Book Review: Angelfall

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*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with Raffe, an injured enemy angel. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

How I’ve neglected to discover this trilogy until now is besides me. This is the first book that has genuinely made me grateful I decided to do the POPSUGAR challenge. I’m hooked and can’t wait to read the next two books.

The novel follows Penryn, a girl who’s had to be strong for her family, which includes her schizophrenic mom and handicapped younger sister, Paige. Feeling like the protector of her strong family, Penryn is devastated when Paige is taken by the enemy angels and is willing to do anything to get her back. That includes making a deal with the devil angel, Raffe, who lost his wings in a battle with the same angel that took Penryn’s little sister.

Teaming up with the understanding that they’re on opposing sides, the two head off to find the Aerie, the angels home on Earth. Along the way they run into Penryn’s mom, a human gang, a human resistance group, creatures neither Penryn or Raffe have ever seen before, and of course, angels. Making friends and enemies the pair begin to realize there may be more in common between humans and angels than they thought.

However, Raffe knows the risks of an angel getting too comfortable with a human and wouldn’t dare let anything beyond a mutually beneficial partnership happen between himself and Penryn. Meanwhile, there’s a battle for power amongst the angels and secret dealings amongst them. While the humans struggle to recover in this post apocalyptic world the angels have their own issues.

Romance, drama, comedic relief, and more violence than I was expecting, this book was fantastic. Obviously, there’s a great similarity between this novel and The Hunger Games (teenage girl taking care of her mother and sister is not a new plot device). However, Susan Ee does an amazing job of creating a new dystopian world. She plays on this idea of what would the rapture really look like. We’re given warring angels who aren’t even particularly sure why they’re attacking the Earth and some who aren’t even sure God exists.

It’s a twist on an idea anyone that’s walked around New York City has heard from someone screaming on a street corner: “The End Is Near!” Ee gives us beautiful angels that are creatures of destruction and blurs the lines between who we believe are the good guys and the bad. Honestly, it made me want to reread the Bible and see if I could glean any knowledge about what the angels could be doing on Earth and if Ee is really drawing from the Bible or if it’s all fiction. Yeah, it’s that good.

Definitely a book you should pick up if you haven’t already. I listened to the audiobook for this one and it was fantastic, however, it doesn’t necessarily add anything to the story that you wouldn’t get from just reading the novel. Either way you read it, just make sure you do.

Favorite Line:

“Sometimes, as we’re stumbling along in the dark, we hit something good.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. I loved it!

Borrow or Buy: Buy! Honestly, I wish I had this on my Kindle instead of just on Audible. I might buy it. For reals.

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Book Review: V is for Virgin

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Synopsis from Amazon.com:

From the best selling YA romance author of The Avery Shaw Experiment comes a wildly funny and heart-melting rockstar romance. Kyle Hamilton is the quintessential bad boy, but Val Jensen is not your typical good girl.

When Val gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

I wanted to like this book. I really did. But I did not, for multiple reasons.

First of all, the story moves way too fast. We start with the main character, Val, being dumped and then quickly move from her being heart broken to being angry to being fearless to suddenly becoming an activist. Of course she claims this isn’t what she wanted, this is all so crazy, blah blah blah, but in reality she suddenly becomes popular and she doesn’t exactly hate it. She’s begins to benefit from her declaration of virginity and it’s almost way too easy for her. Additionally, the epilogue then jumps ahead four years for no reason other than to set up the sequel.

I struggled to believe that this girl, especially in high school, would rise so quickly in popularity just for standing up for herself. Do I support her standing up for what she believes in? Sure. Is it realistic that after doing so her life would become perfectly perfect and she’d have a rock star craving her attention and become one of the cool kids? Definitely not.

Also, I hated her friendship with the her supposed best friend, Cara. I won’t spoil it but I just felt like their friendship was way to fickle for them to supposedly have been friends for as long as they had. Cara didn’t really seem all that supportive for what Val was trying to do with her “V is for Virgin” campaign and honestly Cara just seemed like a sucky friend in general.

Lastly, I wanted to like Kyle. The whole bad boy, good girl thing usually works for me but I couldn’t get behind Kyle. He comes off as very obnoxious, annoying, and just a pester. Of course as the novel progresses we learn why he’s the way he is and truly he is a good person if you just look hard enough. Typical. However, that shouldn’t excuse his crappy behavior. Moreover, I struggled to believe the complete character turn around we see in him in the end. It’s too perfect.

I think Kelly Oram was trying to present a book that shows it is possible to wait until marriage and still get everything you want. Although I do believe this, what I don’t believe is it would be as easy as she makes it out to be in this book. She makes being a virgin seem cool and has guys who were against it at first suddenly come around and say, “You know what I can actually wait.” Yeah, sure.

This story was just too perfectly perfect for be to believe. Every conflict was easily resolved and Val’s struggles were very minimal. There is a sequel to this novel and although I am curious I don’t think I’m curious enough to read it.

Favorite Line: 

“Cheesy lines like that will get you nowhere with me, but, by all means, keep them coming. You’re so much easier to ignore when you’re being an idiot.”

Stars: 2 out of 5. There were some parts that I did enjoy but overall not a favorite of mine.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Not worth keeping.

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