Damned If You Do (Hardcover)
Queer Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Filipino folklore in this horror comedy about a high school stage manager who accidentally sells her soul to a demon.
Seven years ago, Cordelia Scott’s abusive father left without a word, and life has been normal ever since. The seventeen-year-old spends her days stage managing the school play (which is going great, if anyone asks), pining over her best friend, Veronica, and failing one too many pop quizzes.
She’s never been sad that her father left, but she knows something is...missing. When her school guidance counselor, Fred, reveals during a session that he’s actually a demon, she learns that something is indeed missing: a piece of her actual soul. Why? She unwittingly made a deal with him to make her father disappear – then bargained to have the memory erased. To make matters worse, Fred is here to make another bargain: Help him with a “little” demonic problem, or she’s doomed to spend eternity in Hell with her father.
The deal? Help Fred neutralize a rival demon, who means to do more harm in her hometown than your average demon deal.
About the Author
Alex Brown loves rooting for the final girl—especially if she’s a monster. Alex has a short story in the instant Indie bestselling young adult folk horror anthology, The Gathering Dark. Alex is also the cocreator of The Bridge, a narrative fiction podcast that’s had over one million downloads to date! Alex’s sapphic YA horror-comedy debut is Damned If You Do. Alex lives in Los Angeles with her partner and their two very chaotic cats. Night of the Living Queers is her editorial debut. As far as she knows, she hasn’t summoned an Eldritch God who loves pizza . . . yet.
"Filipino cultural and mythological elements add refreshing notes to rapid-fire Buffy the Vampire Slayer–style action, while heartening found family dynamics counterbalance dark depictions of abuse in this intense adventure."
"Brown strikes a delicate balance between light and dark, showing readers that the grimmest parts of ourselves are worth accepting. Damned If You Do is mature and complex while making plenty of space for humor, friendship and love, affirming the power of relationships to help us grow in ways that feel impossible on our own."
"Owing much to TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, Brown's loving homage to fun, paranormal adventure series contains fresh elements that make this novel her own, including a strong infusion of Filipino folklore and a prominent queer romance [...] light and fast paced."
"Fans of black comedy will enjoy the quirky plot, preposterous premise of a demon trapped in a Precious Moments Maleficent figurine, and scenes of gory violence sprinkled with sardonic commentary."
"Brown delivers on both snark and heart here, giving readers an impressively built plot while never losing sight of Cordelia as a wounded soul [...] who has used a combination of biting wit, self-deprecation, and sheer force of will to withstand the lasting damage of her father's abuse."