Angels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible. Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch. But what if their potent magnetism isn’t what it seems? Willow knows she’s different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into people’s futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from. Until she meets Alex… Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow’s secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.
This is yet another bizarre book to review. The things that were good about the book were really, really good. But the things that were bad were awful. So I have decided to split it up into what I liked and what I didn’t.
I liked the main characters. I thought Willow was sweet, caring and intelligent (most the time, every blond has their moments) but she was also protective and a bit kick ass when she needed to be. Alex was charming and gorgeous and more than a little swoon worthy. They complimented each other nicely and the growth of their relationship was nice to see. They went from hatred/attraction, friendship to love (although the love did come very suddenly). There was just the right amount of angst and UST for me. Too much of it does nothing but irritate me but Angel was just right in its heartache. In fact the whole part of the book before Willow and Alex get together was good, I liked the relationship building. It was after where the cracks in the book began to appear.
I liked the Angels in this. Angels are a popular subject in fiction at the moment, especially in YA. But Angel approached the subject in a new way. The angels are forced from their world because it can no longer support them. They are villains hiding behind a suave and charming exterior. It was different from anything I have read and therefore interesting.
The action parts of the book were exciting, they were easy to follow and fast paced. One of my problems was that there was not enough of these moments but the ones that are there are great.
On to the things I didn’t like. Firstly, in my opinion this book is just far too long. There is not a hell of a lot going on in the middle of the book and it needed to be cut down a little bit. The length led to conversations that were un-needed. It kinda just waffled on for a bit and I found myself losing interest.
Another problem is that Weatherly seems to have a problem with secondary characters. Every single one is irritating, annoying and just horrible. Nina, Willows apparent best friend is the worse because she seems to do nothing but belittle Willow and do anything in her power to make her feel small and pathetic. She is not what I would consider a best friend at all. (Luckily she doesn’t appear that often).
There also seems to be some issue here with the POV’s. The chapters are told from various Peoples Point of view through the whole book which is fine. My problem is that everyone’s chapters were in 3rd person apart from Willows who was in 1st person. I found it really distracting and have no idea if it was intentional, an error missed in editing or a problem with the ebook copy I bought. Either way it was off-putting.
All of that I could bear with, they were little things that I could live with. My main problem with this book was the romance. Yes, I loved the lead up, it was treated with care but when it came to the actual romance it just all fell apart. I felt like I was reading pages upon pages of kissing and not much else. It was sickly, over powering and way too much.
It was horrible to watch two characters that I really liked fizzle down to almost nothing because the suddenly, out of no-where, skipping quite a few stages whilst they were at it, fell in love. (Insert vomit noise) Why? WHY? This book had so much going for it, but the last third was full of this cutesy romance stuff that ruined the tone of the book completely. It seemed as though they were saying ‘I love you’ every fifteen seconds. And then saying it in English appeared to not be enough anymore so they started telling each other ‘I love you’ in foreign languages. (More vomit noises)
What bugged me the most about this whole romance was when Willow and Alex become separated she could barely function. She became a teary, non-eating, depressing mess about it. She had a lot to worry about other than Alex at the time, like her life. But no, Alex not being there was first and foremost in her mind. (I have heard that the sequel to this book features a love triangle involving Alex, Willow and some other guy. I have no idea how this could happen considering her utter dependence on Alex and how much they love each other) It was really such a shame.
I was pleasantly surprised with the first half of this book. But after a while it truly lost its shine and dragged on longer than it should have. I have read a lot of books worse than this one thought and it does bring a different spin on Angels. If you are a YA fan and love whimsical and all-consuming romance then this book is just up you alley.
Published May 24th 2011 by Candlewick. A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads
Review by Kate Phillips