Title: Soul Enchilada
Author: David Macinnis Gill
ISBN: 9780061673016
Pages: 356 pages
Publisher/Date: GreenWillow Books, c2009.

“Miss Smoot, your grandfather purchased the vehicle with financing from my employer.”
“Possession is nine-tenths of the law, I said, “and I possess the car now.”
“And I, Miss Smoot, am here to repossess it. By any means necessary, up to and including” — he licked his lips with a thin, snakelike tongue — “your death.” (22)

Eighteen year old Eunice “Bug” Smoot is in trouble; big trouble. Unbeknowst to her, her grandfather purchased their 1958 convertible Cadillac Biarritz on credit. When he passed away, the repo man came, but he’s not any repo man. His grandfather sold his soul to the devil, and when he didn’t deliver on the promise when he died, the repo man Mr. Beals arrived to collect the car and Bug’s soul instead. She now has less than 60 hours to trick a devil’s agent out of her soul and her only prized possession. But tricking the devil is even harder than it sounds.

The plot concept sounds great, but that’s about the only thing going for the book. Well that and the tagline, which is “The devil is in the details”. The dialogue is stilted, with Bug coming across mean, ornery, and tempermental to the point of over the top. Her reactions don’t seem natural in the least bit, and her acquaintance Pesto from high school just happens to be involved with demon immigration services (picture a very low class version of Men in Black, but for demons). Pesto and Bug’s relationship evolves from acquaintances to boy/girlfriend in the course of the three days they’re together. Her dead mother arrives to save the day in what readers will see as predictable turn of events. And the final outcome of the world boils down to first a car race, then a 2 on 2 basketball game, and finally an incantation, resulting in the final outcome feeling anticlimatic and drawn out at best. Why does everyone love this book so much, with Kirkus giving it a starred review calling it an “action-packed, power-punch of a debut”? I don’t know, because this book was certainly not my cup of tea. People who have read it, did you like it?

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