The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: December 22, 2009
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes. The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul."
Grace Divine is the goody two shoes that we all knew in school. She always did the right thing, never cut class, and was a role model for other kids. Daniel, her childhood friend, comes back into her life when she least expects it. Daniel is the prototypical bad boy with a dark past. As Goodreads mentioned, the closer Grace comes to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life and the closer she gets to his dreadful secret. Bree Despain's The Dark Divine is a fun read that fans of young adult paranormal romances will enjoy.
I'm not going to lie. At first, Grace wasn't someone I enjoyed or even connected with. She was the typical "good girl" who wants to save the world and everyone in it. That for me, in itself, was frustrating. As the story progressed, Grace, the pastor's daughter, became more interesting to me as Bree Despain continued to develop her character. For me, she was the type of character that you would yell at for making stupid decisions or for simply being mindless, but I found her to be absorbing nevertheless.
Daniel, on the other hand, was mysterious and everything I would expect in a "bad boy." No complaints there! Now....someone I have been dying to vent about: APRIL! I was really hung up on April, Grace's best friend. What is up with some of these so-called best friends in young adult literature? They are THE WORST! I wasn't a fan of her and her fickle behavior. In fact, she sort of exits stage left and walks right out of Grace's life towards the middle of novel! I don't want to give too much away, but I found her character to be insufferable! I wish Grace had more gumption and could tell April a piece of her mind! I felt like she was never there for Grace.
On a positive note, I enjoyed Despain's writing style. I found myself quickly reading through the book. It definitely held my attention. Despain also incorporated some mythology, which I felt was interesting and it held my attention. However, when Daniel's secret is finally revealed, it felt a bit too cheesy for me. I'm sure fans of Twilight will love this book, but for me, it was all a little too chintzy and derivative. If you have read my reviews before, you know I struggle with this often.
All in all, this was a fun read and I'll probably read the next book in the series, The Lost Saint. So you might ask did The Dark Divine "WOW" me? No, I can't say it did, but it sure was entertaining nonetheless. It would have been the perfect beach read for me!
Want to read the first chapter of The Dark Divine? Check it out here. Check out Bree Despain's blog while you are at it!
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