by Madeline Iva
So I read MY DEMON and my first response was: what high school f**kery is this? I mean, I LOVED it!
I know S.A. Hunter, and she’s an excellent writer. She writes YA and when she started a serial with the title MY DEMON, I was like: Finally! She’s doing full on paranormal stuff. (Her Scary Mary series is ghosty paranormal. And quite good too.)
But no. My Demon is not paranormal. Yet when I read it I had to ask myself: is this contemporary Y.A.?
In the end I’d have to say, nooo.
It’s really a genre I’ve come to think of as High School Fantasy Drama. It’s not ‘real’ high school, it’s billionaire high school. But like, really twisted. We’re talking Vampire Academy, Pretty Little Liars on steroids, Gossip Girl, etc.
You can sense an Asian influence in this genre as well. I’m sure it comes from manga comics too (think MARIA HOLIC), but I associate it with KDrama, aka Korean Drama.
Our heroine is attending an elite high school so perverse, so messed up and totally un-politically correct that not being wealthy, she’s stalked and threatened with violence. And that’s just the first day! The assassination attempts come later.
She is tormented by a billionaire wild boy, one who is inexplicably drawn to her. What’s even more outrageous: the school authorities expected her to somehow tame this demon into a functional teenager.
There are mysteries, and layers to her personal demon. He plays hot and cold, he misbehaves or is an overprotective angel–everything you’d want in a post-pubescent alpha hero on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
What did I love? Oh, you know, just how messed up it was, along with the sexual tension between hero and heroine. I feel like it’s almost more for adults than teens. We watch the heroine getting gradually sucked in deeper and deeper into a world where she’s bonding with people who (like the monsters in paranormal romance) live in a world so very different from her own, that merely becoming their friend is involving herself in high-risk stakes.
I think you romance people out there would relish it.
Ultimately, (she says, going deep) what S.A. Hunter is doing here is bringing forth a demon from her subconscious. The demon taunts us with our attraction towards what’s dangerous and disgusting about aggressive, entitled ‘boys’ and mocks our own perversity. That whole ‘he’s just misunderstood’ motif is tipped out, shaken up, crushed, and then pulverized in this story. It’s like forbidden candy. You just gotta gobble it down.
So check out the first half of the series now – HERE.
Speaking of throwing desks–
I also read a story called “WILD BOYS” by our very own C. Margery Kempe. This story is part of an homage to Duran Duran. The entire collection is called COME UNDONE: Stories Inspired by the Music of Duran Duran.
So C. Margery Kempe’s story “WILD BOYS” is taken from the DuranDuran song ‘Wild Boys’. The story is m/m, and post-apocalyptic and set in a boy’s reformatory – gone wild – after the apocalypse. You’re thinking, okay, Lord of the Flies, and it does have a harsh beginning, but actually, it’s incredibly sweet. I loved the romance in it. I think it’s my fav story by C. Margery Kempe so far.
Like Duran Duran? Buy the anthology with C. Margery Kempe’s story in it HERE.
Here’s song/video WILD BOYS. It’s MadMax 3 (Tina Turner edition) meets British prep school.
Though here’s my fav Duran Duran song. It’s so cheesy 80’s it hurts:
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