Monday, 30 September 2013

Courage and Other Demons by Jill Daughtery

Title: Courage and Other Demons
Author: Jill Daugherty
Series: Courage and Other Demons #1
Publisher: Open Mike Publishing
Date Published: Jan 19, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Goodreads Summary
“It occurred to me as I stared into the darkness that it was probably a good thing it had taken so long for me to see Simon for who he truly was. If I hadn’t fallen in love with that sweet and kind boy, I wouldn’t have gotten on a plane with him to fly halfway across the world; I wouldn’t have trusted him enough to do what he was asking me to do. And as angry as I was, as much as I hated what my life had become, I knew I had to do what Simon and the others were asking me to do. It all came down to one inescapable belief. I would have to kill or be killed. There were certainly other pieces of the puzzle that were more complex and harder to understand, but that one piece was very clear and unrelenting and it drove me forward, even in those moments when giving up seemed like the most sensible choice I could make.”
The end of the world will start in the suburbs of Denver with a faery transfer student from Ireland. If you think that’s totally ridiculous, then you understand how Maggie O’Neill feels. In all of her sixteen years, faeries were something you read about in children’s books. They didn’t actually show up on your doorstep. They didn’t kiss you and make your knees go weak and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Until Simon Brady, that is. Simon changed everything. He makes her heart race and her skin burn with excitement, but he has also changed her core beliefs about the world and made her see it as a dark and dangerous place filled with monsters that belong only in the lines of faery tales. There is no doubt in Maggie’s mind that she loves Simon, but can she see past who he is and find a place for him in her heart?

“That tells me courage is at the core of who you are. When you stop to think, you lose that courage, but when you stop thinking and give in to who you are, the courage is there.”
This review is a hard one to write because I have mixed feelings about this book, there were many times where I wanted to bang my head in annoyance but in the long run this book was enjoyable. It started off as a somewhat clichéd book but then again it did have its plus points.
I am not really that big on faeries but I do believe Daugherty did a rather good job with them in this one. For example faeries in this book aren’t only Irish but from all around the world and not all are KNOWN as faeries because different cultures identify them differently.
The main character remains true to herself and admits to lying to herself. I think that’s one of the things I can appreciate a lot about her. She lets herself feel things (like for example placing her anger Simon) that may not be rational but then again with the kind of responsibility dumped on her she has a right to those feelings. In fact I would be surprised if she didn’t. She also asks the question many DON’T ask… WHY ME?; I am just a human, why out of all the Margret O’Neils do I have to be the one to put an end to this? Her decisions may not be the best but I like them because they seem genuine, if I were in the same position as her,  I would make similar decisions as well and would feel similar things.
I rather liked the best friend, although I do secretly hope she never finds out about the faeries, I don’t usually like it when best friends are dragged into such dilemmas, then the main character is stuck trying to protect every single person.
I liked Simon of course but I didn’t exactly find him swoon worthy, he seemed so perfect it was rather creepy, but I did like the relationship between the two. He understands why Maggie is acting so irrationally and puts up with it till a point, and then he decides to give her her space and leaves the choice to her about whether she can still be with him. Of course Maggie doesn’t exactly accept this gracefully but with everything else going on I don’t think she could even if she wanted to. I think they are a rather sweet couple, they may have some secrets but you know they lean on each other rather than try to hide the truth from each other. They are always there for each other and well I think I appreciate it what with most YA couples intent on keeping secrets and not trying to understand what the other is going through.
I wish we got to see more of this but I really like her relationship with her parents and her brother, her parents seem realistic and though they aren’t a huge part of the book we can feel their presence in the background. She doesn’t act like a ungrateful weirdo around her parents and you can see her love for her parents and her little brother.
I also liked the writing style, it gave a lighter tone to the book but made the character seem a lot more relatable.
One of my favorite things about this book is the author’s take on the prophecy concept, she doesn’t make it seem random but tries to explain the concept of prophecies, because from what I understand, prophecies basically tell the future, they don’t pick who is going to do what but state what will happen. Everyone agrees that Maggie being the ‘chosen one’ is rather random but then again it’s the future being told, no one can do anything about it, had they not found Maggie, Maggie would have somehow found her way to fulfill the prophecy because that was what was predicted about her future.
One of the things that disappointed me however,  was how the author presented us with the Simon and Margret tale. It sounded more like a summary than an actual tale from a book of folklores. I wish it had been written more like an old fashioned tale (seeing that’s what it was), it would have made the thing seem more believable.
This book could be predictable from time to time, but in the long run it was a fun read. I look forward to reading the sequel.

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