Soul Enchilada

Common Sense Media says

Entertaining battle with the Devil; some swearing.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Some rough play in basketball, a girl is bitten by a dog and cut by a demon, a coyote rips out the throat of a demon, horrible visions of war.

Sex

References to prostitution, "hooking up," getting pregnant, some kissing.

Language

Frequent use of "ass" and "asshole," plus "peckerwood," "s--t" and the Spanish word for "s--t," "f'ed up" spelled just that way, "bastard," "bitch," "goddamn."

Consumerism

Clothing, shoe, candy, cereal, car, fast food, beer, sneaker brands mentioned.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to marijuana and morphine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a novel for young teens. There are mild sexual references, a good bit of swearing, commercial references, and some mild violence.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Bug Smoot, on her own at 18 after all her family members died off one by one, broke, about to lose her cruddy apartment and her job delivering pizza, finds that fate has dealt her one more blow. Apparently her grandfather had sold his soul to the Devil for a Cadillac, but when he died he somehow escaped collection. So now the Devil's minion, Beales, wants the car and Bug's grandfather's soul, and if she can't deliver, he'll take hers instead. But Beales may have more on his mind than a simple repo job.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though it goes on a bit longer than it should have, and the resolution is not entirely clear, this is mostly a joyride. Most of the pleasure comes from the often delightfully-named characters: crabby and cantankerous Bug (who tells the story in her own peculiar mashup of Hispanic and African-American idiom and attitude), kind, enthusiastic, and lovelorn Pesto, Pesto's earthy witch mother, the ancient lawyer E. Figg, not to mention the wickedly charming Beales and Scratch. Though many of the characters are rather one-note, those notes often make a pleasing harmony.

The setting, in the Hispanic neighborhoods of El Paso around the Day of the Dead, adds flavor as picante as any salsa -- in fact, after several of the scenes you may find yourself craving some Mexican take-out. The story is in need of some tightening, but this is one of those books about which it's best not to think too hard. Just enjoy the ride, and hope for Bug and Pesto to reappear in another devil-fighting adventure.

From the Book:
Most folks don't know the exact minute that life's going to be over. I wasn't any different. I had no idea the end was coming, so I didn't realize when the landlord woke me up by beating on the front door of my apartment—a two-hundred-square-foot roach motel with a half bath, no phone, no cable, and no air conditioner—I only had sixty-one hours and forty-four minutes before my soul was taken away.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stories about bets with the

  • Devil, and selling one's soul to him. Why are there so many stories

  • like this? What is the human fascination with the Devil? Why is he so

  • often portrayed as rather charming and likable?

Book details

Author:David Macinnis Gill
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Greenwillow Books
Publication date:April 1, 2009
Number of pages:356
Read aloud:14
Read alone:14

This review of Soul Enchilada was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Teen, 15 years old Written byKGT24 January 7, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 
Teen, 13 years old Written byKeilimepi August 16, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

VERY ENTERTAINING

What other families should know
Too much swearing

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