When I first saw the title, I thought of the books Hagrid had everyone buy for the Care of Magical Creatures class. You know the ones I mean - they tried to bite the hand of anyone that came near them. That is what a demon notebook sounds like to me. But actually, it is just an ordinary notebook in this story...at the beginning anyway.
We've all heard the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." Five friends learn that the lesson the hard way in this story of magic and middle school. Grace, Una, Rachel, Jenny and Adie decide to form a coven and try out some spells. They keep a record of all the spells in a notebook, even though they never work. Then, one night, everything changes. Suddenly there is a demon loose in their school, Una goes from mischievous to prim and proper, the cutest boy suddenly has a crush on Grace, and the school bully even gets taken down a peg. How is all this possible? The girls have no choice but to seek out adult help to try and return things to normal. Mix in Career Night, a crazy cat lady, continual threats from the bully, an embarrassing game of basketball, schoolwork, and a babysitting job - and you can see why the friends are looking a bit ragged around the edges by the final showdown.
The story captures the fears and concerns that most middle-schoolers face: wishing a crush would notice you, being chosen last for a PE team, being stuck with detention, bullies, boring lectures, and the general dread of being embarrassed. It also shows the way friendships work with all the teasing, whispering, shared secrets, and sleepovers. Most schools don't have demons among the student body (not that anyone will admit to), but those years are always a time of trying out new things and pushing the limits. Readers who enjoy a mix of the supernatural and everyday life will be rooting for the girls to win their face-off with evil in this book that has a bit of a junior "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" vibe. The author does a spooky reading from the book in this video.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published June 1, 2014.