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ARC Review: Misfit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Title: Misfit
Author: Jon Skovron
Publisher: Amulet (Imprint of ABRAMS)
Pages: 382
Buy: Amazon, Book Depository
Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother—well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help.

But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.

Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.

The book was amazing. I couldn’t stop reading at all and I polished the whole thing off in less than a day—with school. When it’s out, I’m going to recommend it to everybody I know.

What I loved most about the books wasn’t its storyline, but its characters. There are so many paranormal books on the market now and this definitely isn’t the first time “the whole paranormal world is out to kill main character” has been done. However, it was Jael, Paul, Rob, Dagon, and those guys who really pulled me into the story and refused to let go.

I could instantly relate with Jael when I started reading Misfit. She wasn’t particularly popular, she wasn’t that pretty, she’s just a teen. There was something about her that made me want to read her story. Her dad was also a major question I wanted answers to—why did he treat Jael like that? Why did he force Jael to move every couple of years or so? Why did he avoid talking about Jael’s mother? I dove into Misfit to find out, and from then on, never stopped.

When the flashbacks first started, I was confused as to what was happening. Was the stone causing the flashbacks? I wasn’t sure if the scenes were in the present or the past either, as I didn’t know “Paul” was Jael’s dad at that point. However, I got used to the flashbacks after a bit and I loved how Jon Skovron peppered the backstory through the book in little morsels that left me hungering for more.

As I said, the characters were what I loved most. Jael, you just can’t help but love her. She makes rash decisions, she thinks her father’s wrong, she likes a boy, and although she’s half-demon, she’s just another teenage girl with an over-controlling parent. Her voice is so clear and readable that I instantly fell in love with it. Rob’s another character I took an immediate liking to. He’s so sweet! Before reading Misfit, I never thought skaterboy and science nerd would go together so well. Now, I’ve fallen in love with the strange combination—as has Jael.

Although I didn’t like Paul at first—as I saw him from Jael’s perspective, controlling, harsh, stoic father, I grew to like him more and more as Astarte’s perspective was unveiled. He clearly loves Jael, and I love him for that. Dagon, is amazing, like Astarte. He may be a rotten-smelling fish-man who is hassled in Hell, but he’s one cool uncle and he’s teddy bear-cute! Although we never “officially” meet Astarte in Misfit, you can’t help loving her anyway, she loves Paul and Jael so much! Belial might’ve been the bad guy, but he was one awesome character all the same. I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for him, and I’d love to stare into his blue eyes.

I loved how magic worked and how really, magic was nature helping us. We rely so much on nature and if it chose to, it could destroy us all. I also loved how “magic” was “science we didn’t understand.” I believe this theory myself.

The story pieced together beautifully. The way little snatches of information are offered through the story made me gobble the book up in hope for more. Jon Skovron’s writing is just descriptive enough for images to play like a movie in my head, but it isn’t purple prose. Although I felt that the writing was more suited to first person than third person at times, that probably wouldn’t have worked for some scenes and overall, the PoV worked. I fell in love with the characters, the writing, and the story itself.

Last word: I loved the ending—especially the last line. It’s one I’ll remember for a long time.

I hope there’ll be a sequel to Misfit—I am so reading it!—and to everybody who won’t get their hands on this marvelous book until August 2011, don’t forget to get it when it comes out!

See Kris's review of Misfit!

Disclaimer: This book was received for free from the publishers. No payment was received in return for this review. Opinions expressed in this review were in no way influenced by payments of any kind.
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