4.2 34
by Jon Skovron

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Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history

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Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.

Author Jon Skovron takes on the dark side of human nature with his signature funny, heartfelt prose.

Praise for Misfit
« “An impeccably paced and unusually profound urban-fantasy novel. Thoughtful, scary and captivating.”  –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Skovron's second book is a two for one: a coming-of-age story wrapped within a captivating paranormal context. Sixteen-year-old Jael Thompson's gradual discovery of her abilities as a half-demon is narrated in the present tense, while her education about her heritage comes via detailed visions of her parents' past, told in past tense. The duality is a little uncomfortable, intentionally so, as Skovron (Struts & Frets) goes beyond adolescent preoccupations with acceptance, identity, and the opposite sex to look at even more fraught issues of faith, parental self-sacrifice, and the nature of reality. After a lifetime of constant moves, Jael wants to make friends, explore her attraction to Rob McKinley, and just go to high school. And if a Grand Duke of Hell is pursuing her? Well, her father will simply have to stop being so overprotective and help her deal with it. Jael is an easy heroine to root for, and readers will recognize, as Jael does, that (demonic roots aside) she is "just a lonely girl with a lot of problems." The romance between Jael's parents adds additional texture and complexity to her narrative of self-discovery. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Karen Jensen
Jael has never met her mom and has moved so many times, she has never had the chance to make real friends. She also has a secret—she is half demon. On her sixteenth birthday, Jael's dad gives her a necklace which she soon discovers contains her demon side. She must choose if she wants to accept it into her soul. Jael's mother has sacrificed herself to save her daughter and removed her demon essence from her body to help protect her from the Grand Dukes of hell who detest half-breeds and fear their power. As Jael accepts her demon side, she begins to come into her own and into danger. Jael is tormented, pursued, and dragged through the depths of hell, quite literally, as she tries to protect her friends and herself from Belial—one of the oldest and most feared demons. Jael is an interesting and complex character, self-aware and thoughtful, and facing some typical teenage issues: identity, friendship, relationships, and matters of faith. The addition of her demon-self seems like a cheat, as it gives her supernatural powers which help her gain confidence and assertiveness through atypical means. The flashbacks used in the story sometimes incorporate known Bible stories, such as Sampson and Delilah, but with a new twist. Jael's relationship with her father is an important part of the story as is her relationships with her new boyfriend, Rob, and both have satisfying developments. Misfit was a slow starter, but once the action takes off, it is a compelling read with some dark twists. Recommend this for more sophisticated fans of paranormal fiction with the caveat that some readers will have problems with the unconventional religious elements. Reviewer: Karen Jensen
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Jael's father tells her hardly anything about her mother or his past. They move often and are currently living in Seattle, where he teaches at the Catholic school she attends. On her 16th birthday, he gives her a strange necklace that belonged to her mother. He warns her not to wear it and when she does she has visions of his past and of her mother. Astarte was a goddess, a demoness, who came to Paul while he was in seminary. They fought demons together until Astarte sacrificed herself to save their daughter. The Grand Duke of Hell, Belial, continues to hunt them to this day. Paul didn't want Jael to know about her past, but Astarte's brother Dagon appears to her as well as Asmodeus and between them and her visions, Jael learns about her mother and her own powers, which have been restored to her. This gripping story, steeped in myth and religion, will have readers on the edge of their seats as Jael fights for her life against Belial, who is determined to kill her. Jael is a strong, believable character who also kicks butt!—Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

In an impeccably paced and unusually profound urban-fantasy novel, 16-year-old half-demon Catholic-school student Jael Thompson comes into her powers, explores her heritage and battles a tyrannical Hell beast.

Jael, who grew up on the run with her strict, tight-lipped father, knows little of her history until her 16th birthday. Then, fulfilling a promise to his late wife, Jael's father gives her a gem that allows her access to her demon half. Through flashbacks and visions, Jael finally encounters traces of her mother, once the Phoenician goddess Astarte. She also meets her uncle, a kindly but grotesque (by the mortal realm's standards) fish demon, who helps her harness her newfound ability to influence the elements. Much tension comes from Jael's rebellious and sometimes reckless choices: She experiments with her powers and confides in a classmate despite her father's insistence that the pair stay completely hidden. Refreshingly, Jael is largely proven right: Her actions bring her the intimacies, romantic and familial, that her human half craves, even while attracting the family's sinister and powerful enemy, the demon Belial. Alongside joyous exploration, heart-pounding action and inventively horrifying imagery is a complex set of metaphysical questions: Does reality define belief or belief define reality? What is the nature of Hell? What makes a family?

Thoughtful, scary and captivating. (Urban fantasy. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Amulet Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.06(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Jon Skovron is the author of Struts & Frets, about which the Washington Post Book World said, “Skovron perfectly captures that passion—sometimes fierce, sometimes shy—that drives so many young artists to take the raw stuff of life and ‘transform it into something beautiful.’” He lives in Washington, DC.

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