Take a moment to think of the absolute worst chore you can think of. Is it cleaning toilets? Babysitting your snot-nosed brother every day after school? Picking up all the dog poop in the yard? No matter what terrible job you've come up with, we assure you that after reading Kiriel's story in Repossessed, you're going to count yourself lucky. Kiriel, you see, is a demon whose sole job is to hang out in hell and make sure people are sufficiently tormented. And no, he doesn't like this gig at all.
Kiriel heads north—you know, to where we live on the surface of the planet—for a little rest and relaxation. And when he does, we get to see what happens when a demon takes over a body and comes face to face with things we deal with every day. Think school bullies, video games, and ketchup packets. Yeah, things are a lot different down below.
A. M. Jenkins' 2008 novel bagged a slew of awards (including heavy hitters like the Michael L. Printz Honor Book award and ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults) for her witty take on a serious issue. So as much as we're talking about demons and the creation of the universe, rest assured that this story is a totally fun and engaging read. Plus, Kiriel's journey is more about discovering how humans live than anything else—so no matter how demonic your mother is when it comes to chore assignments, you'll probably find something you relate to in this book.
Pro tip: Politics and religion are the two things you're never supposed to talk about at dinner parties. There's just way too much room for disagreement there, and since these are things people really care about, things can sour long before you reach dessert. So the next time you're invited for hors d'oeuvres, you might want to leave your copy of Repossessed at home.
But before you bury the book at the back of your shelves, hold up a minute, because the reason this book doesn't make for polite table talk is the very reason you should read it: It's religiously and politically explosive. In fact, it's downright nuclear. It raises questions about whether the Creator is up to no good, and if demons are really as bad as we give them credit for. And while this might not ease your digestion, these are some of the Big Questions in life, and so they're totally worth mulling over for a bit.
Plus, Repossessed makes us think about religion from a different angle. Instead of looking through an ancient text for answers, we hear what it's like to actually be a demon—instead of being written off, then, in this book, demons (okay, one demon) take center stage. And if that doesn't pique your interest, we're not sure what will.
Publish or Perish
If you loved Repossessed, then chances are good you'll like Jenkins's over novels, too. Check them out on the publisher's website.
Check out the contents of Jenkins's brain—she dumps them freely on her blog.
A casual interview with the author about her award-winning book.
Intro to Jenkins
This article goes through the different books in Jenkins's career.
A fan's trailer for the book, complete with Star Wars graphics. Because why not?
If you imagined the book as a superhero movie, you weren't alone.
They Really Like Her
Listen to Jenkins's acceptance speech for her Michael L. Printz award.