Beautiful cover, right? That’s the only thing about this book that’s beautiful.
The cover of this book is striking and so is the story concerning the author. She had her first novel published at age thirteen and Halo was published when she was eighteen. So, I was really excited to read this one. However, when I actually read the book….
General Summary: Angels are sent to Earth to protect us against the forces of darkness. One of the angels, Bethany, finds herself drawn towards a human boy. Human and angel love is forbidden. Will Bethany fulfill her duty or fall for temptation?
Horrible. Just horrible. I had Halo in my bookshelf for awhile now. I tried reading it last year and only made it through like fifty pages. But this year since I decided to do an angel feature for my blog I picked it up again and regretted it. Before I go into all the problems I had with the book, I get that Adornetto is young, but that’s not going to cause my criticism for the book to be less severe. My belief is if you get published, you deserve to be criticized like any other published author no matter if you’re ten or a hundred and ten. You would think this would be a pretty common view, but believe it or not I’ve read several reviews that cut Alexandra slack because of her age.
Okay, back to the actual review. I knew there were going to be several problems from the get go. First and foremost, Bethany. She is a Mary Sue if I ever saw one, the Mary Sue Litmus Test
puts Bethany at a whopping one hundred and three. Furthermore, I found confirmation in interviews
when Alexandra states that she based Bethany on herself. Look, I get that when you write a book you take aspects of your own personality and put them into your characters. But you don’t self insert yourself into the novel. That’s just asking for trouble.
The supporting characters are lacking too. It just seems like the general foundation for this book lacks. For example, take the mythology in this novel. Bethany is an angel. But besides having paper thin wings that she can somehow hide under her clothes without looking deformed, she’s useless. She can’t defend herself from even mere mortals. I’m serious here, she gets sexually harassed (a la Bella Swan) and instead of using her angel powers to kick butt, she withers away until Xavier rescues her. Seriously, an angel has to be saved by a human boy.
I could go on and on about the defects I found with his book. For instance, there were more than a few continuity errors in the novel which made me wonder how well edited the novel was. Also, it was quite obvious that the author did not research American high school/culture either. Most notably the prom scenes came out very awkward.
Best Feature: The cover: Seriously I really tried to find another aspect about this book that I liked, but the cover was it’s best feature. Nothing about the prose, the characters, the story, or anything enchanted me like the cover did. I really love the affect the sun has on the photo here. Kudos to you, book photographer.
Worst Feature: Preachiness: Okay, I like books that teach a moral story when it’s not forced in my throat. But Bethany she doesn’t always preach, but she is ridiculously judgmental. Throughout the book she makes all these snide comments about her friends who don’t fit her standards. And she has a severe problem with Goths. Note, Bethie, some of my best friends in high school were Goth and they didn’t automatically work for the forces of darkness. Likewise, not all boys with walnut hair (not walnut colored, but walnut as the book informs us several times) who wear sweaters are nice guys just by appearances alone. You just don’t judge people on their looks. In fact, The Bible (which Bethany preaches) expresses this idea several times. But then again, Bethie knows best because she’s an angel. Rant aside, I could understand if Adornetto made Bethany a bit judgmental, but made her eventually learn the errors of her ways. But nope. She just goes on making judgements on purely the way people look and of course her judgments turned out to be correct.
In addition to being extremely judgmental of someone by their choice in clothing, Bethany also has very limited views on sex. Look, I’m all for no sex until marriage if that’s what you believe in, but you shouldn’t judge others because of their sex life like Bethie does. It’s wrong and quite frankly Bethie, it’s none of your damn business what other people decide to do in the bedroom.
Appropriateness: Although, this book tried to make itself look squeaky clean, I would not recommend it for young girls or ever adults like myself. While the messages in this book were trying to be good, they were twisted and misguided. I hated the bits about stereotyping and judging people. Also, the portrayal of the female gender is backwards as well. The codependency between Bethany and Xavier is unhealthy especially concerning the instant love of their relationship. There is also some violence at the end of the book too.
Blockbuster Worthy: Hell to the nos. I would not want to see this book turned into a movie. But I could totally see some lame sitcom with Bethany giving us a moral lesson airing on like ABC Family or something. Perhaps the producers of The Secret Life of the American Teenager can do it.
Bethany: Kristen Stewart
. Because she is already used to playing weak unlikeable heroines.
Xaiver: Casey Deidrick
: I think he has the pretty boy looks that Xavier was told to have. Though his hair isn’t made up of walnuts.
A) Angels are Vampire Lite: This is the epitome of vampire lite. Honestly, there were times I thought I was reading a bad Twilight fan fic where vampires were substituted merely with angels and Bella was the supernatural being. The substitute was very poor. I truly believe that the only reason Bethany was an angel was so that Adornetto would have an excuse to have forbidden love exist in Halo. And even that part of the book fails, since instead of being reprimanded for her relationship with Xavier, Bethany is allowed to continue whatever she’s doing with him.
B) The Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil: When I read the opening chapters of this book, I thought there was going to be some glorious epic battle between the forces and good in this book. But instead, the so called battle with the forces of darkness is literally solved in a fourth a page and by a kiss of all things. Yes, a freaking kiss.
C) Wide Array of Possibilities: One would think there would be lots of ways Alexandra could take this book. However, the angel mythology is hardly even existence. Other than the fact that Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany have wings we don’t even really get the angel mythology. You know that’s one thing I have to give kudos to all the other angel books I’ve read. They have all explored the angel world and powers a lot more than this book.
D) Because Angels Have an Excuse To Stalk: Here the boy is a human rather than an angel. Yet, the codependency of the relationship is just as bad as Bella and Edward. In fact, there’s a chapter in Halo that’s reminiscence of New Moon.
Overall Thoughts: While I initially thought I was wasting my time with Halo I am glad I read it. Because Halo showed me what I don’t like in a book.
Overall Rating: One out of ten bells ringing. Yes, this book is getting a lower grade than Modelland
. While it might’ve been a bit more understandable, it was offensive on so many levels and the purple prose I had to read to get through the book was almost as bad as Tyra’s writing, but in a different way. At least Tyra wasn’t judgmental in her book. In fact, I don’t think any angels get their wings while reading this story.