Book Review: Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill

Soul Enchilada is the debut novel from David Macinnis Gill. This young adult novel is about Eunice "Bug" Smoot, an eighteen-year-old girl trying to make it on her own. One day she discovers that her grandfather put his soul, and hers, up for collateral to buy his dream car. When he died he somehow managed to evade the collector looking for his soul, so they are coming for Bug's. Now Bug is jobless, about to be evicted and is living on borrowed time. On the bright side, the cute guy at the car wash knows a little something about demons and Bug now has a group of people trying to save her life, and soul.

I found thought the idea behind Soul Enchilada was extremely well executed. It was a unique take on an old idea and I enjoyed the book. The character development and back-story were engaging and I was still thinking when I finished the book. There are some very creative elements along with realistic problems and attitudes among the characters. I really loved Bug's tough exterior and desire to take care of herself. This debut book was a satisfying read and I am curios to see what Gill will write next.

Now, I did have one ongoing issue with the Soul Enchilada. The book is set in El Paso Texas, and uses some slang that is very specific to the area. The thoughts and words of the major characters are very often in basic slang as well and it was distracting to me. However, I still am very glad to have read the book. I enjoyed the characters and came to care about what would happen to them. There were several twists and turns in the story, that made me reluctant to put the book down until I finished it.

I recommend this book to readers that enjoy Faustian stories, great debuts by new writers and young adult novels. For parents wondering if this book is appropriate for the teens in their home, I will warn that there is some questionable language and a couple scenes with disturbing visuals thanks to the demonic characters. However, there is nothing more physical than a couple kisses. I think that mature teens would greatly appreciate the book, perhaps sixteen and older depending on the teen in question.


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