Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil.
I was pleasantly surprised by Highway to Hell. I have to admit that my expectations were a bit low when I started this book, not for any other reason than my disappointment with some of my more recent young adult selections. But this one sucked me in, made me laugh, and made me chew my cheeks (always a good indication, if not habit). Sorry, I know it’s gross.
So anyway, first the good things. Great writing and dialogue! The language was witty and trendy, and flowed well. Unlike a lot of other main female protagonists, I found that Maggie was an extremely well-developed and well-thought out character with a ton of personality. I saw a lot of myself in her which made me identify more with her and the book. That was the first thing that got me hooked. Secondly, I enjoyed the relationship between the two girls a lot. I liked how they played off of each other. Their interaction and dialogue felt very real which made these two characters come alive on the page. The only one who really didn’t feel whole for me, for some reason, was Justin. I’m not sure why – maybe it was that I just didn’t believe that Maggie had a boyfriend or maybe I didn’t want her to have a boyfriend. Thirdly, I loved the setting. The imagery and scene descriptions were extremely vivid. When the author said that it was hot, I felt hot. Lastly, it was a fast-paced, exciting story that kept me hooked until the end. The chupacabra demon got me the minute the author talked about its “glowing red eyes.” I absolutely loved the last battle showdown with the demon!
My biggest peeve was that the parts of the story with Dona Isabel didn’t really work. Something about the way she was didn’t add up for me – I wanted her to be more powerful like the vision of her on the horse early on – strong and arrogant, not nochalant and ready to give up. It felt a little contrived considering she was the one who’d entrapped the demon in the first place. Lastly, I would have liked to have seen more of the romance between Lisa and Zeke, but I’m just a sap like that.
Chock full of sarcastic verbal banter and witty rebuttals, Highway to Hell was a fun and edgy teen read from start to finish. All in all, I’d say 4 and a half out of 5 stars.