“Devilish” by Maureen Johnson is a young adult novel about two high school girls named Jane Jarvis and Allison Concord. After a notably disastrous social faux-pas at the start of senior year, Ally, who has suffered consistent ridicule from her classmates, takes some drastic measures in order to become both smarter and more popular. Jane, Ally’s best friend and the senior class’ social deviant, is worried about her suddenly strange and distant friend. When she investigates this new Ally, Jane finds a lot more than she bargained for.
While I’m not a huge fan of Maureen Johnson’s books, I did have a bit of fun with this one. The plot wasn’t too heavy or forced, and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the more fantastic elements presented. I really didn’t expect any of the characters in the book to be devilish literally and I think Maureen did a great job of fitting those characters in to a seemingly normal reality.
Jane, who narrates the novel, is a wonderfully eccentric character with realistic character faults. Both girls attend an all girls Catholic high school, and Jane’s little rebellions (rolling up her sleeves, unbuttoning her blouse, etc.) and accidental trouble-making are charming; they quickly endear the reader to her. Her reactions and responses to the events in the novel really make the story.
Overall, I think this book was pretty good. It wasn’t complex enough to make it into my top favourites, and to be honest, I thought it was a bit too girly for my tastes, but it was a fun distraction for an afternoon.