Saturday, December 27, 2008

Repossessed, by A.M. Jenkins


Repossessed, by A.M. Jenkins is a book I never even heard of until it showed up on my doorstep in an envelope of review goodies from HarperTeen. What a great surprise! While I initially had some hangups about reading a demon/possession book at Christmas, my worries were unfounded. This is not The Exorcist or any of those other vomit-worthy books and movies. It's a thoughful, wicked funny (pun toootally intended) romp through adolescence.
Shaun is just your normal, everyday, snotty teenager. Kiriel is a demon fed up with his job of "mirroring" sinners' wrongs back at them in Hell. Kiriel takes matters into his own hands when he essentially "body snatches" Shaun at the moment of his death.

I certainly expected a demon fixated on causing trouble and generally being a bad guy, but Kiriel is quite the opposite. He experiences adolescence, and humanity for that matter, as a complete outsider. He savors every smell and sensation, and he makes Shaun a much nicer person to be around. He makes amends with Shaun's little brother, helps out around the house, and is truly grateful for the experience of being human. All good things must come to an end, as they say, and he realizes that the Unfallen (angels) and maybe even the Creator himself will put an end to his vacation any time.

This book was truly a pleasure to read. Not just because the writing is great, which it most certainly is, but also because Jenkins turns everything we imagine about "evil" on its head. Certainly Kiriel is subversive and steps outside the accepted order, but he is never malicious. As Jenkins herself writes:

...I like his irrepressibility. He's been cast into Hell for eternity, cut off from God forever, but instead of losing hope he either makes do, or comes up with another plan to try and get what he wants. I suppose what's sinful about him is that he can't or won't be humble, trusting, and obedient. But I rather admire the lack of those qualities when there's no cruelty, malice, or self-righteousness involved.

In short, I don't think this is one of those books that would offend anyone. In fact, I found it quite enlightening and beautifully written. Here's one of my very favorite passages:

The only uplifting times are when, unsually after millenia of suffering, a single soul suddenly, for no reason that's apparent to me, decides that it's had enough, that it's paid the price for its wrongs, and it sort of twists itself inside out, shedding its misery to go free. It's a beautiful, memorable, and very rare event. It's a cool rush, a sweet atom of a movement in an eternity of heavy dark. But even that fine moment has its bitterness. In Hell, nothing is pure joy. There's sorrow in the moment of release, when the soul realizes that a true sin, once committed, can never be undone, and thus in one respect can never be paid for.

9 comments:

  1. That sounds surprisingly fun! The cover would definitely have put me off.

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  2. It was fun! And yeah, I'm not a fan of the cover. It doesn't reflect the content very well AT ALL.

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  3. I'll be looking for this one as it sounds like one I'd loooove. Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. Thanks for commenting on my review of REPOSSESSED. I did enjoy it. Have a wonderful New Year.

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  5. I probably would have passed right by on this one. But your review is intriguing; I'm putting it on my Goodreads shelf!

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  6. I think you'd totally love it, Tammy!

    Thanks for stopping by, Karin!

    Good luck with it if you get ahold of it, Stacey! I would've passed it over, too, but I'm really glad I didn't.

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  7. Never heard of Jenkins before, but am intrigued now! I'll keep an eye out.

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  8. I hope you can snag a copy, Seachanges!

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  9. That book sounds really good! I had not heard about this one, I'll add it to my tbr list :)

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