I always like to reread a couple of series throughout the year. It’s a good way to recoup from a series of bad books which I sort of had in August. Also, since August has been hectic in terms of work (got a shit load of a transferred coworker’s cases) it helps to read something that you’re familiar with and boy do I know Maggie Quinn.
I actually bought the first book way back when it came out in 2007 and it made me an instant fan of Rosemary Clement-Moore. I even had the pleasure of meeting her a few years back when Texas Gothic came out (I’m even inserting the bad photo where I am doing my full Tony Blair-fake smile, because I cannot smile on cue).
Maggie Quinn, girl reporter. Honors student, newspaper staffer, yearbook photographer. Six weeks from graduation and all she wants to do is get out of Avalon High in one piece. A sensible nerd would have kept her head down, done her drive-by photo shoot of the prom, and continued the countdown to Diploma Day. But fate seems to have different plans for Maggie.High school may be a natural breeding ground for evil, but the scent of fire and brimstone is still a little out of the ordinary. It’s the distinct smell of sulfur that makes Maggie suspect that something’s a bit off. And when real Twilight Zone stuff starts happening to the school’s ruling clique—the athletic elite and the head cheerleader and her minions, all of whom happen to be named Jessica—Maggie realizes it’s up to her to get in touch with her inner Nancy Drew and ferret out who unleashed the ancient evil before all hell breaks loose.Maggie has always suspected that prom is the work of the devil, but it looks like her attendance will be mandatory. Sometimes a girl’s got to do some pretty undesirable things if she wants to save her town from soul-crushing demons from hell. And the cheerleading squad.
This is such a fun book. Even ten years later. It wasn’t as great as I remembered it though. There were definitely parts of the book that dragged, but I still think out of all the books in the series it was probably the best.
Which I guess is sort of downer since there are two other books, but to be fair those books aren’t bad. This one just is the best one out of the bunch.
I think what I like the best about it is Maggie’s sass. It’s in the other books to some degree too, but here, I felt like the character was in her element the most. Plus, I felt like the side characters were the most developed here than in other books.
D&D Lisa was and probably will be my favorite character in this series. I had always hoped she’d get a spinoff of her own or would crossover into the Goodnight series, she’s just that great. She actually did have quite a bit of a story arc too as a supporting character here. Though, upon reread this book is much more predictable than it was when I first read it.
Also, I really wish that more time would’ve been spent on the fallout to what happened to Lisa. It’s really never mentioned again after this book, and she is the MC’s B.F.F. you’d think they talk about THAT a little more. Regardless, it presented an opportunity to develop the character further and I sort of think Clement-Moore missed it.
The book also seemed a lot less exciting second time around.
There were still some scenes that got my heart pumping, but it wasn’t as much of the roller coaster that I remember it being. And the Brian character really was completely useless. I didn’t know his whole purpose.
Overall though, I’d say that Prom Dates From Hell was one of the better YA paranormal books in its era. Even with its flaws, it was still a good revisit and I think it still holds up fairly well today.
Overall Rating: A B+
MAGGIE QUINN IS determined to make her mark as a journalist. The only problem? The Ranger Report does not take freshmen on staff.
Rules are rules. But when has that ever stopped Maggie?
After facing hellfire, infiltrating sorority rush should be easy. It’s no Woodward and Bernstein, but going undercover as the Phantom Pledge will allow her to write her exposé. Then she can make a stealth exit before initiation. But when she finds a group of girls who are after way more than “sisterhood,” all her instincts say there’s something rotten on Greek Row. And when Hell Week rolls around, there may be no turning back.
If there is such a thing as a sorority from hell, you can bet that Maggie Quinn will be the one to stumble into it.
Talk about sophomore slump, this book is the definition of it. To be fair though, it’s not terrible. I have read way worst, but it could’ve been a lot better than it was.
I think the thing that bothered me the most about this particular installment was how isolated the book felt.
And I think part of that was intentional, after all, a large part of the book dealt with Maggie becoming isolated from pretty much everyone in her life and it sucked big time since part of the reason that I at least returned to the series was the characters.
Here, Maggie’s relationship with all the returning cast seems stunted. . Sure, we’re introduced to new characters. But honestly, the new characters in this particular installment (and the next, for that matter) I really don’t care about and I think that’s what makes both of these sequels weak.
Again, I think the introduction of these characters is intentional. The books are supposed to have a Nancy Drew-ish vibe to them, and for anyone who has read Nancy Drew you probably know that in each book there’s essentially a new cast. I think, what falls flat for me, is I wanted to see all the great characters from the book before grow a little.
But they don’t.
The book takes on a theme that very early pre NA books took on-sorities.
I don’t know why mid 2000’s book thought that every college centered book had to include a sorority but they did. As far as sorority themed books go, it wasn’t bad but…I’m just not a sorority person.
Or really a fan of this book really. I didn’t even like Maggie in it. At least till the end until she got a clue. But again, everything comes together a little fast here. Characters easily forgive Maggie for her actions. Everything is summed up very quick and fast, with no explanation about how the curse was put into the place in the first place.
Overall, it just wasn’t my favorite book.
Rating: A C+ not terrible but it is lacking something.
Maggie Quinn was expecting to find plenty of trouble with Lisa over Spring Break. Give a girl a bikini, a beachfront hotel, and an absent boyfriend, and it’s as good as a road map to the dark side. But Maggie doesn’t have to go looking for trouble. Trouble has started looking for her. One dead cow and a punctured gas tank later, she and Lisa are stuck in
Dulcina, Texas—a town so small that it has an owner. And lately life in this small town hasn’t been all that peaceful. An eerie predator is stalking the ranchland.
Everyone in town has a theory, but not even Maggie’s psychic mojo can provide any answers. And the longer the girls are stranded, the more obvious it becomes that something is seriously wrong. Only no one—not even Maggie’s closest ally—wants to admit that they could have been forced on a detour down the highway to hell.
By all accounts, this book should be my favorite because it looks very Lisa centric and Lisa is by far my favorite character in this book. Only thing is it’s not Lisa centric in hindsight.
God, the pacing is extremely off in this one.
I mean, rereading this series wasn’t exactly a horrible experience BUT it was easier to see the problems in this series and in this installment pacing is an extreme issue.
Don’t get me wrong there are some parts I like. I did like Maggie’s friendship with Lisa, and I did like her interactions with Justin. But the whole chupacabra thing was never really explained and sort of…well, sort of fell flat. Most like the relationship between Lisa and Zeke.
I just felt like as far as characters went, the Zeke character was poorly sketched. He was very archetypical at best and so are the rest of these characters.
Again, I get what Clement-Moore is trying to do, she’s going for a Nancy Drew vibe BUT again I didn’t feel these characters. In the first book, I felt like the side characters were vibrant enough. You had the stereotypical popular jerks, but you also had Maggie’s science teacher who was interesting, and some of her classmates actually had personalities that differed from being a complete stereotypical. With the supplement books though…yeah. I mean, here we have cowboys. And they’re…well, cowboys.
Overall Rating: A B- I liked the third book better than the second, but it still wasn’t great.
Overall, this reread was kind of meh. It took three weeks (which is a long time for me to read-grant it, my work load has gotten worse BUT I still took my time with reading these). While I enjoyed the first one, the second and third installments weren’t as rosy as I remember.
So yeah, there were some nostalgia goggles here.
Still though, there are some great things about this series and as far as mid 2000’s paranormal books go it sticks out as one of the better series. However, I still think Clement-Moore’s Texas Gothic is probably her best books so far.
So, should you check out the Maggie Quinn Girl Vs Evil Series (what a mouthful) yes, but upon reread there are some reservations. Still though, it is a fun series.