Series: Angel #1
By: L.A. Weatherly
hardcover, 449 pages
Published May 24th, 2011 by Candlewick Press
FINAL SCORE: 15/25 = 3 Cupcakes
MY RATING: MMM ... Yummy!!
WHY I WANTED THIS BOOK: There is a special love in my heart for angels. I love them - good or bad - so when I saw this book I knew I wanted it. The premise was intriguing in itself as well, and struck me as a unique concept and I was really interested to see Weatherly's take on angels, especially because it had absolutely no mention of religion anywhere in the synopsis, which pleased me as well because a lot of times I want a good angel story without being preached to or bombarded with religious thoughts, etc.
STORY/PLOT: The story moves quickly enough considering for a decent portion the main characters are holed up in a cabin high in the mountains. What I like is that the beginning gives us a lot of background but does so quickly yet it isn't inadequate or rushed at all. I don't have any major problems with the story line other than how fast Willow and Alex's relationship goes from loathe to love so fast. And it's of the gross, mushy, omg get a room variety.
CHARACTERS: The characters are decent enough however the love between Willow and Alex, while seeming sincere also feels a tad bit forced. Of course they are also in a position and situation that most teenagers would never be in, so maybe under the circumstances it's understandable, however a slower progression into the I Love You's would've helped the story along in my opinion. The other characters work well too. Her mom, Raziel, Jonah, Sophie, her aunt Jo, Lailah, they are all distinguishable and integral to the story for the most part. There are no unnecessary characters though I'm sure Beth and Nina could've been forgone and still had a decent story.
Alex: "So what now?"Willow: "How about you teach me to speak Spanish?"Alex: "OK what do you want to say?"Willow: How about 'I care about you so much and all I want is to be with you for the rest of my life'?"Alex: "I already told you that one remember? Te amo, Willow."
WRITING: Angel Burn follows the new fad that I've been finding in YA books lately, and that is alternating narrative with the main character in the first person POV, and then other characters (Alex and the angels) in the third person. I personally love this, and hope it catches on because I think it makes for a great way to personalize and get to know all of the characters without just the main character's take on everyone. Otherwise the writing is fine, overuse of adjectives from time to time (enough that I noticed, anyway) but an easy, simple style otherwise.
ENDING: The ending is what it is. It could've been more, but is sufficient as is. It definitely left me knowing that I will be buying the sequel.
COVER: I think the cover is pretty, it's simple but conveys the title just fine.
LAST THOUGHTS: If you are looking for something non-religious but that fully embraces both good and bad angels, then this would be a great one for you. It's jam-packed with action, mystery, romance and will keep you on the edge of your seat guessing what'll happen next.
MY HOPES FOR BOOK #2: I'm curious to see how Willow and Alex's relationship is in the sequel - if they'll be out of the honeymoon stage or just as annoyingly in love. I am interested in how things will go once they get to Mexico and if Alex can round up more AK's. Also wondering if Sophie will come back to help out and also have this nagging suspicion maybe she was a bad guy after all? Since the Second Wave made it through I'm assuming The Church of Angels will be stronger than before, and with Raziel only injured at the end I'm sure he's going to want Willow dead ASAP - of course if he can kill his own daughter. And it'll be good to see what happens for Jonah. I have high hopes the writing will continue to satisfy and with enough of the story left open-ended I'm sure the second book will be jam-packed with action.
READ THIS IF YOU LIKE: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies, the Blue Bloods series by Melissa De la Cruz