Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=dantra0c-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0763660388&asins=0763660388&linkId=PY6TNK3ULCP46F2D&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=trueI have pretty low expectations anymore, but Evil Librarian is a surprisingly clever YA novel that actually exceeded those – albeit modest – expectations. It still tends to be a bit repetitive and long-winded; but for the most part, Michelle Knudsen’s journey to Hell is a rewarding read.

The below excerpt pretty well summarizes the plot of Evil Librarian. Be warned, it doesn’t sound very promising:

[blockquote source=”Evil Librarian p. 68″]He [Ryan Halsey] turns to look at me. There are so many things I want to say. An evil librarian is taking over the school. He appears to be making my best friend his special library monitor. I am afraid that he knows that I suspect him. I am also afraid that if this craziness continues, the school community will never get to experience your portrayal of Sweeney Todd, which I think would be a terrible crime. I would also like to kiss you.[/blockquote]

On one hand, Knudsen’s novel is a typical YA novel with a lovesick teenage protagonist and her oh-so-dreamy crush squaring off against an ominous antagonist together. Cyn constantly describes the things that Ryan does to her “nerve endings,” which is . . . uncomfortable. On the other hand, Evil Librarian stands out in that Knudsen is consciously and intentionally playing within the paradigms of the genre. She employs the sappy love story, the conveniently absent/uninterested parents, and the best friend conflict, but turns YA on its head by adding a troop of fiery and entertaining demons to the mix.

Evil Librarian doesn’t take itself too seriously. Add to that a colorful cast of characters and a performance of Sweeney Todd, and you’ve got a completely unique and humorous addition to the YA world.


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