by A.M. Jenkins
Review by Kat Bittner
HarperTeen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0060835680
Date: 01 June 2007 List Price $15.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
A.M. Jenkins creates is a casual read for the young adult in his latest novel, Repossessed. Kiriel is a demon facing a midlife crisis. His work is literally hell and he hasn't had a break since . . . ever. This time Kiriel is taking a vacation, maybe permanently.
Kiriel is your common worker drone. He does his job, or better yet the job does the work for him since hell is all about self imposed punished. But a demon can only stand persecution and punishment for so long and now it's time to take a vacation. He's got it all figured out. When a soul leaves a body, possess it before the physical body dies. After scouting a few people, Kiriel finds the ideal candidate in teen slacker Shaun. No responsibilities, lots of time to experience life, yet able to sleep in a safe place at night, Shaun is the perfect life for Kiriel to escape to.
At first Kiriel's joy is infectious at experiencing the novelty of senses. Some are funny like the wonder of smell only to discover it's a dirty t-shirt, and others may not be appropriate for younger readers like trying manual pleasure for the first time.
He even starts to improve Shaun's relationships at home. He learns more about his little brother Jason than that he is good at Teutonic War II. He becomes more of the son his mom wants him to be. With his loyal friend Bailey and a sexual interest in Lane, Kiriel is living Shaun's life to the fullest. However, as Kiriel is settling down into his new role he gets a divine warning to cut his vacation or else.
Repossessed falls short in two areas. A common mistake among YA books is when explanation in some passages is unnecessary and distracts the reader away from the action of the story. It would have benefited if there were more religious or philosophical questioning of the demon's role in the grand scheme and not come to a too easy conclusion.
What Repossessed does illustrate well is that Kiriel's hopes and fears are no different from those of a teen (or any human regardless of age). His hope to leave his own mark on the world and his fear that it would not happen. Where the book lacks is its theological questioning it excels in displaying the poignancy of human relationships and the mark we can leave on those relationships if we take care of them.