Early Review: Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones

September 27, 2012 Review 0

*This title will be released on October 2, 2012*

Death and the Girl Next Door

(Darklight, #1)
by Darynda Jones

Genre: Paranormal YA |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; October 2, 2012
  • ISBN-10: 0312625200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312625207


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.

Sexual Content



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.


Witty friends, brooding supernatural beings, and otherworldly hi-jinx wrapped in high school drama, DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR capitalizes on some of my favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer tropes.  Though the silliness of Lorelei, Brooklyn, and Glitch’s conversation didn’t always hit the mark, the premise and character dynamic was entertaining enough that I’ll be interested to try more Darynda Jones, either Darklight or Charley Davidson.

DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR introduces a world that has a lot of potential, though the this first book doesn’t necessarily stand out as unique.  The banter between Lorelei and her friends reminded me of UNSPOKEN, the romantic dynamic reminded me of a (lighter) FALLEN, and all of these elements combined brought to mind Buffy.   While the mix of enjoyable elements has me ready to try other books by this author, I’m not convinced that Darklight will stand out in the crowd.  Still, DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR was a quick read that introduced danger, romance, and humor in equal parts, which is enough to bring me back for more.

Fans of high school drama mixed with magic will enjoy DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, but only if they don’t mind a bit of silliness to lighten the drama.  The tone and character dynamic definitely worked for me, even if the premise wasn’t quite  a slam dunk.  As this was my first Darynda Jones book, I’ll be checking out both the next Darklight, DEATH, DOOM, AND DETENTION, as well as Jones’s prior series, Charley Davidson.  

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