Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished ... Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Just Finished ... Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers

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Last Rite (Personal Demons #3) 

by Lisa Desrochers

Published by Tor Teen

May 8, 2012

Source: bought from independent bookstore

Content: Just a heads-up: this series has quite a bit more language, sex sand violence than the average YA

Series report: can you read this without reviewing books one and two? Yes.



SPOILER FREE!

Quick series recap:  To the shame of Frannie Cavanaugh's close-knit Catholic family, she was kicked out of parochial school. In book one, she's starting her senior year at a large public high school. When mysterious bad boy Luc shows up in class, Frannie feels drawn to him. What she doesn't know is that he's a demon who's been sent to tag Frannie's soul for hell. But Gabe, an angel, shows up to stop him. Unbeknownst to Frannie, she has special powers that make her valuable to the forces of good and evil. 

In book two, Frannie still feels torn between Gabe and Luc. She also learns more about her special powers. A new character, the waifish Lili, shows up in town.  At the end of this book, loyalties are tested and secrets revealed. Sorry, I can't say more than that. There are serious spoilers in book two.

My take:  This series has a lot of elements that often make me wary. A full-fledged love triangle. The good boy/bad boy dichotomy. All the angels and demons stuff. Multiple points of view. What first hooked me in was Frannie. I have a soft spot for the tough-on-the-outside-but-wounded-underneath characters.  Lisa Desrochers is also a skillful writer, able to take some very familiar YA tropes and put her own unique spin on them. 

I really enjoyed book one, Personal Demons, in which Frannie learns why two hot guys are always lurking around. (No, it's not just for her sparkling personality.)  Book two, Original Sin, got a LOT edgier and more action-packed, with some mind-blowing plot twists that I'm still shocked about. 

So when I saw Last Rite in the bookstore, I grabbed it. Given all the stuff that went down in Original Sin, I wanted to see how Lisa Desrochers wrapped this series up.  I was able to remember the main events of the story pretty easily, as the characters spend a good part of the first couple chapters reflecting on what happened. 

As Last Rite opens, it is clear that the very dramatic events in book two have definitely put a strain on the different sides of this love triangle and it shows. The alternating POVs continue in Last Rite, alternating between Frannie, Luc and Gabe.  I think this technique works well, letting the reader see how each main character views the other two. I liked the fact that Last Rite seems to circle back to some of the themes and structure from the beginning of the trilogy. Just like in Personal Demons, in Last Rite Luc and Gabe have very different ideas about Frannie and her destiny, and again Frannie feels torn between them. But when someone near and dear to Frannie appears to be in terrible danger, she'll have to think for herself and take action. 

There were a lot of shifting loyalties in this series -- at times I felt like I needed a chart to keep track of whether a character was mortal, angel, fallen angel, or demon and what their agenda was. And I'm not the best judge of whether or not it all made sense on a theological level. 

What I love about this series is the raw emotion that Lisa Desrochers is able to evoke. Her characters suffer and feel deeply, and as a reader, I was right along for the ride. Frannie remains a sympathetic and appealing heroine. I was happy with the way things wrapped up, and I think other fans of the series will be too.

Have you read any books in this series? If not, tell me what you're reading!


14 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this series before now, but I'm intrigued. I'll keep an eye out for the first one the next time I'm in a book store. I love evil boys (already on that team, I think), and I love books that make me feel.

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    1. You should try the first book -- let me know what you think!

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  2. Nope. I didn't realize it was YA. I'm not a huge fan of angel/demon books. Maybe Ill check out the first one when I finish my huge TBR pile.

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    1. Whew, you worried me. Yes, it is YA. Check out the first one and see what you think of it!

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  3. I have the first two books of this series and I'm only waiting for the last one to arrive ... I didn't read your review on this book because I'm planning to read it soon ... right now I'm reading the selection :)

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    1. I do that too -- I don't like to read the review until I read the book :)

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  4. yes, I so agree with this review! Last Rite is probably my favorite book of the trilogy, so good! I was happy with the way things wrapped up, but oh my lanta, that certain scene with a certain character nearly KILLED my heart. O______o

    my review is here.

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  5. I have heard of the series, but haven't read any of the books. It sounds interesting. Awesome review!!

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  6. The way I've come to know Lisa is her way of using everything cliche in this trilogy :)

    RAW EMOTION!! Now I really can't wait to read it..
    It's so hard to prioritize which books I need to read first.

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    1. I know! I try to do it by date, and save everything older for my beach reading....

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  7. I have not yet read any of this series. I'm glad you liked it though. It is on my radar & apparently not just for Frannies's "sparkling personality".

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  8. Never heard of the series but they seem like they may be a fun summer read! Just knock them out one by one...Thanks for turning me on to something new!

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    1. Try book one. If you're hooked, then you can keep reading :)

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