Trend Spotlights:Angelic Reads Part III-A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

 
The cover of this book instantly caught my eye.  What is this girl doing?  Is she trying to fly, jump off a cliff, do some weird yoga that requires her to wear an evening gown?  I had to read the book just to answer these questions.

 

A Beautiful Dark is one of those books that cover just catches your eye.  Which was one of the reasons I decided to read it.  That and it had an interesting summary.  I mean, a love triangle with the personification of good and evil against each other had to be good right?  Let’s see….

 

General Review

 

General Summary: On the night of her birthday Skye meets two hot (if a bit crazy guys).  There’s Asher who’s the dark and mysterious  one and Devin who’s the blonde and bland one.  Of course, Skye finds herself drawn to both of them and soon learns it’s not just frisson that is attracting her towards Ashton and Devin rather its her legacy.
Review: The book itself had an interesting premises.  Light versus dark personified.   Skye seemed to be an interesting character too at the beginning of the book.  But as I kept reading I felt like I had read this story before. This book sounded like so many paranormal books out there.  Isolated main character, meets two hot boys that are a little different, and then deserts her human life for the paranormal world.  Okay, so there’s only a limited of ways you can set up a paranormal book, but after the general setup the book should come into its own.  This book didn’t.  Sure, the action at the end had me curious about how the next book was going to be.  But it wasn’t anything different.  Which is sad because I think Davies really does have talent.
Best Feature: It’s well written.  I am currently reading a book with God awful purple prose, I won’t go into details now because believe me you’ll be hearing them in the near future.  A Beautiful Dark though was cleanly written, Davies’ editing skills shined through. She really does have talent when it comes to writing.   If the plot had been a little more unpredictable I could’ve got through it very fast and that’s nice.
Worst Feature: Cliche: This book is essentially what you’d expect with YA paranormal lit.  It’s not a bad book, but you could sense every twist and turn because it’s been done before.  Take the love interests for example.  Of course there had to be a triangle.  I don’t mind love triangles when they’re done right.  But when the two male leads instantly feel a pull towards the main character it just doesn’t make sense.  Especially when one of them is already in a relationship.  If there was interaction between the characters then I could understand their connection, but here it was just the you’re hot and I want in your pants sort of attraction.
Like the Bermuda Triangle, a love triangle can cause readers to disappear. 
Appropriateness: I know, a new category.  But I’ve had some people asking me whether certain books would be appropriate for kids as of late.  For the most part I think this book is fine.  There’s nothing explicitly sexual in the book. Although, both boys are sort of obnoxious and at times illustrate poor relationships (i.e. they’re controlling and borderline creepy).  There is some violence towards the end of the book.  As for cussing, I think the language wasn’t that corse.  I’d recommend it for probably ages thirteen and up.
Blockbuster Worthy: Do I think this book warrants a movie or TV series?  No, because there really wasn’t anything unique about it that made me want to see it on the big or small screen.  Do I think it could be made into one?  Hell yes.  Hollywood likes snatching up trendy things even if they aren’t the best piece of literature out there.  And angel fiction is popular these days.
Skye: Megan Fox.  Yeah, I know.  I know.  But Skye is frequently described as being tall, raven haired and blue eyed. And even though she’s arguably too old to play the role this is who I see Skye looking like.
Asher: Okay, people who read this blog are going to kill me when I say this but Ethan Peck is definitely Asher.  Okay, yeah I know I’ve chosen him for a lot of YA roles.  But Ethan is essentially a typecast for all dark haired broody looking YA men.  So there.
Devin: Freddi Stroma: He has the ethereal pretty boy looks that you think of when you think Devin.
Angelic Analysis

 

 

A) Angels are Vampire Lite: Oh yeah, the vampire lite meter definitely goes up when I think about this book.  There were several things that were Twilighty about this book. Mysterious paranormal dudes coming to Bella’s Skye’s school.  And the whole paranormal love thing.  However, lots of paranormal books have similar scenarios.  The ultimate test in whether this book is vampire lite or not is if you could easily take out the angel stuff and insert vampires.  And yes, you could.  Though Davies does give us some angel mythology here and there in the book, it’s vague at best.
 
B) The Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil: Yes, there are references that there’s a battle that’s been going on between two sides.  But the supposed good guys seem like evil sadistic  freaks to me.  As for the supposed dark side,  it’s hinted that they might have their own secret agenda also.  So it’s not like there are two polarizing sides here.  A part of me does like it, but I wish the good guys were a bit gray rather than just a bunch of evil control freaks.
C) Wide Array of Possibilities: Although, I feel this book is cliche the angel mythos from what I’ve seen isn’t the typical Christian based angel lore.  So I will give it that.  Though it seems like it might be a little too ancient aliens for my taste.
D) Because Angels have an Excuse to Stalk: Oh yeah, there’s lots of stalking here.  Seriously, Skye, you need to get a restraining order from both Asher and Devin.  But you won’t because like most YA paranormal heroines you find stalking to be hot.  Seriously, girls if a guy sneaks in your room throw your lamp at him first and call the cops before talking with him.  Also, when a guy tries to control what you do after school even though you need to take care of academic business give him the bird.  Do not let yourself be controlled by some Edward Cullen wannabe.
Overall Thoughts: While reading A Beautiful Dark was a bit of a disappointment to me.  It basically emphasized what a typical angel book is.  And for that I’m glad I read it.  It showed what cliches are popular in the sub genre and for that matter what cliches exist in the YA genre.  I felt throughout reading the book certain buttons that were supposed to make me like the book were being pressed but for some reason or not, I just felt indifferent.
Overall Rating: Five out of ten bells.  This word average describes this book perfectly.  It’s not a bad book.  The writing is nice, the characters are nice enough.  But it’s just your typical YA novel, nothing truly spectacular.  I will probably check out the sequel because I think things could get interesting, but at the same time I’m a bit weary because this book could go into Twilight territory very easily.
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