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Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: Angel Burn (Angel Trilogy Series, Book 1) by L. A. Weatherly

Here is the Synopsis (from Barnes and Noble):

Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L.A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.
So what’s my verdict? No bueno. Yep, that’s what I said, no bueno. Not good. I give it 2 stars...maybe 2 and a half if I am feeling generous. I hate to say this but I feel I must: this novel is not very good. It is hauntingly cheesy, the love story is unconvincing, the characters lack depth, and the plot is sluggish. I had high hopes for this novel, but I had to force myself to finish it. I still cringe when the memory of those cheesy “romantic” exchanges between Willow and Alex pop into my head; they haunt me. Seriously, help. I consider the writing average. It lacks style and depth. It progresses slowly and, in many parts, it is just plain boring. The characters are empty. Willow is too annoying and shallow to be a good strong heroine. Alex is not a convincing “assassin”/love interest. Their love is too immature and cliché and shallow to be taken seriously. If this were a movie, it would be on Lifetime. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this novel to anyone who seeks some depth. If you are into obvious and uncomplicated characters, if you don’t like delving below the surface of a story, if you don’t expect to learn anything, if all you want is a straightforward uncomplicated love story, then ignore this review and read this book.

I hate that I didn’t like this book. Honestly, I wonder if perhaps I am being too harsh, but then I remember the writing, I cringe and then laugh at the ridiculousness thats is Alex and Willow. Seriously, it was a crappy patty with cheese. Don’t believe me? Ok here’s an example of how Willow describes kissing Alex: “It felt so, so good.” Yep. This short little phrase encapsulates the issues I took with this book. It is shallow and cliché and dumb. It’s like the author is trying too hard. It is obviously written by someone who isn’t really connected to the teenage frame of mind. I find it too simple-minded.  No matter how hard I try I just can’t like the characters. I have this powerful urge to get my shadowhunter friends from The Mortal Instruments series, my dauntless peeps from the Divergent Series, and a couple of graced fighters I met in Graceling to come with me and just beat the cheese and gravy out of Willow and Alex. descriptionYes, I have violent urges towards those two. I can’t help it! They annoy the crap out of me! I want them in pain! I want to go ninja on their asses! *Deep Breath*Alex is supposed to be this bad-ass assassin (jeje please note the alliteration there)…Alex a bad ass assassin? …yea well, it’s not working. I bet that if you were to put him next to the truly delicious bad-asses from other books he would cry. I would love for him to meet Jace! Alex would shart his pants! And Willow comes across as a bit weak. I think even Bella Swan would find her annoying. She is supposed to be this hot blonde chick that doesn’t really have friends at school because she likes to fix cars oh and is psychic…yea . Anywho, I just plain don’t like the main characters. As for the villains...well...they also suck ass! Evil Angels my ass, more like annoying mofos (seriously mofos)! I just don't like anyone from Angel Burn. They can all go jump of a cliff for all I care, in fact I encourage it. Looking at other reviews online I realize that some people really like this book. I guess it’s the equivalent of people liking those Lifetime movies. You know exactly what’s going to happen and the characters are just empty place holders for the “hero” and “heroine” roles, no more no less, but I guess that works for some people. I’m just not one of them. I will not be reading the sequel (Angel Fire). I just don’t give a damn. Not reading a sequel is big for me, I usually succumb to some degree of curiosity, but seriously like I said, I don't give a damn. But who knows, you might enjoy it. If you have some time to kill, I would NOT suggest buying it, but I would suggest borrowing it from the library or a friend and taking it for a test drive.

Here are some “free samples” of the writing found in Angel Burn (no spoilers):
“I couldn't meet his gaze. I stared at the table just behind him--the mess of cards on it, the lantern giving off its quiet glow. ‘When you gave me your shirt to wear that night, I could feel you. I could feel your essence.’"

There was no way that I wanted him to stop touching me, even for a few hours.

“Willow nestled against him. He smoothed her long hair down the back of her T-shirt, feeling its softness. In a few moments she fell asleep again, her breathing warm and regular against his chest. Alex kissed her head, his arms tightening around her. As he drifted back to sleep himself, he saw a brief flash of the thousands of angels streaming in, but right then it seemed distant, almost unimportant. The only thing that mattered was that he was lying in a bed holding Willow, their bare legs entwined. It was all he wanted to do for the rest of his life.”

“‘How about that one? Is that a constellation?’
I asked, pointing upward. We were down in the small valley where the truck was parked. Alex sat leaning against a rock; I was between his legs with my back against his chest, his arms around me as we stared up at the stars.
‘Yeah, that's the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades.’
 He bent his head, and I caught my breath as his warm mouth nuzzled at my neck. I hadn't gotten even remotely used yet to how good it felt to be kissed by Alex.
‘It's so sexy how you know all of this,’ I said when I could speak again.
‘Yeah?’ I heard the grin in his voice. ‘I know the summer constellations, too. Will that get me bonus kisses?’
‘I think it might, actually.’

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