November 18, 2010

Halo - Alexandra Adornetto

Young Adult
Pages: 496
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
HaloRelease Date: August 31, 2010

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.

I should start with the fact that I have made my diagnostic: I do not like reading about angels. I did not enjoy the other commonly popular angel novels and now I've been cringing constantly while reading Halo.

The writing was sort of the best aspect of this novel. Yes, I do admire the author for being 18 and published. But I will not criticize the book lightly because of it. I gave the book an extra star for the writing.

The cheesiness and dullness of the story was just unnerving. And the extremely sloooow pace and excessive details made me close the book more than once.

Never in my life had I read a YA novel so bluntly sexist. Bethany is an angel sent to earth on a mission against evil and in order to make humans religious and kind again. She is supposed to be the strong one with a purpose who happens to fall in love. But no, without any reason whatsoever, she falls for the mysterious boy at school who has a darkish past because his former girlfriend died. He falls for her too, of course, and then she just expects him to be like a father. She literally starts to disappear behind him and his sexist comments. She constantly wants him to defend her, and protect her and do stuff for her like carry her bags and such. It was like Bethany instead of coming from heaven, she came from the 15th century. She even narrates when getting to the prom, "for this evening at least, feminist philosophy had been abandoned and the girls, like fairy tale princesses, allowed themselves to be led up the flight of steps and into the foyer." OMG. I felt insulted. Why would anyone ever aspire this? Is this girl for real? Is there any girl out there left that really wants to go back to when women were subjugated? Having a guy to be gentleman is a good thing, but wishing as a woman to go back when to the time we were merely shadows of men? God, NO! But what can we expect when Beth abandoned all her purpose in life to be with a regular boy.

Xavier was the same way. He was always making stupid comments like he didn't like poetry because that "is for girls" and that made me want to reach out and punch him. Yet, that was the most personality he'd show. Even though he had this weird and painful past, he doesn't have issues or reach out for Beth's comfort, nothing. Bethany is also a completely empty female lead, with no personality whatsoever. If you thought Bella (Twilight) was boring and plain, wait til you meet sweet little Bethany. I have no idea what she did in heaven for 17 years because, to me, it seemed she was just born yesterday. Naive is an understatement.

Also, it is a truly incoherent concept of heavenly angels taking human form but being prisoners of it (because free will is a gift to humans, not angels) and being able to get so so angry they must stop and regain their control (Gabriel when he finds out Bethany told Xavier "the truth"). It just doesn't sum up in my brain. Plus, the uncalled for cheesiness and blind unreasonable love, did not appeal to me either. Then the out of nowhere and inappropriate guy shows up to give the plot at least some meaning--since the so-called angels had not been doing anything but be human for the first (very long) part of the book-- and it just keeps getting more cliche and less interesting (and weirdly diabolic) from there.

I wont keep going because I know some people have really liked the book, so I strongly suggest to go read their reviews.


  1. Wowzers. You already know I stopped reading this book after nothing happened 100 pages in for me, and judging by your reaction, I'm glad I did.

  2. I gave this book 1 star on my blog. I don't know anyone who loves this book. I'm not sure anyone really liked it either. Shame....

    Great review...agree completely!


  3. I must say I absolutely sick of paranormal romance stories. I wasn't too sure about this book.

    I was excited by it because Alexandra went to my school and I really enjoyed her previous trilogy (I believe it's only available in Australia). The cover had me dragged in. I do enjoy a good romance story. I thought this book was a little slow getting started but I was amazed. Alexandra put a new spin on these days YA lit themes.

    I have heard Alexandra talk about why she chose to write this more religiously. She studied a lot of religion at school and found it interesting. To write this book, she had to come up with her own concepts of Heaven, Hell, Angels and more. This is not an easy task.

    I do think this book had some week points but I still rate 10 out of 10.

  4. Thanks for the honest review!

    I've heard mixed things about this, it's in my TBR pile, the cover pulled me in months ago, but I don't think I'll be rushing through my current reads to get to this one!

  5. Ooh, I got an ARC of Halo this week. I've always read raving reviews for this one, but have never seen the other side. Thank goodness I read yours. And oh my, you mentioned Bella. I'm hesitating whether or not I should read this immediately!

  6. Whoa, you described my exact thoughts on this book. I barely even made it past the first chapter before having the sensation to put it down.

    I've chatted a bit with Alex through twitter, and I was honestly expecting more from this book. And I agree--her writing is amazing. I read the book that she wrote around when she was 15--and everything was beautifully worded.

  7. Whoa, Sab, I don’t want to get on your bad side, but I see things very, very differntly. Not just on the novel, but on feminism. I was raised a southern Belle by my mother, her mother, my aunts and my godmother. I learned the true art to feminism, that you are in control, flexing your girl power muscles everytime a boy opens a door, or takes your bag. The true art of being a woman is holding power over men by being the woman, instead of trying to be a guy yourself. I love letting men carry things for me, open my car door ect. And I still get to vote! I think it’s a great win-win.

  8. I completely respect your view on it. That's why I told people to go read other reviews. I was born and raised in a country where man and woman have been essentially equal forever. There was never a no-voting rule for us. In our history there's no sexism or racism or any of that. So for me it was a shock to learn about it in American History and I'm completely opposed to any dis-equality.

    From my part, like I said, being a gentleman is a good thing but as a woman, wanting to be less, to lose your purpose to become only "his" woman, is unacceptable. But I accept and respect people with different views. I wouldn't want to read about it though, unless it's historical fiction. :)

  9. I agree that the writing was strong but the story was awful. Though I'm not even sure I agree that the writing was strong either. I think Adornetto is still a bit unwieldy with words. Yes, she clearly LOVES words, but I'm not sure she's quite learned how to harness them yet.

  10. What I didn't like was that the "bad guy" didn't show up until half way through the book! I was completely annoyed with that.

  11. I struggled to make it through the first few pages. There's no way I could have read this, I'm not a huge fan of angels as it is and I knew a book like this would ruin the whole concept for me. I have only read negative reviews of this book. It's just not for everybody, my friend absolutely loved it but that's only her opinion.


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