Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
publisher: Feiwel & Friends
release date: August 31, 2010
hardcover, 496 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: ARC received from publisher
Description from Goodreads:
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.
Review: Like most who are eagerly awaiting this one, I was in love at first sight with this gorgeous ethereal cover the second I saw it months and months ago! Absolutely perfect. Even more so that is perfectly depicts the charming and romantic story that it hides in its pages! This story was just the sweetest thing. While its talked up to be a story about angels on a mission against evil, the bulk of the story here is about a young angel named Bethany discovering what is means to be human and discovering love for the very first time. And of course, the fact that the love is forbidden just adds to the intrigue and romance! I've heard some say that Bethany's character is written younger than her supposed age (seventeen), but in my opinion, she just acted how someone, anyone of any age really, might act if they are completely innocent of the daily ins and outs of being a teenager. It was very cleverly written to make her situation relateable, even as an angel---things like trying to get dressed out for PE in a locker room full of girls without everyone noticing your flaws (or in Bethany's case, her lack of belly button!).
One thing that stood out about this book among all the other angel books that are popping up in the YA market is the fact that the religious aspect is prominent in the story. The three sibling angels are here on a mission to take back places that have shown to be vulnerable to dark influences and to spread goodwill and give people faith and hope. There is a message there, but not enough that I think it would be off-putting to those of other faiths. It was fascinating to read one author's imaginings of how the life of an angel might be, the structure of Heaven and the rules by which it might run.
I'm assuming that the story will get darker as the trilogy continues. There was a small taste of the fight that will most likely be ahead toward the end of this one, but like I said, this book was mostly about Bethany exploring a human life, and it stayed fairly light and charming and somewhat steadily paced. It was fascinating and I loved it, and I'm definitely excited to see how this one will unfold!