Today, I am making an exception. The first book exception this blog has ever seen. The Devil’s Triangle by Toni De Palma is NOT her first novel. BUT, I thought it would be okay, seeing as I get to interview her later this month! It was an exception I was more than willing to make, seeing as it is the means to a very, very exciting end.
The Devil’s Triangle by Toni De Palma
When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil’s sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.
While Cooper figures out his mission, he’s thrown into the life he’s always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend who can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn’t watch out.
While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what’s keeping him and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.
First Impressions: I was skeptical of the plot, because I don’t really care for ‘devil books’ (any book where the conflict revolves around the intervention of the devil). They kind of freak me out, to be honest. But De Palma’s take on it was refreshing and exciting. Very original and funny. You should read it if you enjoy romantic comedies that are also a bit scary and suspenseful.
Okay, when I started reading The Devil’s Triangle, I was a bit freaked out. I mean, Cooper is kind of scary. He burned down a school! So I was nervous at first. But as I kept reading, I became really involved in his story.
He’s had a hard life so far, jumping from foster home from foster home, so obviously he’s going to be jaded. I could understand where his anger came from, but it scared me that he tried to dispose of it so dramatically. I think De Palma wants us to think this about him, as it is revealed later on what is running through his head as the walls of his school begin to burn.
Then, he confronts the people who decide where you go after death. This was the biggest victory of the book. I fully expected this scene to be as cliche as anything and to not be entertaining at all. I was completely surprised. De Palma’s take on what happens after we die is original, and truly hysterical. Cooper’s interactions with his judges are a perfect combination of comedy and anxiety. All of a sudden, I started to actually care for Cooper and what happens to him. This scene totally enhanced my opinion of the story; it promised more wit and heart, and it made me sympathetic to Cooper and his choices.
He gets a second chance to change his fate, and is thrown into a whole other life. A life which at first he resents, but then comes to realize it is what he should have always had: a family, a future, a friend.
As he struggles to fulfill his heavenly assignment, he undergoes some intense character development (which is, by the way, my favorite part of any book). He starts out as this angsty, upset kid and transforms into someone who loves and dreams and hopes for a better life for himself and the people he cares about. He becomes quite selfless.
So while I think it was a risky plot to write, De Palma executes it with complete comedy, drama, suspense, and success. I am absolutely pumped to read the next book she writes in this series and totally looking forward to interviewing her!
If you’re interested in her interview, check out my blog in the coming month!
8 out of 10 stars.