Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Soul Enchilada Hardcover – April 7, 2009
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Eunice “Bug” Smoot is a recent high-school graduate with all sorts of problems: she’s about to get evicted from the flophouse apartment she rents, she’s just been fired from her pizza-delivery job, and it seems like every day some idiot is giving her crap for being half-African American and half-Tejana. The only light in her life is her dead grandfather’s classic 1958 Cadillac Biarritz—and even that goes down the tubes when a demon named Mr. Beals materializes in the passenger seat and demands repossession of the vehicle. Turns out, her grandfather financed the car by selling his soul. Luckily, Bug’s crush, a car-wash attendant, just happens to moonlight for the International Supernatural Immigration Service and he’s got some ideas about how to deport this “Illegal.” Gill’s debut has weirdness to spare: there’s insect-puking villains, pizza-delivery contests with Satan, and some very high-stakes basketball. At times it can all be too much to swallow, but Bug is a refreshingly gutsy female protagonist with an attitude that will win over readers searching for something different. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
“In this fun spin on the age-old danger of deals with the devil, readers will cheer and worry as sassy Eunice ‘Bug’ Smoot fights both the literal and metaphorical demons that plague her. Wonderful and unexpectedly touching, this is a book meant for re-reading. Good stuff!” (Melissa Marr, New York Times Bestselling Author of Wicked Lovely)
“Soul Enchilada is smart and funny and a bunch of fun to read. For years David Gill has been a powerful voice for Young Adult literature; now he is a powerful voice of Young Adult literature…You’re gonna love Bug.” (Sara)
“I want you all to know you are in for a treat when David Gill’s Soul Enchilada comes out next year. It has, hands down, one of the most unique premises, setting, and voices I have heard in a long time!” (Mary Pearson, author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox)
“Gill scores big in this action-packed, power-punch of a debut…All readers can do is buckle their seatbelts, close their eyes and take the plunge.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Gill…knows what will make teens laugh.” (Publishers Weekly)
Top customer reviews
Meaning, no one hassles her. Not the landlord banging on her door, demanding rent money that she doesn’t have. Not her skanky boss, who passes her a bad check on her final day of work. Not the demon in the front seat of her old Cadillac...
As if nearly living on the streets, being out of a job, and having no one to turn to wasn’t enough. Now she has some Nephilim – Mr. Beals by name—trying to repossess her car. Which does not make sense, considering the Caddy was willed to her by her grandfather before he died.
Ah, that’s where the problem comes in—her darling Papa C., desperate to own that car, had made a deal he couldn’t, or wouldn’t make good on. And he had made her an unwitting pawn in the transaction.
Now it’s going to take a lot more than game to get out of this one. It’s going to take a team of paranormal experts, a lawyer who’s had previous experience with Mr. Beals, a middle-aged bruja, and the occasional help from a coyote. Not to mention the support of Pesto, a man she has no right to love, considering the circumstances.
Her fate hangs in the balance—and time is short. Ticktock.
The title itself drew me in right away; when I saw it, I knew it was a story I could not pass up. And I was well-rewarded.
What impressed me most was the ease with which the author writes. With some books, local vernacular or slang is difficult to take seriously, because it seems so stilted coming from someone not of that age. However, Mr. Macinnis Gill does it with ease.
I loved the humor in this tale; no doubt I’ll be finding myself using phrases like, “pinching pennies until snot came out of Abe Lincoln’s nose” from now on.
The relationship between Bug and Pesto (you gotta love those names!) is one that isn’t a full-blown gaga love relationship at the get-go, which I like. Instead, they grow into a closeness, which takes practically the whole book. It’s a gradual process, which is a lot more real than a lot of book/story relationships.
Great story line—very original. All in all, I’d give it five stars—more if I could.
The plot of Soul Enchilada reaches out and grabs you by the lapels, too. Here's a nice hypothetical: What do you do when the repo man comes, and he's a devil? Oh, and he tells you that your recently deceased grandfather traded his soul for the Caddy that's your only inheritance, the one you're driving to deliver pizzas and barely make your rent? But since your grandfather managed to evade the repo man when he died, you're left holding the hell bag. And senior demon Mr. Beals is not just after the car.
There are more twists and turns along the way in this remarkable Tex-Mex debut, but suffice it to say that Bug (who is half black, half Latino) gets some help from a demon-hunting Latino boy named Pesto who wields a mean can of hair spray. She is also assisted by a mysterious coyote, some nerdy Men in Black types, a lawyer with a secret agenda, Pesto's bruja mother, and her own mad driving and basketball skills. Numerous crosses and double crosses later--including a little diablo ex machina--Bug wins the day. In terms of plotting, I found the climactic scenes a little off, but this author's "off" still beats most writers' "on" any time.
I haven't even talked about Gill's style, especially the way he writes narrator Bug's voice. Here are a few of my favorite bits:
"'Stop tea-bagging my body,' said the first guy, who had long, stringy blond hair and a head shaped like the center branch of a saguaro cactus."
"'I so owned you. In fact, I pawned you.' The second guy had a gut like a pregnant woman and a black, lower-lip beard."
"The only time I ever messed around with a séance was when me and Papa C were staying in this falling-down rental house in Chihuahiuta, and these skanky girls next door said they could do voodoo. There wasn't nothing in the Bible about suffering voodoo, so I snuck out at night to a shed in the back of their house.
They brought a candle, a Monopoly set, and a parakeet. The candle was for light so spirits could find their way, and the Monopoly board was our Ouija board because their mama wouldn't let them buy one at the SuperStore. They had a parakeet because you needed a chicken's foot to do voodoo, and they didn't have a chicken. The parakeet was their mama's, and she'd get mad if its foot went missing, so they brought the whole bird, chirping and pecking them whenever it could. I was glad they didn't chop off the foot because I didn't like the idea of hurting a living thing, even to do voodoo."
"'I wish you was an alarm clock so I could slap your snooze bar.'"
"My tongue was all sticky, too, like the floor of a dollar movie theatre."
I hope I've convinced you to spend some time with Bug Smoot. Her flaws are just as delightful as her strengths, and I think you'll find that you're cheering her on and booing Mr. Beals far more than the hero/villain/reader triangle traditionally calls for.
Most recent customer reviews
Bug Smoot has had a rough life. First her mom died when she was a little girl, then she moved in with her grandfather and auntie.Read more