Operating on the premise that everybody has one thing that they'd sell their soul for, new author O'Reilly has taken the classic struggle of good vs. evil and updated it for the 21st century. Her heroine, V., wants what most girls want—thin thighs, great clothes and New York City "It Girl" status. To get this, V signs away her soul to the devil, who masquerades as a gossip columnist named Lucy.

Peppered with pop culture references and witty puns, V.s story takes an interesting twist when she learns that not having a soul and not having a conscience are two different things, an interesting take that places V on the horns of a dilemma. Does she stay bad and ignore the guilt, or does she "go good" and risk Lucy's wrath?

The many characters aren't uniformly well developed, and the plotting occasionally strays off course, but O'Reilly's engaging voice and talent for combining humor and pathos suggest a promising future. (Apr., 384 pp., $13.00)
Reviewed by: 
Donna Carter