This was my final move in the game, this graceless thud to the floor. There was only one question left in my mind... Had I played it right?
Devilish is a 2006 young adult novel by American author Maureen Johnson (no, notTHAT Maureen Johnson). It tells the story of Jane Jarvis and her best friend Allison Concord, high school seniors in Rhode Island who find things becoming complicated when Ally admits she unwittingly made a Deal with the Devil. It gets harder for Jane to disbelieve this insane story as the world goes insane around her, and before she knows it, she's in a decisive battle for eternal souls.
Brainless Beauty: Joan, full stop. One of Jane's hobbies seems to be convincing Joan outrageous things are true just to see what she'll believe, such as that Alaska used to be called Frigidaire and that the earth has a second moon we can never see because it's made of glass—and Jane's usually successful.
Exact Words: Elton has to give Jane a kiss. Ally manipulates this by giving Elton a bag of candy to give to Jane. In the bag is... a Hershey's Kiss. So Elton gave Jane a kiss without even realizing it.
Fluffy the Terrible: A variant: "representitive of the Satanic High Command, Hearth of the Cold and All-Consuming Fire, Destroyer of Worlds, Consumer of Souls, Taker of the Life Breath, Guardian of the Bottomless Ocean of Sorrow, Bearer of the Lance of Endless Pain, Lanalee Tremone, 10B."
How We Got Here: The books starts with a short prologue in which Jane seems to be dying. The first chapter starts two weeks earlier and the rest of the book, save the last chapter, is spent explaining how the events described in the prologue came to pass.
Imagine Spot: What does Jane most fear Sister Albert, the school principal, will say on any of her numerous disciplinary trips to Sister's office? "Okay, Miss Jarvis, enough talking. We're going to settle this with some good old-fashioned wrestling. Get on the floor!"
Important Haircut: One of the first signs that things are taking a turn for the strange? Ally gets an adorable new hairstyle. Her hair was cut as part of the contract and turned into hail.
Incendiary Exponent: Jane finds her demonic contract written in one of her textbooks... in flames. Then the rest of the book goes up in flames.
Love Hurts: Jane is still getting over being dumped by her boyfriend Elton. Gets harder when she finds out her best friend is now secretly dating him.
Love Triangle: A small but important part of the story. First there's a type 4, Jane still has feelings for her ex Elton, who is now dating her best friend Ally; there's also a type 5, Owen has a crush on Jane who still has feelings for Elton. Since it's just those four, it never becomes a Love Dodecahedron.
The Napoleon: Jane, less than five feet tall, introduced almost straight off the bat as an "angry little blond punk," a "troublemaker," and "famously argumentative," with an admitted "tendency to talk too much."
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jane is more Hot-Blooded while Owen is more reserved. Jane and Ally are also kind of a variation, with Ally being something of a Shrinking Violet. Worth noting that Jane is also the brainier of both duos, despite being the red oni.
Shorter Means Smarter: At four foot ten and five-sixths inches, Jane is the shortest person at St. Teresa's. She also happens to be the smartest.
Shout Out: A sophomore has a friend who knows someone who goes to Spence. (Maureen Johnson and Libba Bray are friends.)
Sibling Yin-Yang: Jane and Joan. Jane is abrasive, short, plain, and brilliant. Joan is friendly, tall, beautiful, and as dumb as a brick.
Single-Target Sexuality: Jane confesses to Lanalee that she never really liked guys, other than Elton, which was part of what made their break-up so hard. She finally gets over him, though, and she finds she's not Single-Target Sexuality after all. Just highly selective.
Stalker with a Crush: Owen. Jane specifically refers to him as "my stalker." He sort of has a reason for it beyond the crush, though. Joan's take on the subject:
"Yeah, but stalking is kind of cool. My friend Kiera got stalked by this guy Ryan. He used to break into her locker and read all of her e-mail, and one time he took her phone and wrote down all of the phone numbers. But then they got together, and they've been dating for like a year! Which is kind of creepy but also really romantic."
Stern Teacher: All over the place (they're nuns), but Sister Charles probably takes the cake. According to Jane, "Sister Charles had never actually killed anyone, but she did leave you with the feeling that she was capable of some deeply frightening behavior." Maybe not loved, but by the end, you certainly respect her.
Student Council President: Donna, whose main authority seems to be making insipid speeches and "the ability to verify things"—"Homework assignments, weather conditions, days of the week, pages we left off on. Donna was happy to tell us all."
Take a Third Option: Jane's choices are: join up with Lanalee or let her take Ally. Jane chooses to piss Lanalee off so much she stabs her, thus breaking the rules and forfeiting any prize all together.
Tempting Fate: At one point Jane sarcastically asks herself, "How much better can my life get?" Considering we're not even halfway through the book...
Thou Shalt Not Kill: It's one of the rules even the bad guys have to follow. They can't force someone to give up their soul. No direct interference. No physical harm. And certainly no killing. They break these rules, they forfeit.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: It's a book, but it's dwelled on long enough that it probably counts anyway. Incidentally, this book not recommended for emetophobes.
We Can Rule Together: Lanalee offers Jane the high life if she just gives up and joins her. Naturally, Jane refuses.
With This Herring: The thing Jane has to do battle with a hoard of demons is... a single steak knife (of righteousness).