For Fans of Buffy | When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn

Friday, November 09, 2018

When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn

Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: 7/17/18
Pages: 272
Source: BEA 2018 (Thanks, Macmillan!)
Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own. High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.
When life gives you demons, you exorcise them, of course. Shelby is an exorcist in training but certainly doesn't want anyone to know about that part of her life. When she finds out the truth about her absent mother, it's difficult to keep her occupation a secret. When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn follows Shelby as she navigates through high school and demon hunting.

  • Based on the title and synopsis you can easily expect a few things from this novel. It's a book that is absolutely hilarious and will certainly have you laughing out loud. Also, despite dealing with demons, the story is undeniably adorable. 
  • I've never before read about a teen who is interested and is in training to become an exorcist. When Life Gives You Demons offers such a unique flare to the contemporary genre. 
  • The writing is extremely fast paced. Honeybourn writes action packed sequences very well. When Life Gives You Demons is certainly a book every reader can finish in one sitting. Not only is it bite-sized but it’s laugh out loud hilarious and filled with tons of fun! 
beep me buffy the vampire slayer GIF
  • Shelby is an interesting and headstrong character. She's stubborn and flawed but never ceases to make readers laugh in the face of danger. Shelby’s voice is very conversational. Her narrative targets the younger YA crowd but the funny plot is sure to entertain readers of all ages. She is super likable. Though as much as I don't think we would be besties, her occupation as an exorcist in training is compelling and curious. 
  • Unfortunately, there's a few holes in the story when other character roles are revealed. This could have been easily remedied with a bit more background or character depth. 
  • Despite liking Shelby, she is the only character readers ever really get to know. I would have loved to know more about Spencer, Shelby's crush or even about the cool demon hunting league at the cabin. There were so many opportunities that readers could get more tidbits on all the characters. Yet, readers only get small facts about each character. They lacked substance, making it quite difficult to really care for any character besides Shelby. Unfortunately, When Life Gives You Demons is filled with flat characters. 
  • The story is a bit predictable, despite having such a fun and entertaining premise. Readers can see what is coming next from miles away. Even the reveals and twists were easy to guess. 
  • The ending leaves the story on a happy note and even opens it up for a possible sequel in the future. This fun adventure leaves readers satisfied.

For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jennifer Honeybourn's new book gives readers one wild ride. When Life Gives You Demons is such good fun with an action packed story, headstrong protagonist and a unique plot.

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  1. This sounds like a fun read, and I do love Buffy. I own an ARC but haven't gotten around to read it yet. Thanks for the review!