When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.
With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?
Author: Emily Lloyd- Jones
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: August 8th 2017
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Abuse, Alcoholism, Body Shaming, Depression, Transphobia
I’ve raved about this book all over this blog, I might as well write a review about it. I’m just now getting to it because the book had me emotional. I may have cried for a literal day
and worried my mother while going on a week strike on books because THIS BOOK DID ME DIRTY. That may sound over-exaggerated, but it’s the truth. I came into this not knowing what to expect and came out wrecked.
To be brief: The demons are a constant in Dee Morano’s life. You want something? All you have to do is give a body part. Dee need money to continue her schooling since budget cuts have taken away her scholarship and moving back in with her parents is unnacceptable. She finds a demon, but instead of the typical arm or leg, he wants her heart and 2 years of service. So now her and a few other teens do jobs closing portals for the demon.
Right off the bat, the whole demon situation was such a cool concept. And learning about why the other heartless teens gave their hearts away was so sad yet reflective. It’s refreshing to see a story where the characters are selfish with their wishes instead of taking down the government, guns blazing. And can I just say that I love Dee? Her family life is pretty crappy, she suffers from anxiety, and is overall a detached individual. But I love her so much. Rooting for her was like breathing, I wanted her to overcome her fear and find happiness. My heart broke for her seeing her abusive family setting- not in the physical sense, but neglectful and a bit cruel. But, these circumstances made her a stronger person.
The secondary characters were also really fleshed out and I never once felt bored with them. We have Cora, the “mom” of the group, Cal the genius, Riley who was such a strong person and Gremma, Dee’s no-nonsense friend who stuck with her through out it all. Of course, I left my favorite for last: James. He was the cause of all my heartache and tears. This charming, hobo dressing artist was the best. Him and Dee’s relationship made this book all the better. The trust that was gradually grown between them and how he saw parts of her life that no one has seen was so important to their character development both together and apart.
The diversity must also be noted in this review. Dee is half Latina, Riley is transexual, Cora is black and Gremma is gay. None of this ever felt forced and it was well represented. Though I do acknowledge there is no “take down the government” plot device, towards the end it does become a kind of ‘save the world’ book. Which is fine! It never seems like it’s a random thing just thrown in there. I can’t really talk about the end because spoilers, but it is quite sad. Some might say it’s bittersweet, but my heart is broken (is that a pun? Nah.) Overall, EVERYONE needs to read this book. This is a definite favorite of all time type of book.