Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition/First Printing edition (December 8, 2009)
Genre: paranormal romance
Lucinda Price or Luce had been involved in a bad accident and it was suspected she had killed her boyfriend but there was no proof of it. She also has claimed since her childhood that she has seen shadows stalking her, which only adds to the paranoia people presume of her. Now she is sent to a reform school, called Sword & Cross. It is an institution for special cases – teens who have had problems with law but haven’t been convicted of anything serious, anyway not yet. Luce is having hard time to adopt until she sees the gorgeous Daniel Grigori who smiles and…flips her off. No matter, there’s another hot guy on the horizon and his name is Cam. Cam seems only too happy to flirt with Luce but still it’s enough she glimpses Daniel she is losing her head and she simply doesn’t understand why. One of her few friends at that sad place, a girl called Pennyweather, tries to help her find out more about Daniel. It leads to a big fat reveal that he is a fallen angel (with collapsible wings) and Luce all of a sudden finds herself positioned straight in the middle of a major struggle between one faction of fallen angels and another faction of the aforementioned fallen angels. Oh, also her life is hanging by a thread as soon as Daniel kisses her. Because kiss they must. For better or for worse.
The cover is really very nice. Even more than nice – intriguing. I’ve always loved long hair and long dresses on tall, distressed beauties. Black and blue=sweet. Be careful, though- you can get brainwashed by those colours no problem.
I didn’t like so many things that I hardly know where to start. Ok, my faithful black-red devil outfit (with extra horns) I put already on so I might as well start whenever I want.
First of all this book is full of cliches. The authoress took whatever feature she thought could be popular with teen girls and used it unscrupulously but without any flair or ingenuity. As a result you can take everything that was insufferably cheesy in the Twilight series and you are bound to find it here, just insert fallen angels instead of vampires and werewolves. Horrible mix.
I’ve never met so far a more irritating main character than Luce Price. She is so plain and dumb that one must wonder why she still claims to get good grades. She knows for sure one French word: genee (embarassed). Well, I was genee too reading about her and seeing no character development for over 400 pages.
When Daniel, this story’s “hero”, flips Luce the bird and then proceeds to treat her like garbage–on several occasions–what does Luce do? She instantly becomes obsessed with Daniel and breaks into the school records room to find out more about him. Not once does she think she might be seriously crossing a line by going through someone’s private records. Obviously, talking to him or his friends–like a normal person would–to find out more about him, is out of the question. No wonder she was sent to a special school. She is a criminal born only too stupid to deliver.
It also seems that nobody – neither the authoress nor her editor- bothered to check what is known and said about fallen angels in common sources like folklore or the Bible. As a result these creatures were presented in a way a dog might describe people (my dog, Jet says: “people are big dogs without much hair or sense of smell walking on two feet and making a lot of noise; if they are good, they show their teeth in a nice way providing food and scratches).What’s worse, the “fallen angel” angle was pretty much obvious from the very beginning of the story so there wasn’t any tension, any build-up in the plot making the whole novel as flat as a pancake without a filling. Having your main character come to such a “surprising” conclusion almost four hundred pages after the reader is just an insult. Most readers can think on their own after all.
Apart from our sweet Luce the book contains two paranormal studs competing for our heroine’s affections (yeah, the evil romantic trio I despise so much). They were both supposed to be drastically handsome interesting and charismatic. Oh dear, if only they were a bit more 3D…Daniel, the “good angel”, can suffocate and collapse under the weight of his own brooding brow and smirked lips. Cam is a bit more human but hey, he is supposed to be evil which simply doesn’t make sense at all. Ok enough is enough even for me.
A DNF – definitely one of the worst YA paranormal romances I happened to read. Seriously, some Harlequins are written better and feature more likeable characters than this one. I am happy I didn’t buy it and I am angry I didn’t read a better book instead. A complete fiasco and waste of time from my point of view.