but I’m not sure it’s going to be for me. I think I’m judging it–because I love books with the whole angel demon thing going on. I’ll have to think about this one!

    • I feel like I should tell people to read the second book because this one didn’t was way more book than necessary. And that’s saying a lot considering it’s a less than 300 pages kind of a book. I just think that there’ll be more action with the instalments.

  • I liked this one! I have the other two sitting on my TBR shelf. It’s a good YA paranormal, easy to veg out on. I thought Lorelei was similar to Charley, but not overly so.

    • Yeah, they do have similarities, but let’s face it. Charley is one of a kind!

  • I read this before First Grave & was disappointed. I expected more from Jones & instead this book had me scratching my head. Then someone set things right for me and told me that she wrote this year’s before CD hence the “unpolished” style. Boy was I relieved!

    • Honestly? I think I would’ve felt the same if I hadn’t read her adult series.

      • I almost skipped Charley. Then a blogger friend assured me that CD isn’t anything like this. So I quit this series instead.

  • Melissa (Books and Things)

    I’ve read this one but not the others. Makes me want to take another look at this series. I don’t care for triangles either so I was also wary but happy there really wasn’t one in the story. Brilly review!

    • Thanks, Melissa. I was really happy there wasn’t one. The outcome would probably be different otherwise.

  • Melliane

    oh yes I have this one but haven’t read it yet… I should, I love her charley series!

    • Oh I hope you’ll read it soon, Melliane. Would love to see how you feel about it.

  • Now this I can get on board with Joy. I know how much you love Darynda Jones and sing her praises, so I’ll be buying this on the weekend. I love the different take on the angel / grim reaper type combo, and want to read more urban fantasy since finishing The Rephaim series. Awesome review Joy, really excited to grab a copy now <3

    • Eeep! I hope you’ll enjoy the books, Kelly. I’m nervous!

  • I adore her adult series, but for some reason this book really grated on my nerves! Glad you enjoyed it though.

    • Aw. I don’t know…maybe I’m just biased. Lol. I do adore this author, though. 🙂

  • She does sound like a great storyteller. I haven’t read any of her books yet though

    • Oh you have to check out her Charley Davidson series! It’s awesome. 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    It has been so long since I read this I only vaguely remember it, how horrible is that? And, to make it worse, I never even finished the trilogy! Gah. I need to fix that.
    Love that you liked this so much, it does make me want to pull out book two and read it. 😉

    • Hahahah! No worries. To be honest, I think this book could easily get lost in the YA supernatural highway. Some would even say it’s entirely unremarkable. But. I absolutely loved it!

  • So this book was NOTHING like you expected eh? I’ve learned my lesson not to judge a book by its cover but sometimes it’s just so hard! And like you I would have looked at the cover and been like: “love triangle, no tank you” but what a wasn’t surprise that it wasn’t!:) awesome review boo!♡

    • That is exactly what I thought so I steered clear of this series. I don’t know what the heck was I thinking! I mean, hello?! Darynda Jones! I knew this lady is a favourite of mine for a reason. 🙂

  • RO

    Whew! Thank goodness, Joyous Joy! When I looked at that cover initially, then saw it was a YA read, I was outright nervous. (lol) This sounds really different and worth a further lookie see. Loved your review, which is always on point. Hugs and au revoir! Practicing my French in case I win a trip to Canada! (lol)

    • Oh well. Not all of us are proficient at it, but heck I want to learn because French is a sexy language. 🙂

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I was initially wary of this series for the same reason Joy. I cannot deal with love triangles, and this just screamed triangle, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it and I’m glad you were too! Looking forward to your thoughts on the next book:)

    • You and me both, Jenny. You and me both. Absolutely chomping at the bit to get going on the second book, but I just haven’t found the time to squeeze it in. 🙂

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Joy. I struggled with it when I first read (and I honestly can’t remember why), but I do love Darynda Jones so I might give it another go one of these days.
    That cover is HORRIBLE! They should change it to something fun!
    Great review, Joy!

  • Ooh this looks so good! I quite enjoy paranormal books, so I’ll definitely give this ago! Great review, Joy! 🙂

    • Thank you! I hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

  • I should read these since I do like her books .D

  • It sounds like a pretty good read! Like you, I am wary of covers like that one but it seems like one that doesn’t really follow as it suggests. I love the sound of the supernatural element because I generally just love books like these, and it sounds like an addicting and fun read. I will have to look into this one more 🙂

    • Yes! Thanks, Olivia! And I hope you’ll discover how awesome Darynda is. May I suggest her Charley Davidson series? It’s fantastic!