Book Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Halo is the UK debut novel by Alexandra Adornetto. It was published by Atom on 20th January in paperback and is 496 pages long.

Plot
Sent from Heaven, Bethany Church is one of three angels, along with Gabriel and Ivy, whose job it is to bring good to the people on Earth. Bethany is by far the most human of the three and wants to make the most of her time she has learning the way of the world, which isn’t the easiest of things for a normal teenager to do. Bethany also has to hide the fact that she has wings, has supernatural powers and isn’t even human at all.

She knows she shouldn’t form attachments to humans but then Xavier Woods comes along. He’s mysterious and every girl in school wants to date him. Every girl has failed so far. Bethany is the exception and instantly catches Xavier’s eye. As the two begin to secretly see each other, they become inseparable but Bethany knows that her secret is too big to keep from him and has to make a tough decision. How much harm can really come from revealing who she is really is to one human boy?

What I thought
Halo has a fantastic cover and even if I hadn’t known about it before its release, I would have wanted to buy it had I seen it on the shelves. In front of a bright sun stands a floppy haired boy with a beautiful angel. This cover has a very Romeo and Juliet-ish feel to it, which is perfectly fitting, considering the Shakespeare play is brought up in the story. It is eye-catching and mesmerising and I don’t know many YA lovers who would have been able to walk past this without buying it.

So even though Halo started extremely well on the outside, the same cannot be said for the inside. I had a really hard time with the beginning of this book and was close to the point of not even carrying on with it. The story is really slow starting and has a lot of long winded descriptions, so much so that I stopped caring what anything looked like or what anyone was feeling. It was just too much, too soon and I would have preferred the beginning to be a little bit simpler. Throughout the book, the descriptions began to get better, more refined and I actually ended up finding them to be beautiful and poetic in parts.

I was glad that I didn’t give up so easily on this book though because it got a lot better. Halo is told in the first person from Bethany Church’s point of view, one of the angels sent down to help on earth. I didn’t really like her too much to begin with but I think a lot of that was down to the fact that the book didn’t begin well for me and the story was being told by her. She really grew on me over the course of the book though. As an angel, Beth doesn’t really know anything about what it is like to be human or any of the things that humans do and feel. Because of this, she was really funny at times when she didn’t understand what was going on. As soon as Beth started to see Xavier, she spent most of her time with him and neglected her friends a little bit, even though some effort was clearly made.

Xavier was mysterious to begin with but that soon disappeared. As soon as he found Beth, everything about him changed. The change from being himself to being ‘Beth’s boyfriend’ happened very quickly and it was like he had a personality transplant, although all we know about him before this is from gossip. I much preferred the secretive Xavier though and I felt like he lost some of the great stuff about him. He was really sweet though and there was no way in hell that you could mistake how strong his feelings were for Beth. As he was so sweet, I didn’t dislike him at all but he would not have been the kind of guy that I went for. I loved how understanding and cool he was about finding out what Beth and her family were and for not completely freaking out.

For me, the story really started to get interesting when Jake turned up, even if that was over half way through. Even though he is the new guy in school, it doesn’t take him long to get himself a reputation and I loved him for that. His character was a bit too obvious though, even though he was supposed to be really mysterious. As the first half of the book is dedicated to Beth and Xavier finding each other and defining their relationship, the action really begins to happen in the second half. Jake wasn’t around as much as I would have liked and I think the story would have been so much better if he had been introduced earlier.

Even though I didn’t totally love this book, it was so much better than I first thought it would be. The characters were well written and the story inventive. As this book is part of a series, I think that the second book holds a lot of promise now that the world building and pace has been set. I will be looking forward to the sequel in order to find out what is in store next for Beth and Xavier and how they will overcome the evil in the world.

4 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you about the cover on this book. I'm tempted to buy it just for that reason.

    I think a lot of people have been quite disappointed with Halo and like yourself, I've heard quite a few bloggers saying it's hard to get in to. I think I'm going to wait until the second book is out and see what people think of that.

    Thanks for a great and honest review Lyndsey.

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  2. I bought this book for the cover and have yet to read it. I have read so many disappointing reviews that it has stayed on my TBR shelf for a long time.

    Your review while not a rave, at least provides me with enough to maybe give it a try. Thanks

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  3. I love the concept of angels, I feel that angels are definitely the new vampires. I too found it hard to get into. If you check out my blog you will find another honest review.

    :) Hazel

    http://hazellovesdesign.blogspot.com/2011/07/book-club.html

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  4. this is the greates book that i have ever read about angels and leaft me in my own little world in venus cove and its true, once i picked up the book i counldnt put it down until the end.:D

    ReplyDelete

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