Halo by Alexandra Adornetto (3.5 stars)

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

  • Pub. Date: August 2011
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Format: Paperback , 512pp
  • Sales Rank: 52,314
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Lexile: HL810Lwhat’s this?
  • ISBN-13: 9780312674366
  • ISBN: 0312674368
  • Summary: Three angels, Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany, are sent to Earth on a mission to help humans in this small town. Their mission is to bring people together, make them care about important issues, and remind people what it is like to be together. Gabriel takes the position of a music teacher at the local high school, Ivy does things around the house to support the family, and Bethany takes the role of a high school student. Gabriel and Ivy have both done missions before, but Bethany is new. She has a strong tie to humans. This makes keeping her distance from caring too much about people very hard. She quickly makes friends with Molly, a girl from her high school, and ends up with a crush on a boy named Xavier. Luck is in her favor when she finds out that Xavier likes her as well. Their relationship takes off. The two of them quickly become madly in love, and never leave each other’s thoughts. This is reminiscent of how quickly and intensely the love affair between Bella and Edward is in Twilight. Regardless, Bethany ends up letting Xavier in on her family secret and he becomes ensconced in their lives. Everything is going really well until Jake Thorn shows up. He ends up being Bethany’s literature partner, and everything between them seems to go well. Then bad things start to happen around town again. It’s pretty clear what is going on, but I’ll let you read the book to find out more.
    My thoughts: Honestly, this review is going to sound rather negative, but on the surface I did enjoy the book. It was a book in which, I was not totally involved with the characters that I was crying when bad things happened, but they were likable and I would continue to read more. My biggest problem with the novel is that everything was predictable. There were no surprises for me at all. I didn’t know anything about the author before I read this, but while I was reading I knew that it was written by a teenager. The dialogue, writing style, and situations are exactly like what my talented high school students would write. On the one hand, this is really good for a teenage audience. The slang, attitudes, and general thought process of the characters are spot on. A teenager would directly relate to it. On the other hand, it leaves some of the sophistication that is making the YA genre so popular with readers of all ages. As a literary critic (in training?), I would love to delve into the religious significance within the story. It would be entertaining to me to dig through the rules that she has set up for the faith and then the actions of the angels and derive some overarching theme about faith and God’s will. However, I think leaving this along as just an enjoyable piece of fiction without deeper significance is better. I want to see how this author grows up and wonder if she will continue to write to a teen audience, or if her characters will grow with her.

3.5 Stars.  I liked it, just didn’t love it.

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