Monday, August 2, 2010

Review of Angel Star

Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Pages: 251
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: May 18, 2010
ARC received through Book It Forward Tours
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.  But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows, and now, she is torn between one angel's sacrifice and another angel's vicious ambition.  Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower."

Teagan McNeel is an average teenage girl that often gets bullied by the mean girls in her school, but thankfully, she has a reliable BFF, Claire, and a caring mom.  According to Teagan's mom, Teagan's dad "disappeared" when she was just a little kid, but Teagan figures that it's code for he walked out on them.  A new guy, Garreth, transfers to Carver High School and he's super good looking, charming, nice, and is the quintessential good guy-- he even has a rosary in his car!  Much to Teagan's disbelief and the mean girls at school, Garreth actually pays attention to Teagan.  As they get to know each other, she notices a star on his hand and his other mysterious ways.  She comes to find out that Teagan is an angel, but not just any angel....her guardian angel.  Garreth warns Teagan of a dark angel that will cause some problems for her.  But Teagan wants to know what on earth a dark angel would want with her?  On top of that bad situation, the more that Garreth tries to protect Teagan, the more energy he loses, which puts him in a compromising position.  Teagan realizes the seriousness of the situation at hand; she must not only protect herself, but also her friends and family, and maybe even Garreth.  Jennifer Murgia's debut novel, Angel Star, is an engaging read that fans of angels will delight in.  

It's no surprise that I am a fan of angels. After reading Hush, Hush, I became even more of a fan of angels in literature; I definitely will take them any day over vampires or werewolves.  So, needless to say, I was a fan of Murgia's use of angel mythology in Angel Star.  I liked her take on angels, especially guardian angels.  There's really something special and magical about guardian angels and Murgia truly portrays that.  Garreth is exactly how I would picture a guardian angel to be.  

Regarding the plot, it's definitely fast paced.  I finished this novel quickly and there were moments that were suspenseful.  Murgia definitely surprises her readers at a few points in the novel, which only increased my suspense.  It's the perfect combination of anticipation, romance, and fantasy. Lastly, I really like the fact that I can easily recommend this to my students as it isn't too edgy or inappropriate, which is always good to know.  

My only issue with this novel is how quickly the relationship formed between Garreth and Teagan.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I think Garreth and Teagan's relationship was extremely endearing and romantic.  But for me, it didn't seem believable at times and was rather rushed.  Historically, I complain about this a lot when it comes to relationships in YA so maybe it's my problem? Lately in YA, it seems that boy and girl meet, boy and girl talk, and immediately boy and girl fall in love.  I know some readers enjoy this immensely, but it always irks me. I recognize that this has worked for Shakespeare with Romeo and Juliet and countless other stories, but in most YA novels, it's just not believable.  My students probably enjoy the whole love at first sight or syllable scenario, but I am a sucker for the type of relationship where the boy and girl are friends first and gradually fall in love as they get to know each other. But that's just my personal preference and I know a lot of bloggers that disagree with me.  To each its own.  And keep in mind that this slight issue will definitely not deter me from reading the sequel entitled Leminscate, which is due out March 21, 2011.  

All in all, Jennifer Murgia's Angel Star is a strong debut that fans of not only angels will enjoy, but fans of the paranormal genre as well.  I mean, really, who doesn't love angels? I look forward to meeting Jennifer at Bring YA to PA later this month!

*Buy Angel Star 
*Watch the book trailer


  1. I enjoyed your review of this. I've kind of been on the fence about it. I am not a big fan of angel fiction but after reading your review I think I will go ahead and give this book a try if I can get it from the library.

    I agree with you that sometimes relationships develop incredibly fast in YA fiction but sometimes it works depending on the plot and how it is written. I can see why that would appeal to teen girls though.

    Great review!

  2. Great review. And I definitely understand about the "fast relationship" thing. It bothers me a lot in books too.

    Still, the story does seem great. Again, awesome review.

  3. Love the sound of this book. I still have Hush Hush lying here on my bookshelves, need to read that very soon. I haven't read a lot of books about angels, so Hush Hush will be the first one. If I like it, I might even try this one out. I love paranormal books. :)

  4. Great review! Thanks for outlining what didn't work for you :) I know what you mean ;)

  5. I completely agree about the 'love at first sight' principle that seems to be sweeping YA. It just rubs me the wrong way.

    Especially if it's for seemingly no special reason. Like, if everyone's being nice to the character except one person, then that's obviously who she develops a crush on? Really? I could understand if it were the opposite, but seeking out someone with whom there is obvious animosity doesn't seem at all realistic.

    Or there's the dreaded, 'I know he's dangerous for me, that he could easily kill me, but I love him and completely trust him with my life.' Yeah, that's just not healthy. At all.

    And after the 'destined relationship' is discovered, there's never any further development. It just sits there, waiting for villains to rush in and threaten it. There's never any 'Oh, you like heavy metal? I prefer country... Maybe we shouldn't have the radio on in the car.' Or, you know, other issues couples might face and decide to overcome.

    It just makes me mad sometimes.


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