Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Exorsistah

The Exorsistah by Claudia Mair Burney

Rating: 1.5/5

IQ "Somebody will always try to exploit you if they think they can get away with it. Unfortunately, most haters think they can."

I'm rather disappointed that I didn't enjoy this novel. The plot sounded good, an African American female demon huntress, YES! It turned out to be a book not really worth cheering about. There were clues from the synopsis that it would be Christian Lit (the back cover mentions God having a plan for the main character Emme, to 'whip some serious demon butt'), but I didn't think it would be so intense in Christian thought. I didn't know whether to laugh or frown in annoyance at certain aspects of the book. It's not very quotable either, unless you're looking for Scripture passages.

Emme Vaughn is homeless. She just left the home of the friend when the friend's husband tried to molest her (unbeknownst to her friend). Emme has been living in various homes since her mom went crazy, crazy from being able to see demons (a gift they share). She is forced to fight a demon in a Walgreens at 3 A.M. and a really cute guy (Francis) witnesses this. He wants her to join a group of demon-fighters led by his father (a Catholic priest) who is a master exorcist.

A central part of The Exorsistah is the budding romance between Emme and Francis. Except I don't think it ever bloomed or was even budding. At first, I thought OK the romance will start off slow but grow to something really passionate or just really sweet. The romance did nothing for me at the end. It was an annoyance and it didn't add much to the story. For most of the book, Emme moans and groans about the temptation of Francis and how she's trying to avoid him/it. I'm not even sure why, he's not a 'bad' kid, he hunts demons for God! He's a perfect gentlemen and I don't think God would have minded if they flirted or kissed. But there isn't really any chemistry between the two and I didn't care that it was hard for Emme to concentrate when Francis was near her, because (and this sounds a bit awful but I'll just go ahead and say it) it wasn't a believable romance, there were very few awkwardly sweet or cute encounters. There were attepmts at witty banter, but they sounded out of place. If there's going to be a romance it needs to be either cute/sweet or passionate and intense.

The religious aspect of the novel was a bit tiresome. Passages like this "I looked into his face and saw compassion in him like I saw demons in the possessed man. I wondered if that's what it looked like to be possessed by God. By love Himself. Cutie's grace touched me." Not really necessary, it doesn't do anything for me. Throughout the entire book, I felt like the author was trying to convert her readers (Disclosure: I am a Christian). The constant "b-word", cuss words, heckuva, etc. expressions were also a bit tedious. I've always felt that if people don't use the words they should just eliminate them from their vocabulary all together, there are better ways to express yourself, don't just abbreviate them. The vernacular used in the novel wasn't true to how teens today speak. "'cause Emme Vaughn imbibed not the fruits of the vine. It's not good for a sistah to have her perception altered." Yes, we use "brotha" and "sistah" sometimes, but not all the time unlike in this book, when it seemed like, whenever a teen spoke they used the words! "Imbibed the fruits of the vine."? I know what it means, but I don't think I would ever say it like that. Some of the expressions used seem old-school (which is OK I suppose, but some teens like me, may not get them) or made-up. And the Spanglish! I love hearing Spanglish, (I use it myself), but what the author uses is not Spanglish, it's a random sprinkling of Spanish words, 'morena', 'chica', 'hombre'. I've never met anyone who speaks an entire sentence in English except for one little word like 'chica'.

I thought the whole 3 AM being known as the witching hour because it's the reverse of the holy hour, 3 PM (when Jesus died on the cross) was a cool concept. There were some funny parts like "Jesus, have mercy!" 'I yelled. They probably thought I was praying for Jamilla, but I was asking for some slack on my boots! I'd prayed for weeks for Jamilla. I was the one who needed some help now!" None of the humor was laugh out loud funny, but I did smile and shake my head at a few parts.

The Exorsistah is geared toward a certain audience. A more serious, Christian, younger audience. It's Young Adult, but I think older teens and even adults may grow impatient at parts. Definitely don't read it if you're not a Christian, you'll simply grow frustrated. It was fun at times and slightly though-provoking, but nothing truly deep or inspirational. However, the cover of the book is beautiful! It's one of my favorites :) 6th grade and up.

Disclosure: Bought


  1. I was so hoping this book was good as well. I did get the sense from reading the writer's blog that it was going to be really heavy on the Christian aspects but I was hoping not this heavy. Sometime a little of powerful theme goes a long way in a novel.

  2. Aw that's too bad. I thought the cover was interesting but I guess I'll have to pass on this novel.


I love to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing :) And don't be Anon, I try to always reply back and I like to know who I'm replying to ;)