Summary from GoodReads:
Darynda Jones, author of The New York Times bestselling series that began with First Grave on the Right, brings us Death and the Girl Next Door, a thrilling Young Adult novel garnering high praise and early buzz from major authors
Ten years ago, Lorelei’s parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on.
High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. 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, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. 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, Darynda Jones’s first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.
I requested this book from Netgalley because I knew it would appeal to some teens at the library where I work. Of course, it took me a bit to actually get around to it, but I did finally read it on a Friday I had off from work. Although I liked the book, I can’t say it was amazing.
So, let’s talk about the characters first, because you all know that is what I care about the most. The main character, Lorelei, was very likable and relatable. I liked her a lot, and liked reading from her POV. Lorelei’s two best friends, Glitch and Brooklyn were a lot of fun. They had very distinct personalities, and were quite funny. Cameron also has a fairly distinct personality, but I think his character could have been stronger. Same goes for Jared. I’m not sure I really got him, or understood what his motives were.
There is definitely some insta-love in this book. There is an instant attraction between Lorelei and Jared, and I can’t say I bought that 100%. On the plus side, there is no love triangle! I have no patience for those, and was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t one in Death and the Girl Next Door. I mean, come on, doesn’t the cover imply there will be one?
In terms of the plot, there wasn’t this overarching goal. It felt kind of episodic. First Lorelei and Jared meet, and there is instant attraction, then Lorelei, Brooklyn and Glitch are searching for Jared. But once they find him, they don’t know what to do. And then they decide to do some ghostbusting, and then all of a sudden there is a secret society, and talk of demons. Definitely a little confusing. I just couldn’t figure out what the whole point to the story was. It wasn’t like Lorelei was trying to figure out who/what Jared was. Also, some parts of the story were kind of confusing, and it would take a minute to figure out what was going on.
I’m not saying this was a terrible book, and I enjoyed reading it. I will probably read the sequel, but not much after that. I am very weary of series, so it needs to be pretty amazing for me to continue. The characters of Lorelei, Brooklyn and Glitch really saved this one for me.