The Devil Makes Three

Page Street. Aug. 2021. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781645672357.
Gr 9 Up–Renowned cello player Tess Matheson is in her senior year at the prestigious Falk University Preparatory Academy in Pennsylvania. With help from her great aunt Mathilde, Tess has arranged for her and her young sister, Nat, to live at the boarding school without financial troubles. She’ll do whatever it takes for them to avoid their parents’ money problems and quarrels, even if it costs her a full scholarship at the Boston Academy of Arts. Tess gets by on work-study at the school’s (haunted) Jessop library. While working, she unintentionally butts heads with Eliot Birch, the headmaster’s handsome, standoffish, and mysterious son from London. Eliot convinces Tess to take him to the basement of forbidden books. Unbeknownst to Tess, Eliot has a secret mission of his own. An innocent reading of dark magic turns their journey into one of fire, blood, and possession. An unexpected friendship develops between the two young loners as they work together to set things right. Bovalino tells the story from three points of view (Tess, Eliot, and the Devil), giving readers the chance to empathize with all characters, even the most sinister ones. The storyline has plenty of romance and witchcraft that drags at times but will still leave the hairs standing on readers’ arms. Tess and Eliot’s races aren’t specified.
VERDICT An excellent read for a sleepover and a reminder to high school students to take life easy and to not let others define you.

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