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young adult book reviews & more

Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot by Andrew Auseon

Jo-Jo and the Fiendish LotAfter Jo-Jo Dyas’ girlfriend Violet is killed, he doesn’t think he has any reason to live anymore. On the morning he plans to commit suicide, he finds a naked dead girl floating in a river, and instead of following through with his original plans, he follows this girl Max as she rounds up the other members of the band she drums for, the Fiendish Lot. But after their impromptu concert, Jo-Jo accidentally completes the task he had wanted to do that morning, thus traveling to where Max and the Fiendish Lot are from, the Afterlife. Jo-Jo is lost in this new world until Max rescues him and shows him the ropes. The Afterlife is a time of second chances, but all Jo-Jo does is tag along the Fiendish Lot’s band tour and look for Violet. Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot is a unique and unforgettable novel about life, death, and acceptance.

I am pleased to say that my high expectations for this novel were exceeded. I immensely enjoyed Auseon’s unique version of death and the afterlife because it was so creative and entirely unlike any other book I’ve read on the same topic. The new world of the Afterlife that Auseon creates is such a perfect setting for Jo-Jo’s story. From the very first page, I was drawn into Jo-Jo’s tale and his adventures along with the quirks of the Afterlife and the members of the Fiendish Lot held my interest for the rest of the novel. The majority of Jo-Jo’s story is an emotional journey as he reflects on his life, his relationships with Violet and Max, and his purpose. Jo-Jo, Max, and even Violet were wonderfully developed and I felt I got to know them rather well. I liked how this novel didn’t focus on how Jo-Jo dealt with his own death per se but on how he held onto other aspects of his life; in a way, however, this was paradoxical because Jo-Jo was portrayed as rather selfish. The Fiendish Lot’s music and its effects on Jo-Jo weren’t perfectly woven into Jo-Jo’s tale but it was done well enough that I felt connected. Overall, I was very impressed with this novel.

Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot is one of the more unique novels I’ve read in a while and is one of my new favorites. Readers who liked Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin will also enjoy this fabulous novel; I actually liked Jo-Jo’s story better than Elsewhere which is saying something because I loved Elsewhere. Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot will be released early March this coming year.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher HarperCollins

20 munch(es) :

C. Leigh Purtill said...

This sounds fascinating. I too adored Elsewhere so this sounds right up my alley. :)

Okie said...

Sounds interesting as long as presented well, which it sounds like it is.

Book Chic said...

Sounds good. I got this from HarperTeen too, though I have yet to read it. Great review! :)

sweetmelissa818 said...

Interesting concept. I'm not sure I've read one like this before!

TheBookworm said...

I saw this on First Look. It does sound very unique. I mean really, who has ever written a story about "dead" people playing in a band?

Amanda said...

It sounds very different. I'll have to check it out.

Shalonda said...

The cover really freaks me out, but the book sounds really interesting.

Liviania said...

I haven't heard of this before, but I think I'd enjoy it. I like depictions of the afterlife.

Brooke Reviews said...

That's a great cover! I haven't heard of this so it's definitely something I'll check out.

katayoun said...

i really liked elsewhere and so this sounds good

tynlyd said...

Oooh, I can't wait to read this! It sounds great!

donnas said...

Sounds very unique and fascinating.

Mandy said...

Whoa, I saw this in Books-A-Million, but didn't read the summary because the book looked weird. It sounds weird too, but also very intruiging...

cosmicdustbella said...

This sounds kind of confusing, but good in its own way.
lizzieland@optonline.net

Korianne said...

I wouldn't usually read a book like this one, but maybe I should branch out. It looks like you really enjoyed it.

Elizabeth said...

That is a pretty interesting premise for a book.

Julie K said...

I don't think I could read this book. The cover scares me too much! ;-)

Ann said...

Wow, the cover looks pretty interesting! But I think I would get scared reading this...haha

Michelle Kuo said...

I've never read any books with this kind of concept, but after seeing your review maybe I'll check it out. However, that cover is a bit too scary/weird for me..

Paradox said...

I got an ARC of this book and I thought it was bizarre, but still good. Usually I don't like afterlife books.

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