I just finished Repossessed, a hilarious and surprisingly thought-provoking novel by A.M. Jenkins. As I read this tale of a demon who takes possession of the body of a teenage slacker, I thought I was so clever for noticing that this body-snatching-of-teenagers theme seems to be a popular one for Jenkins since she (or he?) already visited it in A Certain Slant of Light. Then I realized that A.M. Jenkins didn't write A Certain Slant of Light. Laura Whitcomb did. Different authors aside, the idea is similar though each author tackles the subject in polar opposite ways. Both books were great, and both left me wondering if I've ever checked out while a supernatural being took hold of my body. I don't think that has happened yet. It could be only a matter of time. Then again I am no longer a teenager so maybe I'm safe. Jenkin's demon is such a charming and thoughtful demon that one can't help but grow fond of him throughout the course of the book. Is possession by demon really such a bad thing? Not as written by Jenkins it's not.
In Repossessed, Kiriel one of the Fallen, has grown bored with his duties in Hell. He decides to take a "vacation," one which he assumes will be short-lived since hijacking human bodies is sure to be a big no-no. But Kiriel is also hoping that maybe, just maybe, he will get the attention of God Himself. Ever since the Rebellion, God has turned His face from Kiriel, and this is the worst punishment any of the Fallen can suffer. Taking over a human body might just get Kiriel some attention from the Head Honcho Himself, even if it is negative attention. Kiriel expects to get a day, tops, in the body of Shaun, teen slacker. But the next day comes and Kiriel-as-Shaun is still around to enjoy all of the wonders of being human. No one but Shaun's cat seems to realize an imposter has taken over the kid's body and Kiriel sets about enjoying every moment he can in his new, intriguing body of flesh. Of course, he doesn't know quite how to behave as a human being and this allows for some of the funniest moments in the book. In the scene where Kiriel/Shaun tries to confront the school bully (whose worries are of such a personal nature that it is really better not to mention them) I laughed out loud so hard that I snorted. (That is the litmus test for high humor when it comes to me.) Kireil/Shaun's determination to experience sex while in the Shaun body is also fodder for snort-worthy humor, especially since Kiriel doesn't understand the nature of teenage girls and their disinclination to jump into bed after just having been kissed for the very first time.
Aside from the humor, Repossessed raises intriguing questions about guilt and self forgiveness, and about changing the course of a life before it's too late. This is a fast, fun read that would also be quite a good book discussion book.
And if you read this and you don't like Kiriel, then you just don't know a good demon when you see one!