I ll continue this book once giant unicorns poop out chocolate flavored rainbows from the sky while wearing tutus and singing Born This Way.
Halo is a truly epic tale Set in a dystopian world which has been ravaged by war, it follows two people Bethany, an angel sent to riot torn Los Angeles to save as many of the remaining citizens as she can and Xavier, a damaged boy she struggles to befriend and heal of his emotional wounds As she works, another war is brewing this one highly localized and poised to set the city ablaze yet again, ruining all of her efforts Oh, no, wait, that s not it Let me try again oh, I ve got it Halo is a truly epic tale It s the story of Bethany, an angel sent to the most distressed areas of the world to destroy demons, and her sidekick Xavier, a young would be priest who follows in her wake spreading the word of the Lord and doing good wherever he can Together, they defeat evil time and time again.
No, wait, that s not it either Hmm but I bet this one is Third time s the charm and all that Halo is the less than inspiring story of a trio of angels who are, for some bizarre reason, sent to a posh little town called Venus Cove There they live the lives of the rich and self righteous, doing little real good except some volunteering The plot follows one of them, Bethany, on her meandering and melodramatic way into a romance with a human boy named Xavier Eventually some real conflict shows up, several hundred pages too late to make the book any good, but that s okay as the author makes clear several times when she gets up on her soapbox, this book wasn t written to have any sort of artistic merit It s really just here to preach at you and take your money.
Yeah, that s the right one.
I thought, after I finished Hush, Hush, that I would never hate a book as much as I hated that Well, my friends, I was wrong Within the space of a few chapters, I hated Halo than I have ever hated a story Period No exceptions.
This book is a disaster from start to finish, quite literally from the poor grasp on perspective demonstrated on the very first page to the clumsy, imbecilic, tacked on cliffhanger on the very last.
To be honest, though, I feel sorry for Alexandra Adornetto Clearly, the girl s got some problems Her depiction of girls as obsessed with sex, boys, and material goods is horrifyingly shallow, which suggests to me that she s never really had any close female friends The romance that she writes has disturbing parent child undertones, what with the way Xavier is always nagging Bethany about her safety and what she eats and this and that and the other thing At one point he literally picks up her fork and flies food into her mouth like an indulgent parent That s creepy And I m not really going to touch on the strange view she has of her own religion, or the way she twists it to condemn large swathes of modern society Or the entitlement complex she demonstrates again and again throughout this book, seeming completely oblivious to poverty, disease, and real strife.
Also, if she ever grows up and becomes a decent writer, which I suppose is still possible at this point, this book will hang around her neck like a rock You know those things you wrote when you were a few years younger and less mature, the ones that are cringe worthy when you look back on them now This will be hers, except it got published and now everyone can see it How awful.
To be fair, this wreck is not just her fault Her parents, who are supposedly English teachers, have failed her here as she shows again and again she has no command over perspective, zero sense of proper pacing, complete ineptitude when it comes to characterization, and a sloppy style of writing They ve also neglected to teach her the cardinal rule of writing anything do your goddamn research first.
No editor with real respect for their work and for fiction should have let this book be published in this state Cheap hacks looking to make a buck off of Edward Cullen fangirls, yes But a real editor should have at the very least forced this through many intense revisions until something which vaguely resembled a proper novel was extruded Reading this book makes me wonder what editors are getting paid for these days.
But enough about the people behind the book Let s talk about the book itself specifically, its failings, of which there are many.
1 Portrayal of love It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved s entire world The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray I m sorry are you describing love or a drug addiction This is not love This is obsession And frankly, it s a scary thing to read about What s scarier is that here it s being shown as an ideal indeed, this exact phenomenon is highlighted in a relationship which is supposed to be so pure and awesome that it s sanctioned by Heaven When Xavier doesn t talk to Bethany for a few days, she goes into a withdrawal depression so deep that she loses a drastic amount of weight and ends up looking haggard In just a few days OVER ONE GUY Is she really so incomplete as a person that she can t be healthy without him One must then ask what the message here is that a woman not in a relationship is not a whole human being Note that Xavier, of course, is barely affected by their split, because of course only females handle this so badly I hereby direct you to Man Down Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else in which there is an entire chapter describing studies which show that women actually deal with breakups better than men Of course, one of the reasons is that women tend to have better support systems, which Bethany does not But I ll probably bring up Bethie and her terrible communication skills later.
2 Ridiculously privileged protagonists In his physical form, Gabriel might as well have been a classical sculpture come to life His body was perfectly proportioned and each muscle looked as if it had been sculpted out of the purest marble Marble muscles gee, that s so original In her physical form, Ivy looked like a Renaissance Madonna with her swanlike neck and pale oval face Like Gabriel, she had piercing rain gray eyes The angels are flawless No, really, it s said straight out several times they have no flaws They re gorgeous, talented, have access to all the knowledge of humankind and , have magical wings which somehow manage to fold up and sit flat on their backs despite the fact that wings proportionally sized to carry their body weight should probably stretch from over their shoulders to their lower calves even when furled , are infinitely full of energy except when they aren t because the plot demands , heal easily again, except when the plot demands , and for their mission on Earth they ve been given a huge, beautiful, expensive house in a privileged small town, where one of them teaches at a private Christian school and another one attends it.
Fucking GAG ME.
There is zero effort made to render them as sympathetic characters, probably because that s not what they exist for They re fantasy avatars, in a way Bethany is not there to be empathized with, in the way you empathize with another person or a well rounded character She s there so that readers can live through her Gabriel and Ivy have no real purpose in the story at all, except to act as authority figures sometimes, if the plot demands or to be lax if that s what s required and to have some minor, rote parts in the climax And we ll talk about Xavier later.
3 The pathetic nature of the angels heavenly mission Molly lowered her voice There s been robberies and freak accidents all over the place there was a flu epidemic last year and six kids died from it That s devastating, I said weakly, feeling a hollowness in the pit of my stomach I was starting to get a sense of the extent of damage done by the Agents of Darkness, and it wasn t looking good Stephenie Fucking Meyer can render a better town in distress than Adornetto can, though that s not saying much For all the lip service paid to the trying times Venus Cove is suffering through and the horrible things which have happened there, very little that s horrible above and beyond the ordinary actually happens Newsflash accidents happen So do sicknesses And it sucks, yeah, and it s horrible and tragic, of course, but it s not something that requires an angelic intervention Multiple times, Adornetto mentions other regions of the world with greater troubles than Venus Cove, but she always brushes it off by saying that other angels are there as if that meant it was okay for Bethany to be living the high life, slacking on her community service, and putting Xavier higher on her list of priorities than Heaven itself No Just no.
4 The obsession with and then glorification of prom Are you for real Molly s eyes widened It s a rite of passage, the one event you ll remember your whole life, apart from maybe your wedding It s the whole shebang limos, outfits, hot partners, dancing It s our one night to act like princesses However, with only two weeks left until the senior prom, all social service projects were temporarily abandoned The mood of the girls at school was bordering on obsessive She was imagining the start of the prom, when couples would make their entrance together and have their photos professionally taken Turning up alone would be tantamount to social suicide Some groups had arrived in limos and chauffeur driven cars, while others had opted for the double decker party bus, which now pulled in carrying its jubilant passengers Tables were set up around the room, covered in white linen and set with fine china At the back of the room, the band was tuning their instruments Waiters bustled around us, carrying trays of nonalcoholic punch I m willing to make allowances for the fact that not everyone s prom was like mine, but still this is too much I m also willing to make allowances for the fact that Alexandra Adornetto is not American and therefore cannot be expected to have experienced an American prom However, I supremely doubt that anyone s been to a prom like this If your evening did consist of live music, waiters, china table settings, limos, and the threat of social suicide if you arrived partnerless, please inform me Until someone does, I m going to stick to my guns Neither have I know any dance to be so all important that it was the focus of such intense obsession Again, Adornetto imagines girls to be terribly shallow, which I as a girl find deeply insulting.
I ve read just about enough of these types of things Everyone thinks prom is the event of the year, not to be missed at all cost, where everything important happens, and that s just not true Maybe someday I ll write a novel where the heroine goes to the dance not with her true love, but with a group of friends, and they rock out and have a great time anyway It doesn t take a significant other to make a dance enjoyable, after all.
5 The soapboxing We thought of technology as a sort of corrupting influence, promoting antisocial behavior and detracting from family values Our home was a place where we spent time with one another, not whiling away time shopping on the Internet or watching mindless television programs Well, I was interested in design for a while but that was, let s say, discouraged Why s that Isn t considered a serious career, is it The idea of having invested all this money into my education only to have it end in unemployment doesn t thrill my parents What about what you want Sometimes parents know best He seemed to accept the decisions made by his parents with good grace, happy to be guided by their expectations Listen up, Adornetto That first quote alone makes me hate you, and also marks you as a hypocrite I m willing to bet you didn t type this pathetic excuse for a book on a typewriter, let alone handwriting it No doubt you use e mail I d be shocked if you never watched TV And yet you still have this close minded archaic offensive attitude towards something that yes, can be a great distraction, but importantly can be one of the greatest tools at the modern person s disposal.
Though if you have an aversion to the internet, that would explain why you didn t do any research BACK, BACK, FOUL DEMONS OF GOOGLE TARNISH NOT HER UNSULLIED ENTITLEMENT RAVAGE HER NOT WITH YOUR FEARFUL FACTS As for the second one, well, I m just going to leave that there.
6 The sick, sick relationship between Bethany and Xavier I had been quiet for so long, absorbed in my fantasy of being stranded on a secluded island somewhere in the Carribean or held captive on a pirate ship, waiting for Xavier to come and rescue me, that it seemed they had temporarily forgotten I was there Molly was a realist and held the view that friendships had to take a backseat when relationships started especially if the relationship was as intense as mine and Xavier s I knew that if the assignment slipped my mind, Xavier would complete it for me and hand it in without my knowledge.
He became fiercely protective whenever anybody he didn t approve of came within a two foot radius of me I m serious I hope you realize you can t lecture me about safety ever again, I said Babe, injuries are inevitable It s all part of the game You can play nurse afterward if you like I m an idiot, I know, Xavier cut in Letting you go to the prom with Jake I guess I had too much faith in you Bethany is a fucking celestial being She acts like a two year old Her dependence on Xavier is so near total that it is deeply disturbing the above rescue fantasies and assignment finishing are only the tip of the iceberg And putting the relationship above friends Letting Xavier chase off people he didn t approve of Does that not sound a little bit like the symptoms of emotional abuse Oh, it s not portrayed that way, but that s what it would look like to another character who was paying attention Xavier controlling who Bethany gets to know, telling her to avoid some people without explanations, taking precedence over everyone else she knows His double standards are annoying, too he s allowed to be protective of Bethany, but she has no say about anything that happens to him and isn t justified in being worried when he s actually injured Also, he calls her babe I swear, if any man refers to me in that way he ll get a swift knee to the family jewels it s unspeakably insulting Oh, and there s the fact that apparently he let her go to the prom with Jake Like she didn t have the freedom to make that choice for herself And then he has the gall to not let her explain the circumstances, treating her like she has nothing worthwhile to say to him even though she s the only one who knows what happened Bethany, of course, instead of getting angry at her asshat boyfriend, goes home and gets all mopy See above This whole situation is just wrong.
Three quotes, just because I had to admit that it was fairly stylish as far as uniforms went The dress was a flattering pale blue with a pleated front and a white Peter Pan collar With it we were required to wear knee high cotton socks, brown buckle up shoes, and a navy blazer with the school crest emblazoned in gold on the breast pocket Ivy had bought me pale blue and white ribbons, which she now weaved deftly into my braids I d listened in on the prayers of teenage girls and most of them centered on being accepted by the popular crowd and finding a boyfriend who played on the rugby team Meaning that the human and the divine were never meant to merge If it happened, I believe the angel would lose his or her divinity There could be no redemption after such a transgression And the human The human would never be able to return to normal existence Why I asked Because the experience would surpass all human experiences, Ivy explained Angel sex, guys It ll blow your mind and then ruin your life Just one thing they re perfect at I could never in good conscience recommend this book to anyone, but if you re looking for snark bait, this is a doozy Also, if you re an aspiring writer who wants to learn how not to do it, this could be useful But ye gods, if you re genuinely searching for a good read, stay as far away as possible.
Reading this book was like watching Sinbad or Atlantis or any other one of those rubbish Disney movies that wanted to be like their original Princess classics but also new and fresh and imaginative.
It s lame It wants to be classic and awesome but also new and different and I use the word different with all the superiorly quasi amusement of someone trying to praise a child and has nothing positive to say Yes, Jenny, I see that you ve put glue in your hair That s sodifferent The problem is that it utterly fails at new and different Supernatural creature human Twue loff Except when the supernatural creature is the chick and she still manages to be lamer than Bella Swan, I call dibs on throwing popcorn or bomb infused popcorn depending on my mood To be honest, I could go on about the many mistakes I saw within the first few chapters before I tossed the book out and decided I HAVE A LIFE, DAMNIT Wait, so Gabriel, who is not THE archangel Gabriel is a few centuries old yet later you tell us he was there for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Dude, that s not a few centuries old, that s several thousand years old I could talk about the writing or the I M A CHARACTER style of characterization But really, what s the point It was written by a teenager who s only just barely drinking her first shots of passion pop That s like taking potshots at a toddler because he doesn t draw inside the lines She ll hopefully grow and learn and get better Besides, I m not even the target audience This book is CLEARLY geared toward the kind of teenage girls who WANT to be helpless and taken care of and protected and cherished Well, I m not a girl, I m a woman and I m not interested in reading about pretty little princesses who would trip over their own billowing hemline if the charming hero wasn t around to rescue them dashingly, may I add So I m not going to tear into it and lose my temper and imagine that with each punchy sentence and angry jab, I m stabbing the author in the face No I m going to do what I do when any other child proudly shows me their work with a big corny grin I won t lie but I won t be mean either The cover art is lovely, Adornetto, and I really like how you managed to get all the print onto the page So there you are No supermean review Seriously She s a teenage girl Sure the book pretty much sucks beyond all reckoning but I like to think I m adult enough to give her a pat on the head, tell her to go play with the other kids while I talk to the adults.
But that doesn t mean I want to spend money on this shit Honestly, I think when I read this book, my brain cells died a little bit First of all, Bethany is a total idiot and is so clueless that I don t know how she even remembered to breathe when she woke up every morning Bethany wakes up in the morning and starts turning blue and thinks,ohhhh what am I supposed to do It s really importantMe yes Die, Bethany, die Bethany body begins to spasm as it s deprived of airit s on the tip of my tongueMe No you don t It s all a dream you don t need anything BethanyOh, yeah, I remember Breatheor whateverbody takes a huge racking breath Me Awwww dammit.
That s not even an over exaggeration people this is one idiot narrator She doesn t even know what freaking toothpaste is for, or how to even brush her teeth And her boyfriend has to remind her to drink water because she can tpossiblyremember that herself Then, to add insult to injury, every other page she gets those cramps in her chest whenever she s far away from her hubby You know what those painsreallyare Bethany I m not really sorry to inform you, but those pains in your chest are than likely mini heart attacks that will lead to one major one that ends your pathetic life So you should probably go to the hospital tomorrow, as long as you remember to breathe next morning and don t die that way first Please just die And what the hell pun half intended is up with the name Bethany Even her lust love interest Xavier has a angelic name than she does I honestly don t think it s that hard to come up with a angelic name than that, anything than that It took me about two seconds to go online, type angelic names, and find these names of some actual female angels although some debate whether female angels exist, but just for argument s sake, lets assume that there is 1 Anahita2 Anauel3 Ananchel4 Barbelo5 Bath Kol6 GazardielWasn t that easy, folks Now, I understand that if you enrolled into a normal, 21st century school with a name like Bath Kol, Barbelo, or Anahita, that you would be given many stares and probably wouldn t be best if you re trying to stay under the radar gag and change it to a common name like Bethany Sadly, Bethany never says she has a different name, and that s what she was given by God, so obviously Adornetto didn t have the foresight to think that up I guess the poor guy upstairs has just been around too long to care about what he names his angels, who just aren t that important anyways, right Gah.
While we re talking about upstairs, may I just say that Adornetto failed in describing it and the angels who I guess floated around up there From what I ve read in the Bible, whenever people meet angels and see their true forms they are completely, totally, and utterly terrified and the angels have to calm them down The way Adornetto describes them, as big floating balls of light or essence or whatever isn t exactly terrifying If an angel came down from heaven whose name was Bert and said do not be afraid as a big ball of light, I d probably snigger and then one of my younger cousins would think it s a huge firefly and trap it in a jar Then I d have to tell the poor fella to let Bert go, because he has important angelic things to do, like watch himself glow.
Hey, guys Bert s back to play Coming back to how she described Heaven, I guess you could say like the lack of description Yay, a lot of puffy clouds, so it must be Heaven Her description of it reminds me of my little sister We have a town near us that ends in haven but my sister being only five thought it said heaven so whenever we got close to the sign of it on the highway, she d go, are we in heaven yet Now we d all say awwww because it was freaking adorable, but we know it s wrong That s how it is with Adornetto it s kind of cute that she tried not even nearly as adorable as my sister , but she just missed the mark By a mile See, even the puppy agrees with me It s just a no, Adornetto You can t argue with the cute.
While we re still on the topic of Adornetto s heaven I d honestly be pretty scared if Bethany was my guide to Heaven since that s what she describes her job as She d probably pick up my little ball of light and let it slip through her fingers and I d fall back through clouds That s probably why she got sent down to Earth to find all of the little balls of light that she dropped, the klutz.
Yeah, I kind of hate this chick Since we re on the whole mission subject, there s one big thing that I don t understand why on Heaven and hell and Earth above would God send one of the highest Archangels, Gabriel, to a sleepy little costal town when, according to them, this is only a slightly important place and there are much bigger battles being fought around the world Throughout history there is one main constant during war you send your best men to the most important spots of battle because the big battles like Normandy, Gettysburg, Stalingrad, and so on are the fights that can be the turning point of the war You just do not send someone with the strength like Gabriel supposedly has to somewhere like that And he didn t evendoanything He just learned to be a human How does learning to be a human have anything to do with saving the world from darkness, exactly I mean if that s all it took I could just learn to slither around like a snake, be high and mighty like a cat, totally ignorant to the what s going on around like a dog, and become the President of the United States Oh, wait But anywaysthat s not good battle strategy and shows what little sense that Adornetto has I take that back she has no sense at all Another proof of her having no sense is the whole stinking ending I mean, wow, how.
zomg amazing Their lurve is so high for each other that it burns so bright through Bethany that it saves the day She couldn t have done it without him, who is supposedly a normal human, and she obviously couldn t escape the bonds herself, because only twu lurve conquers all excuse me while I go throw up all of that garbage.
Okay, Bethany is all weak for a little while because of her new human body because balls of light are so strong, too , but you can only use that excuse for so long and by the time she s kidnapped, I think she should have at least been able to break out of them herself Sadly, that s not what happened because, according to Adornetto, that would make Bethany seem too strong and girls aren t able to do anything, not even think, without a big, capable guy like Xavier by her side That s too much feminism for her Not evenGabrielcould have done it, who is higher up in the ladder in Heaven than Jake Thorn is in Hell, only Xavier could, our loser hewo It just annoyed me so badly I think I screamed when it was over out of sheer frustration.
This quote from the synopsis really bothered me, especially one specific part 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 Can you guess it If you guessed luminous glow you re right I understand that they might have to slightly strain themselves to hide the rest, heck, if I was an angel I d probably have a mini romance with my gorgeous wings, but their luminescence Unless they have no self control I don t think it s that hard to hide light They d be and they were pretty awful undercover agents if they can t snuff out a simple light It s not like in Unearthly which is everything Halo isn t where she can t tell when she s going to suddenly burst into light, these guys in Halo just have a soft, cutsey little light that shouldn t require that much strain they re heavenly beings, they should probably have enough control if they were picked for this And don t even get my started on the avoiding all human attachments part If you can t tell from the rest of my review that s the biggest piece of bullshit I ve ever heard Ugh Curse stupid plots that don t make any sense.
Xavier and Bethany s love was what really got me You meet the guyonetime on the beach and you talk to him a couple times in out of school and that automatically qualifies him as someone who is trustworthy enough to show him your true identity and is your one twu love Since Adornetto once again didn t study up on angelic lore, I ll fill you guys in If you re an angel, God is your one and only love and if you even get slight feelings for anyone else, well, God is a jealous dude and will banish your sorry ass from Heaven for the rest of your existence So, in all actuality, the verysecondthat Bethany even felt the teeny tiniest feelings of like or love for Xavier, God would have stripped her of her wings and banished her Then Bethany would have had to spend the rest of eternity pouting and not realizing why she did what she did was so, like, wrong I guess not even the big man upstairs wanted to curse Earth withthatand just let her do whatever the hell she wanted, even reveal her true identity to Xavier If God gave her a name like Bethany, he s probably too busy with the rest of the Berts and Jim Bobs getting trapped in jars around the Earth to notice such a huge infraction.
I think I m going to be sick again.
I have a question Why were all of the angels in this story onlywhiteIt kind of reminds me of how many churches and television shows picture Jesus as a white man If I remember correctly from the Bible, he was born in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and whether or not you believe he was Christ, just a prophet, a crazy person, or someone that never even existed, if he had been born in that region of the world, he definitely wasn t white He would have had much darker skin and pretty much what you see when you look at your average middle eastern man today The only reason he went all Michael Jackson when you see pictures and such of him now is the church and the racist sentiments of people during that time They couldn t possiblyimaginethe person they viewed to be their savior as, in their opinion, some dirty, savage, middle eastern man, so in order to make him popular with the rest of Europe and spread the religion they turned him white So, if God s ownsonwasn t white, what s to say the angels up in heaven aren t from multiple races I think it s just very closed off of Adornetto to only make the angels that we have seen thus far white Would it kill her to make even some part of her book good Not all people in this world who are right and just are white people And that can be proven by just walking down the street of wherever you live, so for her not to include people of other races as angels just makes her seem very naive about how the world actually works.
I ll finish the rest of this review later when it s not almost one in the morning But, yeah, I hated this book with a passion.
Given some practice in character and plot development, experience with real relationships, and some life perspective, it s possible this 18 year old author might produce an interesting book at some point As it stands, however, it s unreasonable to expect the average teenager to tackle such weighty subjects as love and evil and faith and redemption with any convincing measure of depth or insight.
dnf like, 90 something %i want to die than i ve ever wanted to die before.
Edit June 2011Mac Mcclelland is a humanitaries journalist who experienced PTSD after working with rape survivors in Haiti She was never sexually assaulted, but nevertheless experienced panic attacks, sickness, and got drunk every night in order to deal with it Afterwards, she went through a tough period She and her fellow journalists who go to hot zones like Haiti, Egypt, Syria and Lybia are under enormous pressure and are reluctant to report cases of sexual and physical abuse because of the victim blaming society likes to dish out on them As in, Why did they go there, if they are so hot In her article, she talks about PTSD, how difficult it was, how she used violent sex to ease the worst of it, and how afterwards she got up, went to crisis zones to do her job, reporting cases of sexual abuse on a daily basis.
She s my new personal hero.
I m brining this up because, with women like this in the world, I think God s servants can do better than knit mittens and walk the neighbor s dog In fact, there is just no excuse for the uselessness of the angels in this book It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that when you hear of teen geniuses, you take the info with a lot of doubt After all, ours is a society that encourages children to succeed from day one, probably because their parents need the valediction as soon as possible, so the media is all too happy to raise a hype over some young singer or writer It s also very likely that the hype is raised because of the person s age, not the quality of their art You can say that teenagers lack certain experiences and interactions outside their own social strata, which no amount of emotional maturity can make up for Knowing all this, I knew full well that I would have to take the outrage directed towards Alexandra Adornetto s Halo with a grain of salt After all, she wrote this when she was seventeen Eighteen You can hardly expect Nobel prize worthy prose, can you Surely, if I took things into consideration, that book wouldn t be so bad.
Well, I read the book, and my brother read parts of it with me We both reached a conclusion The said conclusion is not fit to be heard in polite company.
Because here s the thing, my poor readers even when I disregard the fact that this book reeks of juvenile kiddiness, the story is boring NoBoringIn bold and italics, because I need to emphasize it this badly I don t always read amazing books, and I confess, I have plenty of guilty pleasure reads something I can turn to, like comfort food, only it s much merciful on my waistline I can forgive anything as long as the story keeps me entertained Halo fails to do so, for several reasons.
One, there is no story worthy problem If you read Les Edgerton s Hooked, you know that this is the most essential thing in a story, the thing that drives it forward Usually, it s something related the the character s growth Edgerton uses Thelma and Louise as an example and it s loosely connected to the surface problems Halo does no such thing the book consists of Bethany and Xavier falling in love or talking about being in love and that s it Some demons get involved halfway through, but they barely make a serious impact In the end, our protagonist ends up just as she started off as And the love story, let s talk about that for a moment I do realize that teenage girls or angels in this case tend to get a little obsessed with the idea I am one, after all , but aren t there usually reasons why you fall in love Lust, that s easy For love to get mixed up in matters, you need to feel something than a deep appreciation for your boyfriend s hair, am I not right my brother s nodding, by the way You need to have something in common personal interests, or goals, or at the least a saint like tolerance for the other s flaws I m not saying that you need to be completely compatible, hell no But it would have been interesting to see Bethany and Xavier actually work on falling in love, and fighting to keep what they have, as opposed to having problems solved for them and the ever so convenient love at first sight bull The second problem is that this book seems bent on breaking every single writing rule there is out there We have infodumps in lieu of a back story, being told, not shown things, clothing and decor descriptions abound let s be honest, readers have enough brain cells and imagination to picture the scenes in their heads that s why they pick up books instead of using the lazier approach of TV or movie theaters If it s not relevant to the plot, don t write it It makes up for much smoother reading.
Finally, the characters I think that Adornetto practically brought down the guillotine on this story by making her characters perfect That s the word Bethany uses to describe herself and her siblings perfect I get it that they re angels, but we readers don t want perfect characters A perfect character means an unrelatable character As readers, we like to see someone who makes the same mistakes as we do and gets out of the mess by being a better person Bethany being perfect means that she will not change, nor will she see the need to adapt to Xavier And Xavier I really feel sorry for the guy, but on that laterThe really ridiculous part is that Bethany is hardly perfect She acts like she is, but well, it s pretty hard to feel for her when she quietly criticizes people for their dress, make up or lifestyle choices, but gets sour when her boyfriend gets a concussion and can t take her to prom I mean, really now Can an obnoxious heroine still be likeable Sure Alona Dare from The Ghost and the Goth is a good example of how to write a character like that The problem here is that Alona knows what she wants and goes for it, aware that there are consequences but willing to face them Bethany neither considers what she does beforehand, nor is she willing to face the music when the time comes She is irresponsible and comes off as selfish and uncaring How, then, are we supposed to like her The thing about this book that gets the most bile and outrage, though, is that quote For this evening at least, feminist philosophy had been abandoned, and the girls, like fairy tale princesses, let themselves be lead up the flight of steps into the foyer I kinda get what Adornetto was trying to say here, but what gets my goat is how she worded it Feminism is a huge word, one that encompasses a lot of different ideas and theories, and it would be irresponsible to just throw it around like that The only context in which the statement would make sense is that all the girls in Bethany s school adhere to that feminist movement which says that in order to befeministyou have to give up on beingfeminineEDIT No, you know what, I changed my mind That statement is stupid In fact, it is downright offensive because 1 Feminism doesn t exclude men it s a biological impossibility to seperate women from men, which is why it is necessary for both sexes to work together to get rid of sexism in our society 2 Feminism has brought us a lot of good things the right to vote, the right to choose what happens to your body, the right not to be raped in marriage, and, why yes, the right to higher education and work Interesting how Adornetto would have published this crap if it weren t for generations of feminists fighting for all this stuff she clearly takes for granted Also, I cannot help but notice the motherloving irony of Adornetto quoting Beyonc , fuckingBeyonc , in a book that is supposed to promote Christian moralities and blatantly shuns feminism did she just happen not to realize that a majority of Beyonc s songs are about how she s angry at a guy, about how men are useless and promoting female empowerment through dancing around half naked In fact, it seems to me that the girls in Halo are fans of that school of thought which defines female empowerment as treating men like objects without any substance or depth Including Bethany Not once did I ever hear her describe Xavier in terms that were not connected to his physical appearance, or his usefulness as a protector I don t know who I should be mad at Bethany for being so dependent on a guy, or Xavier for letting her siblings talk him into taking her back So what He doesn t trust her when she says Jake forced himself on her, but then she takes him back without so much as a nod in that direction Am I the only person who sees this as a major problem in that relationship If he doesn t trust her, and doesn t let her speak in her defence, it shows clearly how dysfunctional their relationship is And all it takes is an I m sorry, I love you for her to take him back Bullshit You wanna know how a genuine conversation would have sounded likeYou didn t treat me like someone you cared about You were an asshole, to put it nicely I understand why you were angry But now you ve raised a lot of doubt Is this how you fight Loud and scary and mean, with no respect Relationships hit speed bumps People argue Couples fight How do I know this won t happen again I paused, inviting him to answer this time I can t promise that I ll never yell again, he said softly I m not perfect He laughed dryly Obviously When I didn t say anything, he kept going I can tell you that I don t yell often, but I do tend to spout off without thinking Sometimes I say things I regret It s a bad habit, and I ll try to work on it with you I promise you that I will never argue with you in public again, and I won t storm off without letting you have your say You deserve than that You deserve everything You set an awful high standard for me to meet, I continued, wincing a little at the look on his face I knew that he was sorry, that was obvious Sorry, and apparently a little oblivious Sorry wasn t the issue any Too good to be true Capable of destroying your whole world How am I supposed to live up to that Will it always be like this when I screw up Because I m going to screw up too justaskalice, Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry , ch 22, That was from a Twilight fanfic Do the math.
Finally, all I have to say is this clearly the author of this book is going to grow and develop We can only hope that her writing will get better However, that does not change the fact that this book had nothing to keep my attention, nor incite me to read the sequel The heroine enranged me beyond words we live in a society where sexism and violence against women are a daily occurrence we don t need angels in Heaven supporting that turns to brother Got anything else to say, broFinally, it doesn t matter how young you are and how long the book you wrote is, if it s not good, don t publish it There was a time in my life when I was super impressed with authors like Christopher Paolini got published at a young age Of course, I didn t know anything about his publishing connections, but reading Eragon for the first time when I was 13 made me wonder if I actually could start writing and also get a book out there I wrote all sorts of tawdry crap, and looking back on it now is absolutely painful I only had a vague understanding of how to build worlds and create characters, I over utilised my thesaurus and any attempts at emotive writing were really maudlin affairs that just seemed completely telegraphed with no sense of build up I insisted I was a serious writer, though, and although I never plucked up the courage to submit my writing to a publisher, I did put writing on the back burner for several years while I sorted out what I was going to do with the rest of my life I m glad that I did I would be seriously embarrassed, not as an author but as a human being, if I ever wrote and believed in the same crap espoused in Halo Halo does not give you a thrilling story with loveable characters and deep emotional connections Halo is a depiction of romance written by an immature sixteen year old following a Twilight binge It throbs with purple prose and is devoutly conservative and preachy Girls who are in any way sexually active are demonised, love is presented as co dependency and idolisation rather than a sweet, romantic relationship, there are plot holes that one could drive the Knight Bus through, as well as several elements of Twilight that the book apes almost wholesale One such example going to a town called Port to go shopping for formalwear Seriously The book sets us up with rather grand stakes, in that God has deemed this one little town in the US to be in need of the counsel of an archangel, a seraph and a regular angel named Bethany There s demonic activity brewing in the area, and it s up to our angels to stop it But, psh, who cares about that when there s a hot boy called Xavier for Bethany to swoon over and question her angelic status Our angelic trio well, Gabriel and Bethany Ivy the seraph is stuck at home decide to attend school to make people get back in touch with their spirituality Supposedly, the mere act of an angel being nice or organising a social awareness programme turns even the most ardent atheist into a good church goer Rather than do the logical thing, which would be to throw themselves into investigating the demonic activity, or doing volunteering in the town, so they can see the trouble firsthand, they just shrug their shoulders and stay indoors watching movies to learn how to acclimatise to human life, and give humans the cold shoulder While living in a huge Georgian style mansion with a baby grand in the living room, mohair blankets and cashmere throws.
Ivy, despite outranking Gabriel several times over in angel lore, is reduced to playing second fiddle It s always Gabriel who has the right solution to a problem, or who convinces people into making the right choice Gabriel, the archangel who revealed the birth of Christ and watched Sodom and Gomorrah burn, now teaches music at school and surfs I m quite sure that s sacrilegious in Catholic doctrine, to anthropomorphise an angel like this, but who cares about that when Bethany can talk at length about his bronzed skin and perfectly sculpted body I don t quite know how a book this preachy was brought out by a major publisher, when it firmly belongs in some Christian publishing house s slush pile, and not marketed as the latest hot teen romance novel As well as preachiness about religion, you ll be forced to swallow down preachiness about conservatism and the vegan lifestyle, as well as the behaviour and musings of an immature, pathetic main character who does everything butfocus on the mission for over 200 pages Once Xavier and Bethany become an item, the plot flails weakly for anything that could provide something of interest, before the demonic villain Jake Thorn finally comes into the picture In the last 120 pages or so I was reading an e book version with no page listings, but believe me, the middle of this book dragged out so much that when the villain finally showed up, I was cheering and whooping and hoping for him to actual kick the plot up its backside.
Which he does In a rather ridiculous manner I m sorry, you re telling me that an angel who regularly attends church service, reads the Bible and prays daily wouldn t have the slightest suspicion when a guy with a snake tattoo, dark clothing and drops than a few obvious hints about his otherworldliness Like his reluctance to attend church Speaking of this, the book has several research fails for somebody who claims to be interested in theology, the author thinks that an angel would have no idea what alcohol is, and continue to sip at an alcoholic drink even though it s making her feel funny um, what about Eucharist , and has only a rudimentary grasp on angelic lore There s references to Lucifer and God s covenant of archangels, and also this implication that archangels are the most important in the hierarchy of angels, compared to a frigging seraph who has little to do except hand out fair trade leaflets and bake cookies for the church bake sale.
Xavier and Bethany s relationship isn t a cute little romance At times, it s even got these creepy daddy daughter tones Xavier treats Bethany as if she s made out of glass, pushes her into eating when she s not hungry as if he implicitly knows what s best for her, and I lost count of how many times Bethany states throughout the narrative that she needs Xavier and without him her world shatters Or something to that effect.
There s a way to do romance, and this is not it Bethany and Xavier don t have a magnetic attraction, we re TOLD over and over that they do, rather than shown the extent of their relationship One or two shocking moments along the way pale in comparison to all the times we have to sit through every single cheesy moment where they talk about how they love cuddling and kissing along the jawline or dribbling over each other Theological scholars isn t that idolatry Bethany s devoting herself to Xavier than she is to God, right Answers on a postcard, please I fail to see what the problems are in Venus Cove that would require a visit from an archangel and a seraph I mean, there have apparently been car crashes and mysterious epidemics, but the decision to set this book in Georgia is kind of glaringly faulty Georgia is a state where a large portion of the population are Christian Southern Baptists, to be precise There s some overlap with Baptist and Catholic practices, so I guess I ll let the obvious Catholic overtones slide, but let s take a look at Venus Cove It s a town of 3,000 people on the Georgia coastline Speaking of which, the exact location is not mentioned in my copy I had to read Hadesto find out if we were in the United States or just some beach town in Australia There are beaches, a 1950s style pavilion and promenade, and nearly every character we meet lives in a large house and attends a respectable Christian private school What on earth could be plaguing people who are so, so rich and privileged to be able to live in a picturesque coastal town and living in a gigantic house The book could have had this subplot about how wealth doesn t make you happy How the people in Venus Cove have no sense of community, because all everybody does is try to out compete one another, there are family feuds over inheritances, and there are people who have scaled the mountain of success and promptly discovered that that being on top of the world has not given them the happiness they thought it would That would make for a premise that our angels could perhaps help with People have lost faith and need it to be restored Shame that this version of Venus Cove was never written One could cut out a few scenes of purple prose describing the furniture in rooms or how nice love feels or whatever, and actually draw blood from this boring plot stone, but it never happens.
Bethany outright states at one point that she is secretly glad that she wasn t dispatched to somewhere in the world that was seriously needy, because the mere news images of these events is enough to make her want to cry Aside from this disgusting attitude towards the seriously disadvantaged in the world hint if you think that you getting upset at the sight of misery is important than helping the people out of that situation, you re a terrible person , she causes so much trouble in this book and her internal monologues often read like those of a spoiled four year old We re supposed to sympathise with her Any time it is pointed out that Bethany is doing something wrong, she immediately shifts the blame elsewhere, whining about how she deserves happiness and everybody is ganging up on her, and it s not faaiiiir.
The gender normativity in these books is stifling I mean, of course, boys don t like make up but they do like engines, and girls must only ever want to talk about make up or emotions Girls are presented as irrational and men as rational We re supposed to like Xavier for his black and white view on the world, or the fact that he thinks Bethany is too weak to carry her own damn school books Xavier s sister has an interesting personality, but she s instantly drowned out and seen as this overly bitter and flighty little madam A girl named Taylah cannot walk demurely because she is promiscuous, and Bethany uses every opportunity to shame the girls around her for being interested in their appearance All the gender equality and feminist rhetoric that has been accomplished in the past century seems really distant from this book You have an angelwith supernatural powers as the main heroine, and you just make her into a weak little thing who can barely take two steps without needing to be supported by her man I could go on This book is one of the absolute worst I have ever read, and I was foolish enough to thrown myself down on this blade again One can only hope that the author has matured over the years and looks back on this book knowing there are major improvements she could have made if only she was emotionally mature enough to consider that internalised misogyny is not the way to make your female character look sympathetic, and nor is co dependency a desirable romantic relationship.
Relevant LinksKatya s excellent review.
The Sparkle Project ReviewAdornetto s 2010 article on Why Teenage Boys Suck More Than Vampires.
Adornetto s article on safeguarding one s virginity This review is also available on Bibliodaze
Cheesy love, stupid damsel in distress, unrealistic boyfriend, and an awkward projection of God and purgatory heaven hell Its gets on my nerves that the author started writing this book with a strange and rigidly religious sense and at the same time be so SO narrow minded about everything Her religious views observed through her book are based off artificial foundations Hey, hate to break it to you Adornetto, but life is not based on how good looking you are The characters are all shallow.
so, so shallow It makes me sad I didn t even bother to learn the name of any of the characters My first impression of the book after the 2nd chapter I can t believe this was published GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH JUST WRITING THIS REVIEW IS GETTING ME WORKED UP If I ever get the chance, I m going to shove Alexandra Adornetto into a hole and cement it shut so that she will never again, make garbage Sigh I m not even a religious person.
OH I m also pretty sure an angel would be sent to an improvished town and help the poor All the main character does is go to a private prep school and walk down the beach to eyeball hot guys I mean, I don t find anything wrong at staring at hot guys HECK, I do it all the time But the main character is a freaking ANGEL AN ANGEL Doesn t she have angel duties to attend to Like I dunno help humanity Save a hobo Feed starving children Instead of going to a private school for the wealthy and date really rich kids Why are you attending a rich private school where people can feed themselves In the book, why are an Angel s only capable ability is charity work and community service I mean really I am 100% positive angels are NOT that lame As a simple observation, I also noticed that this book was aimed towards white people Maybe because I am not a white person Asian and proud , I feel obligated to point out that everyone in the story was WHITE All the angels, the boyfriend, any relevant character was white Maybe the author thinks that god is white isn t religion open for every race I felt like the book had a double meaning for white supremacy.
I see white people It was a dry, hard to read, un refreshing, love story mixed in with hypocritical religious views.
The only redeeming quality of this book was the front of it But like the old saying, never trust a book by it s cover Halo might of had a pretty cover, but DAYUM Everything inside is vile, putrid Twilight wannabe In conclusion I HATED every single thing in this book with a passion that burns like a thousand suns After I read it, I wanted to wash out my eyes with lemon juice and toilet water I don t recommend it Save your time, and read something else DO NOT READ.
An Angel Is Sent To Earth On A MissionBut Falling In Love Is Not Part Of The PlanThree 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 Work Hard To Conceal Their Luminous Glow, Superhuman Powers, And, Most Dangerous Of All, Their Wings, All The While Avoiding All Human AttachmentsThen 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 StrongThe Angel S Mission Is Urgent, And Dark Forces Are Threatening Will Love Ruin Bethany Or Save Her