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The devil made 'em do it.
Girl meets boy at a car wash. And probably this would have been a sweet teen romance . . . except that the girl's grandfather sold his soul for a classic Cadillac and he used her soul as collateral, too. Which the devil has come to collect, along with the car. Now eighteen-year-old Bug Smoot has to fight for both. Good thing she knows how to fight dirty. Good thing nothing frightens Bug Smoot: not the repo man, not the paranormal creatures, not séances ...
The devil made 'em do it.
Girl meets boy at a car wash. And probably this would have been a sweet teen romance . . . except that the girl's grandfather sold his soul for a classic Cadillac and he used her soul as collateral, too. Which the devil has come to collect, along with the car. Now eighteen-year-old Bug Smoot has to fight for both. Good thing she knows how to fight dirty. Good thing nothing frightens Bug Smoot: not the repo man, not the paranormal creatures, not séances or driving too fast. And good thing that boy from the car wash is actually a supernatural secret agent.
This is one helluva ride.
Deep in El Paso, Tex., Eunice "Bug" Smoot is behind on the rent and in danger of losing her job delivering pizzas, but at least she's got a smooth ride-a 1958 Cadillac Biarritz bequeathed by Papa C., her grandfather. Then the repo man shows up. Turns out Papa C. financed the car with his soul but disappeared upon death. Bug's got till midnight Halloween to produce grandpa's soul or turn over her keys-and her free will. To Bug's aid comes hunky Pesto, a car wash manager who moonlights for ISIS, the International Supernatural Immigration Service. Gill's debut features hilarious dialogue-Bug and Pesto don't talk; they sling witticisms at each other. And Bug is easy to love, a tough-talking teen whose life has been riddled with loss. But some readers may tire of the grosser details of demon warfare-lots of vomiting, maggots, even vomiting of maggots-and the story goes on past several natural stopping points. Still, this updated spin on deal-making with the devil shows that Gill, president of ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents), knows what will make teens laugh. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr 9 Up
On her own and struggling to make ends meet, 18-year-old Eunice "Bug" Smoot has one cherished possession: the 1958 Cadillac Biarritz left to her by her grandfather. When she discovers that he offered not only his soul as collateral for the car, but also hers and that, somehow, his spirit has managed to evade repossession, she realizes she is in grave danger. With the aid of a cute boy who happens to be an aspiring agent of the International Supernatural Immigration Service; his mother, a spiritual advisor and witch; and an ancient lawyer specializing in conflicts between the earthly and spirit realms, Bug battles an evil djinn for her soul. Set in the Spanish-speaking neighborhoods of El Paso, Soul distinguishes itself from other recent supernatural farces such as Jonathan Bernstein's Hottie (Penguin/Razorbill, 2009) by giving voice to ethnic and economic minority characters. Indeed, Bug's first-person narration is feisty and knowing in the ways of class and prejudice ("Growing up half Tejana and half-African American," Bug claims, "I learned real quick that folks were going to put you down because of the color you were, no matter what color they were"). However, the increasingly dramatic confrontations and competitions pitting Bug and company against the djinn and the recurring discovery that yet another El Paso citizen is, in actuality, a demon or is demon-possessed threaten to derail the willing suspension of disbelief that novels like these demand.-Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
Soul Enchilada AER
The Rent Man Cometh
Most folks don't know the exact minute that life's going to be over. I wasn't any different. I had no idea the end was coming, so I didn't realize when the landlord woke me up by beating on the front door of my apartment—a two-hundred-square-foot roach motel with a half bath, no phone, no cable, and no air conditioner—I only had sixty-one hours and forty-four minutes before my soul was taken away.
"Wake up if you know what's good for you," the landlord hollered in a thick peckerwood accent, repeatedly ringing the doorbell. "Rent's due!"
"Mr. Payne?" I groaned, and rolled off the couch, which I'd collapsed into at three A.M.
I stumbled across the apartment, shaking my dreads out and wishing to hell I hadn't slept in my work clothes, which were now more wrinkled than my Auntie Pearl's rear end.
I opened the door a crack. Light flooded into my eyes, half-blinding me, and I blinked at Mr. Payne like a groggy Gila monster. "You know what time it is?"
"Yes ma'am, Miss Smoot, I sure do. It's rent time." He stuck a yellowed, liver-spotted hand inside and started groping around. "You're five days late, Eunice, for the third month in a row. Ow!"
"Sorry," I said, because I'd leaned on the door, pinching his wrist in the crack. But I didn't give an inch.
Mr. Payne had pipe-cleaner wrists, a head shaped like a sapote fruit, and a long shank of hair he swirled over his bald spot like a hairy soft-serve ice cream. He was always getting in the tenants' business, especially mine.
Speaking of business, itwas time to go to work. I had just an hour till I was supposed to clock in.
"Rent!" Mr. Payne said, trying to yank his hand free.
"Uh." Did he think bullying me was going to make a stack of Benjamins magically pop into my wallet?
"Uh. Uh. Uh," he said, mocking me. "Cat got your tongue, young'un? Cat got your rent? You sure ain't got it, I can tell that much."
If I had the rent, I would've already paid him and gone back to bed. "Like I done told you—"
"Talk is cheap."
So was he. "Like I done told you," I repeated, "my boss, Vinnie, he don't pay us but every two weeks, so I'll get you the money tomorrow, a'ight?"
"Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. That's what you people always say."
No, he didn't. He did not just go there. "You people? You people? Now listen here, Mr. Payne."
Then he said something about me being so cranky all the time and why couldn't girls like me learn to go along to get along. Girls like what? I wanted to ask him. Poor girls who wear dreads and secondhand Baby Phats from the Goodwill? Mixed-race girls with hazel eyes and good hair, a pinch over five feet, with double-pierced lobes, who want something more out of life than somebody's prejudice or pity? All my life, folks had been looking at me sideways, especially when I was with my mama. The Tejanos didn't accept me because I was black. Black folks didn't accept me because I was a Tejana. There was a nasty name both groups called girls like me—coyote. They could all kiss my ass because I didn't need them to tell me who I was.
"Mr. Payne," I said, "you best move your bony hand before you have to 'go along' without it."
He yanked his arm out of the crack, and I took the chance to slam the door with all my weight—one hundred and two pounds sopping wet.
"Rent, Eunice. By five p.m. today. Or I'm starting eviction."
Eviction? That sent a shiver down my spine. I couldn't lose this apartment. It was the only thing between me and a cardboard box beneath an overpass on the Trans-Mountain Highway.
"What. Ever," I said through the door, which was as thin as Mr. P's comb-over.
"Tell that to the sheriff's deputy," he yelled, "after he chucks your belongings out on the street." His slippers made a shuffling sound on the stoop, and I let out a nervous breath, thankful he was gone.
I lived in mortal fear of landlords. Before Papa C died, me and him moved to a different place every six months, each worse than the one before. This apartment was the crappiest place I had ever lived, but I had promised myself when I moved in, there wouldn't be no eviction notices nailed to my door. Which gave me less than six hours to get the man his money.
I pinched my bottom lip. Other than selling my body, which ain't ever going to happen, there was no way I'd ever come up with that much cash so fast.
I jumped back from the door, a hand over my thumping heart. He wasn't serving me notice already, was he? Bug, girl, I told myself, you been way too jumpy lately. Best calm down. All he wants is the rent money, and you're getting paid, right? "What you want now?" I said through the door.
"Get that junker of yours cleaned up pronto before I call a tow truck to haul it off as a public nuisance."
My car? My classic 1958 Cadillac Biarritz? Wasn't no tow truck ever touching it. Over my dead body. "What happened to my ride? And don't you be calling it no junker."
I swung the door open, slipped past Mr. Payne, and jogged around the corner of the building. My studio apartment was the last unit on a long row house. The building was yellow-brown brick with a flat roof and sagging awnings over the concrete stoops. There were little patches of dirt yards in front, and a crumbling sidewalk. My unit had a long driveway with a carport awning, which is where I had parked my ride last night at three A.M., right next to the No Parking sign.
I stopped mid-step, and my mouth dropped open. Somebody, some asshole, had egged my car.Soul Enchilada AER. Copyright © by David Gill. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted February 13, 2009
Bug is too smart for her own good, in both senses of the word. Her smack-talking comebacks tend to get her in trouble with people like her boss and her landlord, but Bug always comes out on top because she outwits anyone who gets in her way.<BR/><BR/>Except this one guy, Beals, who is totally freaking her out. Maybe it has to do with his forked tongue...or the fact that he pops out of nowhere. Or that he claims to be a repossession agent from Hell, here to take Bug's prize (and pretty much only) possession...her Papa C's car. HER car.<BR/>Ain't no way that's happening...not as long as Bug's around. <BR/><BR/>Beals is the most deliciously dry and sarcastic nemesis I've read, and the repelling chemistry between these two characters is enough to make the pages vibrate. <BR/><BR/>The action and constant element of surprise in this book keep readers zipping through those quivering pages to see how things play out. The LOL humor here is the kind that most authors only wish they could stir, engaging readers from page one. <BR/><BR/>Bug's boy, Pesto, brings just enough romance to keep things stirred up, but it isn't enough to gag unsuspecting readers, as in some books which shall remain nameless. And the rest of the characters? You REALLY need to meet them for yourself. Unbelievable! <BR/><BR/>THIS is an author worth watching!
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2011
I'm most of the way through the book so far, and find it easy to read, with an interesting plot. It could be a more well rounded if we found out more about some of the other characters, rather than being n the first person, but the author has done well with what he has to work with.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 16, 2012
He did a fanominal job writing this book. I was so entriged that i NEVER PUT THIS BOOK DOWN until i was finished. . So about three hours. . He he ;) And omg! Pesto sounds incredible HOT.
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Posted March 16, 2012
Posted February 9, 2012
Posted February 8, 2012
I would like to join your clan! Plz tell me iff you except. I am a moss green tom with bright green eyes and sharp hooked claws. =]
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Posted October 24, 2011
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