Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen
Publication date: 09 September 2014 by Candlewick Press
Category: Young Adult Horror, Paranormal
Keywords: Humor, High School, Demons, Romance
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Cynthia Rothschild is creeped out when her best friend Annie falls for the young and handsome new librarian, Mr. Gabriel. But it's more than just an age ick factor. There's something wrong with Mr. Grabriel, something Cyn can't put her finger on...
Fans of Buffy rejoice because a fun and well written paranormal YA adventure has hit the shelves. Cyn is a typical teenage girl. She loves musical theater and is head stage manager. She's secretly in love with the lead singer Ryan, who is playing Sweeney Todd. She is a loyal and loving best friend to her friend Annie. Even when Annie starts acting very strange.
There's a lot to like about Evil Librarian. The writing is good. Every sentence is fun and I read the book at a medium pace, savoring the funny Cyn-isms and high school situations. Yes, high school is hell and sometimes a demon invades your school and tries to... never mind.
My heart is warmed towards Ryan who is the lead in the high school musical. I love musicals. I went to college for a year for a musical theater degree. Seriously. Their story is like my high school life. You know, without the demon. So it's very refreshing to see Ryan, the romantic lead, be playing Sweeney. And to have Cyn involved in musical theater.
Also, the story really takes you on a ride. A few times, you think you have it figured out--"oh, this is bound to work" and then it slaps you upside the head. I really liked these moments.
There's a few things that brought the book down for me though. One is that Ryan is Cyn's only side kick. She's trying to save Annie and he is her main partner in crime. This wouldn't be that bad but he's also her HUGE crush so a lot of the book is spent on her swooning over him, talking about his hair or his eyes or if he touches her, etc. Now I'm all about YA romance, but this was a little excessive especially when she is trying to save her best friend from becoming something very evil. I think a second sidekick would have helped, a non-romantic best friend, to help them solve everything. It was just really focused on Ryan and Cyn's crush on Ryan and OMG he touched my hand... A little too much for this reader.
The other thing is that while the plots twists were fun, for some reason, the book felt too long. It's only coming in under 350 pages but the pacing was off in some places. I didn't want to stop reading, but I had no problem putting the book down for a few days and maybe reading something else for a while. That didn't stop me from enjoying it but it wasn't a feverish, frantic I-gotta-know-what-happens type of read either.
Overall I think Evil Librarian is a very fun, well written YA book. There's humor and romance and evil and good.