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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet


Author: Maureen Johnson
Originally Published: 2006
Publisher: Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group
Source: Purchased at Chapters

The Story

School misfit Jane is shocked when her best friend and fellow misfit Allison arrives at school the day after a horrible accident (puking all over another student in front of the majority of the student body) with a total makeover. And not just a physical one – now Allison is acting bitchy towards Jane, dating Jane’s ex-boyfriend, and has suddenly learned everything in the school’s text books. Jane is, obviously suspicious, but even her suspicions can’t prepare her for the truth – Allison has sold her soul to a devil, and this devil is a sophomore at their school.

Soon, Jane is working with a secret society to save Allison and rid her school of the devil.

The Review

Oh, this book had the classic Maureen Johnson humour that makes all of her books enjoyable. If my life could’ve been a Maureen Johnson book when I was a teenager, I could’ve been quite happy. One of the best things about Johnson’s books is that the main characters are relatable no matter your age – the reader can still empathize with what the protagonist is going through. I think this book, especially, where a lot of people feel like the outcasts in high school.

I really liked all of the characters in this book – especially the teachers. For some reason, (okay, the nun and priest thing is probably the reason) they reminded me of the cast of Sister Act 2. And even the teens were a lot of fun. While Lanalee wasn’t the best of bad guys I’ve come across, she had some fun moments. And her love of cupcakes really did endear her to me.

But Jane was definitely the star of the book. She was pretty kick-ass – even after her best friend starts treating her like dirt, she’s going to do everything in her power to save Allison. Even after Allison starts dating Jane’s ex-boyfriend, she sticks by Allison. There aren’t many people in real life who would do that, so it was quite refreshing to read a book about someone who does do that.

Devilish is an adorable retelling of the Faust story (a story that I already quite enjoy reading/seeing retellings of). And since Johnson doesn’t typically write urban fantasy books, it didn’t seem to have all the same stereotypes that most other YA urban fantasy has. You know, the brooding emo male, and other such stuff.

The Bottom Line

While this wasn’t one of my favourites of Johnson’s books, it was definitely a lot of fun. I would recommend this to other who have enjoyed stuff by Maureen Johnson.

Other Reviews

Bookshelves of Doom, Dear Author, And Another Book Read. Have you reviewed this book on your blog? Let me know and I’ll add your link.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 6:24 am April 7, 2010.
Category: Young Adult
Book Author(s):
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  • Constance Reader

    Even if this wasn’t your favorite of her works–the cover is an instant favorite of mine! Anything featuring cupcakes = instant classic.

    Great review! Love your blog!

    -Connie @

  • Kailana

    I read this book by her. If it isn’t your favourite, I bet I am going to love her other books. :)