By Alexandra Adornetto
Sigh. What can I say about this book? First, the author is seventeen years old, and that definitely changes how I feel about Halo. If it were written by an adult, he/she would have some ‘splaining to do. But written by a seventeen year old? Amazing. I could barely write my name at seventeen, and this kid has done a great job.
So, what’s good? The concept of angels coming to Earth and just living amongst us, influencing us to live better lives, is intriguing. Bethany is sweet, naive, direct, and likeable. Ivy is the sister you always wanted to have, able to whip up a prom dress in no time flat while believing you’re the most wonderful sibling ever born. And Gabriel is impressive. The love story is sweet.
What’s bad? The main thing is, NOTHING HAPPENS for a couple hundred pages. We read endless pages of Bethany going to school and eating lunch with her new friends. It’s all too easy. She starts school and is immediately befriended by the popular crowd. You know what would have been interesting? If they had bullied her like they do everyone else. If she had to find her place in this hellhole called high school. Otherwise, it’s just boring to hear about someone going to class and eating lunch over and over. The author does a good job of describing how it feels to fall in love the first time, but it just goes on too long. When I read a story about love at first sight, I always look for some supernatural force pulling them together. I thought initially that Xavier was a supernatural being himself, and I wondered whether he was a good angel or bad angel. Nope, just a dude.
The action doesn’t start until more than half-way in, when demon Jake Thorn comes to school. Why’s he there? We never find out. I thought maybe he’d been there all along, and that was causing the weird stuff to happen, like kids falling off roofs. I thought he was why Bethany and her sibs were there. Nope, he just happens to come to their town. He just happens to be a demon. And he just happens to fall for Bethany. When she won’t dump Xavier for him, he stalks her and kills her friends. Now that’s a plot. Why did we get to it so far into the book? And why was all that strange stuff happening in this little town? What’s drawing all these supes there? No answers.
My other big problem with the book is that the angels aren’t very angelic. Gabriel — an archangel, for goodness sake — seems completely impotent, bumbling around saying, “We’ll just have to wait and see.” I was waiting for him to kick some butt, but this wimpy little demon almost bests him. And Ivy basically knits and runs charity drives. As for Bethany, shouldn’t she at least be torn between saving the world and her first crush? Worried about God damning her to Hell? No, she just wants to make out and go to prom.
With a lot of editing, this would have been an excellent book. She was young and needed guidance to produce her best work. She didn’t get it.
This author did a good job. Her editor didn’t. Simple as that.
I’ll give book 2 a try. She’s older, so maybe the next book will be way better. It was good enough to make me give book 2 a try, but as a stand-alone? Lots of missed opportunities.