Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Pages: 496
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: August 31, 2010
ARC received through Book It Forward Tours
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Three angels enter the town of Venus Cove to protect it and preform good deeds as the town is slowly being taken over by the "dark side."  The first angel, Gabriel, is the most powerful of the three and will be disguised as the music teacher at the local Catholic high school.  His sister, Ivy, will be the town's do-gooder, and the third sibling and youngest angel, Bethany, will enroll at the Catholic high school.  They must hide the fact that they are angels and they have a specific mission to accomplish.  Things go off course when Bethany starts to have feelings for the school captain, Xavier.  She knows she shouldn't be feeling them, but she can't deny her attraction and knows her brother and sister won't approve.  But we all know, where there is good, there is always evil.   Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany soon find out that there's something dark lurking in the town of Venus Cove.  No one can deny it's quite impressive that Alexandra Adornetto wrote Halo at such a young age; however, for me, it was a disappointment.

Let me first address what I enjoyed about Halo.  As I was reading it, I was taken back by the fact that Adornetto was only seventeen when she wrote this.  There are parts of this novel that are written beautifully and are extremely eloquent.  Adornetto is a true wordsmith and can paint vivid pictures with her descriptions and in turn, this novel is overflowing with imagery.  I also liked the fact that this book is appropriate for ages twelve and up, which means it can find a home in my library classroom.  

On the other hand, I definitely had a bad romance with this novel. As I mentioned before, Adornetto's writing was graceful; however, what I loved about it then became what I hated....if that makes any sense.  Simply was overdone.  Let me compare it to eating a rich first, it's delicious and then before you know it, you've had too much and you're sick.  What originally attracted you, you now find it repulsive.  That was my experience when reading Halo. At first the writing was delicious, but then I felt Adornetto was using too many synonyms and consequently the writing became too wordy and descriptive.  This book was almost 500 pages and in my opinion, it was extremely drawn out.

The character of Bethany was someone I couldn't relate to. AT. ALL.  She had a bad case of Bella Swan syndrome and was definitely not an independent girl...err....angel.   Her world revolved around Xavier and at one point, Bethany admitted that sometimes friends must take a back seat to boyfriends and friends should understand this.  Wow.  That's not how I feel at all, so it conflicted with my outlook on life as I feel friendships are essential, meaningful and meant to be cultivated.  I mean who is going to get Bethany's back once Xavier finds a new angel on the block?   I value friendship and although Bethany does end up caring for her friends in the end, that one comment really upset me.  

I think another reason why I didn't like this book is the fact that it's too religious for me.  Do I value religion and morals? Yes.  Do I want to read about "Our Father" in my fantasy literature? Not so much.  I recognized that novels with angels in them must possess some religious undertones; however,  Halo felt too preachy for me.  Please understand that this is just my personal preference and perhaps you might enjoy this.

All in all, I admire Adornetto for writing Halo at seventeen when most teenagers are too busy texting and shopping at the mall; nevertheless, I won't be picking up the sequel Hades, which comes out in the fall of 2011 as this book is part of a trilogy.   I'm not going to lie that this novel disappointed me as I have been really looking forward to reading it and I must say that the cover is one of the best I've seen lately!  But one thing is for sure, if I want to get my angel fix, I am going to have to refer to Fallen or Hush, Hush

*Buy Halo

*Watch an interview with Alexandra Adornetto

*Watch the book trailer:


  1. Great Review! I've thought about reading this one and had no idea that the author is only 17. I might move this down towards the bottom of my TBR now. There are too many other good books I want to read.

  2. Thanks for your honest review. Oddly enough, this review makes me want to read it more. Thank you :) And thanks for your honesty :)

    I liked your dessert analogy.

  3. "Bella Swan Syndrome" haha. I loved this. Thanks for your honest review of the book. I probably will pass on this book based on your recommendation. It sounds like the story line is solid but I just can't take one more "Bella" right now. :)

  4. Thanks for the review. I've been hesitant about reading this one but now reading how the main character feels about boyfriend vs friends I can see that this is definitely not the book for me. I know that this would upset me reading this, as well.

  5. Bummer! I'm glad I didn't actually order this on Amazon like I was going to. I'll wait for the library to get it.

    I did really like your review though. It shared your opinion with lots of support and reasons. Excellent.

    I also have to say that in high school I personally had "Bella Swan syndrome," so even though it is NOT what we want to cultivate in our students, it is something that they might relate to. I grew out of it, but I did actually expect my friends to understand that my boyfriend was more important. The boyfriend and I are still together after 7 years, and the friends and I lost touch after HS.

    Anyways, thanks for a great review and for making it through this super long book for us!

  6. Despite you not being too into the over-eloquence, your review intrigues me. It almost makes me think I would really love it. In the past when people have said things like that about books, I have loved them.
    Thanks for such an honest review!

  7. So hmmm... I have bought this book and I imported it and everything so it wasn't cheap. I really hope that I like it.
    All of your complaints seem valid to me. What I would say about the our father thing though is let's face it angels and God are pretty inseparable concepts. I definitely do not want to be converted to any religion by reading a book or preached at, but I don't specifically object if an angel book mentions God, I think.

    So I'll let you know how I get on.

  8. Fortunately, I got this book at ALA. Unfortunately, I was highly, highly let down. One of the best Goodreads reviews agrees with you and says that Bethany had a case of the Bellas, lol! I think it had the opportunity to be SO awesome, but unfortunately, it just wasn't.

  9. Kate- It's impressive...isn't it? 17?! Gotta give her credit.

    JuJu- Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy it! This book wasn't for me, but I hope you like it.

    Jen and Puppy- Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Allison- You make valid points. Sometimes I forget what it's like to be 17. I am lucky enough to have met most of my best friends in nursery school and elementary school.....they are like my family. So, I come from a different perspective completely.

    Brizmus- You might enjoy the descriptions. I can't deny my initial attraction to her style. I hope you enjoy it.

    Becky- I hope for your sake you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think. I am interested!

    Krista- I'm glad we agree. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Great review and I agree I was so disappointed. I thought the book could easily have been 200 pages shorter. I couldn't get over the fact that she was sent to help promote goodwill and peace to this community and after she falls for Xavier Gabriel and Ivy pretty much let her go and obsess over Xavier and ignore all her other duties.

  11. Since reading several reviews about this book, I'm still on the fence about reading it. It'll be low priority on my TBR list.

  12. I was away this week & only saw your review now. I made sure to check back as I was waiting to see if we'd feel the same about this book, and yes, we did! It was such a disappointment for me too. Stop by to read my review if you have time. Bethany and her utter dependence on Xavier just drove me insane. I also mentioned Bella Swan in my review. lol! Great minds! xo

  13. Medeia- Thanks for stopping by!

    Leanna- I'm glad we agree. I will check out your review!

  14. I've just finished reading this book, and I've got to admit: I liked it. Bethany annoyed me, but the writing was so beautiful... The Our Father thing, well, she's an angel. They're a package deal, aren't they? But, yes, there was quite a bit of religion...
    The plot I liked, but I wish the suspense had come quicker and hadn't been over so quick.
    Halo had the potential to be amazing, and I hope Hades reaches it's potential.
    But this is a great review, honest, with lots of valid points. I don't know what made me like it, but I know lots of people don't.
    P.S. love the Bella Swan Syndrome! (:

  15. This has to be one of the most stunning covers I have ever seen! So, I have to pick it up no matter what. Even though your review wasn't all that positive, it still had me intrigued to read the book for myself and see if I agree with you or not. I like that :)



I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs