cover image Misfit


Jon Skovron. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0021-7

Skovron's second book is a two for one: a coming-of-age story wrapped within a captivating paranormal context. Sixteen-year-old Jael Thompson's gradual discovery of her abilities as a half-demon is narrated in the present tense, while her education about her heritage comes via detailed visions of her parents' past, told in past tense. The duality is a little uncomfortable, intentionally so, as Skovron (Struts & Frets) goes beyond adolescent preoccupations with acceptance, identity, and the opposite sex to look at even more fraught issues of faith, parental self-sacrifice, and the nature of reality. After a lifetime of constant moves, Jael wants to make friends, explore her attraction to Rob McKinley, and just go to high school. And if a Grand Duke of Hell is pursuing her? Well, her father will simply have to stop being so overprotective and help her deal with it. Jael is an easy heroine to root for, and readers will recognize, as Jael does, that (demonic roots aside) she is "just a lonely girl with a lot of problems." The romance between Jael's parents adds additional texture and complexity to her narrative of self-discovery. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. (Aug.)