Book Talk: Halo by Alexandra Adornetta

Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Date: August 31, 2010
Series or Standalone: Book 1 in series
ISBN: 978-0312656263
Format: Hardcover, 484 pages
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels, Ivy, Bethany and Gabriel are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings.
But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls for the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him?
Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

The angels and Xavier must work together to overcome the dark forces - but will Beth survive the battle?

First line: Our arrival didn't exactly go as planned.

Let me start this review by saying two things. First, look at the most amazingly, intriguing cover. Really, honestly, truly beautiful. It is the reason I picked up the book. I'm not a huge fan of most of the angel books I read so I tend to avoid them to stall the disappointment that usually accompanies but this one was not in that category. Second, Alexandra Adornetta is only seventeen and this is her fourth novel. And if I say so, it was pretty good.

Halo started slow and I wasn't really into it. I wasn't sure if it was going to turn around--and didn't until about page 50. From then on, I was hooked. This is a big book and Alexandra did a good job with pacing the rest of the story. Usually, somewhere in the middle, things can get muddled and move too slowly but I don't think this happened here. The characters, the story kept changing and evolving and kept a quick pace.

Of all the characters, Xavier was my favorite--but how can you not like the snarky, heart-throb, knight-in-shining armor boyfriend? Sigh. He and Beth were really great counterparts. I partly kept reading just to get to another scene with him. He was fun and free and devoted in the ways Beth annoyed me with her occasional blase attitude and lack of focus.  She seemed juvenile at times where Xavier was strong and stoic and amazing, which I guess was part of the point. Beth really evolved toward the end but it ended too quickly to enjoy it. I also really liked Ivy. I think she is very interesting and I'm so intrigued by her. I really hope we get more of her story. And Gabriel...I like him too.

There were some scenes where things were slow and unimportant--like the build-up to prom, prom itself, and all the annoying preparations therein. But then, this is for teenagers and they love prom so I understand it's relevance. Aside from that, the prose is pretty flawless. Alexandra does a great job of painting Beth's feelings and new experiences and desires...even her conflicts. I'm not sure if Alexandra is religious in any way but she did her research. The images she creates of heaven, angels and their archistructure, communication with God and etc. are all really beautiful.

My major qualm with the story was the ending. The last couple of chapters have so much squeezed in that I would like to have seen unfold instead of just mentioned in passing. Especially a scene toward the end, one that whole book was working toward, that I had to read a couple of times to understand. Even now, I'm still curious how some of things happened and I want to know--this is one of the drawbacks to first-person prose, that you can't see everything--even when it would be helpful to the story.  Since this is the first in the series, things were only somewhat wrapped up but they were wrapped enough so I'm not stressing as I wait for the next one, which I will be reading.

Alexandra presents many things to think about in this story, more than I've seen in most YA novels (especially some of the angel/paranormal ones.) I am very interested to hear the thoughts on it. There are a lot tough things that she tackles with ease and poignancy--not just faith or religion, also love, acceptance, life, beauty, self-esteem, hatred, evil, trust, purpose and knowing who you are. They are all addressed in off-handed ways and maybe I'm reading too much into it but I saw it there. I think that really set the story apart for me. So, if you read it, let me know what you think!

All in all, it was an enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend it. If you like angels, love, (forbidden love!), snarky characters, cheesy romantic teen lines, dances, mystery and discovery--or if you just like the cover--you won't be disappointed.

Source: purchased


  1. hey! just stumbled upon this blog and wanted to tell you it's really awesome :) excellent review, i like novels that involve different themes without overdoing it.


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