Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: Halo

Halo (Halo, #1)Halo

Series: Halo, #1
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Paranormal Romance
Features: Angels
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Source: Library

Overall Rating: 3/5
Cover Rating: 5/5
Cover Comments: This is one of the most gorgeous covers I've ever seen. The gold, the wings, the filigree around the title... I love it!

Bethany, Gabriel, and Ivy are angels sent from Heaven to a small town called Venus Cove on Earth on a mission to keep the Dark Agents from spreading their dark influence to the peaceful town. Their goal is to be protectors and guardians of all the humans, to watch over them as a whole. Their goal is not to meet one human boy and fall in love with him. Gabriel, the Hero of God, the warrior archangel, and Ivy, the beautiful and kindhearted seraphim, have the wisdom of experience after being on earth in human form several times. This is Bethany's first time ever being on earth, and not only does she have more human characteristics than Gabriel and Ivy, but she has more than other angel. Bethany meets Xavier, the gorgeous school captain, and they instantly fall for each other. This was not meant to be- or was it? Bethany and Xavier don't know if there is a higher power at work here or not. Love may save the entire world, but it just may shatter Bethany's.

This book, despite its gorgeous cover, was a little disappointing. The reason I didn't like it as much as I expected to was mostly because of the characters. Take Bethany for instance. She's an angel. She may be a young angel, but after meeting one guy with amazing blue eyes, she finds that's she's irrevocably and impossibly in love with him and she can't live without him. She forgets about her friends, her family, her mission, the whole freaking earth because she spends all of her time with Xavier. Uh, what? Even if I did find a guy that I couldn't "live without," I'm pretty sure I would not be spending every living moment with him. And I'm a human (or am I?).

Another weak character? Gabriel. Gabriel is hot. We are all aware. He's also an amazing cook, a great guitar player, and a sure sign that chivalry is not dead. But what happened to "Hero of God," and "the warrior?" There is only one instance in which Gabriel shows any sign of angelic power that's not when he's glowing or flying. And after that little incident, I'm still not really sure he did much, considering the ending cliffhanger. During the last half (yes, the whole last half) an enemy enters the scene, and if I may, he was an obvious enemy. And yet, Gabriel says he wants "solid proof" before he acts. Well, how about he get his lazy butt out of the house and actually find that proof? Do some reconnaissance, stalk the kid! But noooo, he has to wait until friends are kidnapped and people are dying and Bethany is on the verge of getting her soul sucked out before he actually does something! *breathes hard*

I will once again start ranting about Bethany, and that is because another character has now been put in the limelight, Molly. I wish Bethany was a better judge of character. I don't think Molly is a bad person overall (I mean, I think she means well), but she does drink and has most likely already lost her virginity. She's vain and spoiled, and I remembered Bethany saying several times she doesn't want to seem vain. Despite that statement, she constantly compares herself to her siblings, and obsesses over how she looks and what she will wear. 

The last character that I had some trouble with (but less than others) is Xavier. Xavier would be the perfect boyfriend. Gorgeous, protective, smart, funny, athletic... he has all the best characteristics. But when I say he's protective, he's protective. Of course, that's not a bad thing. But his girlfriend is a freaking angel. Beth needs to stop being weak and relying on Xavier to protect her. And Xavier, great guy as he is, needs to stop thinking he can just face anything with his big and powerful muscles. Because hello, you have no chance against one angel, kid, much less all of heaven, or all of hell. Oh, plus I almost forgot that little after-prom scene. After endless conversations of "I will never leave you," well... let's just say that went down the drain.

Now that my character rant is over, I will say that I did mostly enjoy the plot, if not for the occasional stupidity or weakness of the characters. I didn't hate all the characters. I liked Ivy. And I actually liked Xavier. It's just the fact that Bethany fell heads over wings over heels for him without thinking of the consequences really bothers me. And of course, I love Phantom, the dog.

The first part of the book was pretty good, before Xavier became all of the picture. And the ending became more fast-paced and intense. I was a little creeped out by the dark guy in this book (Who shall not be named... no, he's not that bad. I just don't want to give anything away. I think you'll figure it out, though.) 

If you love (mostly) lighter reads and unbreakable romances with swoon-worthy males, then this book is for you. I applaud Alexandra Adornetto for being a brave, young writer, and really, there's nothing wrong at all with her actually writing. It's very skilled and she obviously knows what she's doing. I think she just needs to look a little more into her plot and character development. She shows definite potential. I will look into the next novel, Hades, and hopefully see some character improvement!

Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
I'm still angry about the prom thing. It was stupid. I mentioned the title of the sequel earlier. I'm not saying anything about how that's a Greek mythology reference and this book is based off of a monotheistic religion. Or how the cover seems to have an entirely different theme from the first book and I almost thought they were two different series. I mean, one looks like actually people models, and the other looks drawn and computer-generated? What? ...But I said I wouldn't talk about the next book.

First Line/First Paragraph/Beginning Excerpt:
Our arrival didn't exactly go as planned. I remember it was almost dawn when we landed because the streetlights were still on. We had hoped our descent would go unnoticed, which it mainly did, save for a thirteen-year-old boy doing the paper round.

Favorite/Teaser Quotes: 
"One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love.
So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to
describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion?" 

"A man in love can do extraordinary things, I don’t care if you’re an angel, you’re my angel, and I won’t let you go." 

"He called her a MILF, which must be offensive because Miss Castle called him a thug and sent hit out of the room. Gabe, what is a MILF?"
..."I believe it stands for 'mother I'd like to...befriend.'"

"When's your birthday?"
I was taken aback by the question. "I don't like presents," I said quickly, in case he got any ideas. 
"Who said anything about presents? I'm just asking for your date of birth."
"Thirtieth of February."

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

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