by Elizabeth Leiknes
From the author's website: "Eleven-year-old Lucy Burns writes and mails a letter to “Whom it may concern” to save her sister’s life. Overnight, the sister miraculously recovers, and “He” comes to collect. Nineteen years later, Lucy has had all she can take of doing the Devil’s dirty work--luring evil people to their demise. She’s granted wishes every birthday--beauty and agelessness, among them--but never the one’s she really wants: a normal life, friends, love, and a family of her own.
Lucy wants out of her seemingly binding contract, and, oddly enough, her long-time musical idol, Teddy Nightingale, helps her figure out how she can do just that. But it’s not easy, and a lot of things hang in the balance. If she does what she needs to get out of her deal with the Devil, she’ll be able to have a real loving relationship, live her life in the open instead of in hiding, and see her sister and family--but there are bad consequences tied to that decision as well. Lucy must decide what is evil and what is good, what is right and what is wrong, and if, in the end, there’s ever any way to truly know."
I wanted to like this quirky book with a devilish, but likeable main character, but in the end, I really didn't care for it.
There was a big stumbling block for me early on in the book - I just couldn't buy into the main concept. A young, albeit mischievous, girl writes a pleading letter in behalf of her dying sister and who answers it but the devil, Himself. I realize the book is suppose to be light and humorous and not a treatise on good vs. evil, but still . . . I needed the protagonist to 'know' what she was doing. I guess that did come a little later in the book when she tried to turn the Devil down and her sister was hit by a truck and at death's door again. By then she really didn't have a choice. I guess what bothers me the most is that the devil could take possession of the soul of someone so young, innocent and unknowing.
The other problem I had was the crudeness. I know the title should have warned me, but the write-up made it sound like a sweet, naive girl was going to wrangle her way out of a contract with the devil. (Okay, so I'm the naive one!)
I do need to say that I think most people would really enjoy this book. I think the problem is with me more than with the book. I did like that even though Lucy enjoyed her yearly birthday gifts from the Devil of a drop-dead gorgeous body, agelessness, energy, etc. that over time she realized that these did not bring happiness. It was her desire for love, lasting friendships, family and a 'normal' life that caused her to look for a loop-hole in her contract with the Devil. And it cheers the heart to know that she won. A lesson for the rest of us that we can beat the Devil, too.