If you loved deals with demons, Filipino folklore, and a queer contemporary setting look no further. Damned If You Do delivers humor, danger, and discussions of abuse and guilt. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Seven years ago, Cordelia Scott’s abusive father left without a word, and life has been normal ever since. The seventeen-year-old spends her days stage managing the school play (which is going great, if anyone asks), pining over her best friend, Veronica, and failing one too many pop quizzes.
She’s never been sad that her father left, but she knows something is…missing. When her school guidance counselor, Fred, reveals during a session that he’s actually a demon, she learns that something is indeed a piece of her actual soul. Why? She unwittingly made a deal with him to make her father disappear – then bargained to have the memory erased. To make matters worse, Fred is here to make another Help him with a “little” demonic problem, or she’s doomed to spend eternity in Hell with her father.
The deal? Help Fred neutralize a rival demon, who means to do more harm in her hometown than your average demon deal.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I will always get behind a character who accidentally sold a piece of her soul. With that kind of premise what’s more to know? Damned If You Do is story I adored. The past is looming over Cordelia’s head and she’s trying to figure out if she can make it to the other side in one piece. If her family, friends, and crushes can escape unscathed. Damned If You Do balances humor, especially with the demon character, and stakes.
(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)
I could tell where the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comparison comes in there’s this similar contemporary setting meets everyday car drives and flying assailants. Fred and Cordelia become a comedic duo and Cordelia’s romantic tension with her best friend delivers angst and swoon. But Damned If You Do also examines how we can feel monstrous. How abuse can twist our own thoughts against ourselves and how we can feel unworthy of love. Find Damned If You Do on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, & Blackwells.