Thursday, November 25, 2010

Book Review: Repossessed by A. M. Jenkins

Repossessed, by A. M. Jenkins
Release Date: May 29, 2007
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 224
Received: Library book
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Author's Page
Amazon Page
Kiriel is bored with his job as a tormentor in Hell so when he sees an opportunity to possess the body of a teen boy, he jumps on it. Kiriel, now Shaun, finally gets to experience all of the things he's only ever heard about. Corporeal sensations take precedence at first, allowing for both interesting and humorous scenes as Kiriel seeks out new experiences with various tastes, textures, and sexual sensations. Also new to Kiriel, however, are human relationships, and as Shaun now, he has a number of damaged relationships to deal with. While Kiriel explores what it means to be human, he can't help but worry his time in Shaun's body will be cut short when his absence in Hell is noted, and he is determined to leave his mark in the world before that happens.


There are certain books that strike a chord with me in such a way that I am pretty much left speechless. Not the OHMYGODTHISBOOKWASAWESOME! kind of speechless that comes with a book I had a ton of fun with, but a kind of speechless that occurs because the book touched some inexplicable something deep in my heart. It's a quieter, subtler reaction where I sort of sit back and whisper, "Woah." Usually this happens when a book speaks to me, personally, on some level. It forces me to look inwards at myself, my life, and my approach to the world around me. Does that make much sense? I'm not sure, but, in my defense, I am saying I'm left speechless, after all.

In the US, today is Thanksgiving, and that is a large part of why I chose to review Repossessed today. Kiriel's perspective on what it means to be human is insightful, sensitive, hilarious, and touching. Many things we take for granted are highlighted and appreciated by Kiriel, giving us readers new appreciation for what it means to be alive. I found myself looking at even the most mundane things, like tasting ketchup or someone simply noticing when you feel down, through Kiriel's eyes and suddenly they didn't seem so mundane. I know it may sound corny, but I even found myself getting a little misty eyed at the beauty of these simple moments as Kiriel discovered them and I reflected on my own experiences.

The cover and jacket description make this book seem like a light comedy. While the book is very funny (I laughed out loud a number of times due both to Kiriel's hilarious observations and humorous antics), it definitely isn't light. The depth and poignancy of Kiriel's relationships, observations, and morality struggles make this book well deserving of the Michael L. Printz Award nomination it received. Despite the weightier plot, Repossessed is compulsively readable due to Kiriel's easy narration style and numerous laugh out loud moments and commentary. While the main character may be possessing the body of a teenager, this book speaks to feelings that defy age. Highly recommended, to both teens and adults. 

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key  


  1. This sounds like its right up my alley. I enjoy books that make me stop and think, ones with little life lessons, just not preachy ones, I prefer subtle little hints. Looks like something I'm going to have to add to my ever growing list of "to reads".

  2. Don't worry, it makes sense. I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for the rec!

  3. Haha, thanks for "getting" what I was trying to communicate. :)

    This one definitely wasn't preachy. I don't like preachy books, but this one instead showed a lot and left a lot of the decisions up to the reader.


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