Heaven: Alexandra Adornetto

I’ll admit it, I’m a curious person.  Which is why I finish a lot of crappy series.  I know, I know, if I don’t like a book I shouldn’t read its sequel.  But sometimes I can’t help myself.  Especially when it concerns the train wreck series better know as the Halo Trilogy by Alexandra Adornetto.

General Summary: So, we rejoin that idiot, Bethany Church, and her Huggle Wuggles (Xavier Woods) for their final adventure.  After marrying each other  being oblivious of the consequences, Bethie and Huggie Bear act shocked when they realize that they’re going to have to face consequences.  Meanwhile, everyone bends their ass to help Bethie and Huggles out.  But they act as ungrateful as ever.


Oh, dear lord.  Let’s just say I’m thankful that this is the last installment of this train wreck. I have lots to discuss and rant about so if you like positive and up beat reviews this is not the review for you.

I will say this though, this will be my first and last positive thing to say about this installment besides the fact that it’s over.  This was an improvement to Hades.  But how could it not be?  That being said, let’s get down to business.

1. Bethany Church is still the most shallow and undeveloped character ever:

I’m not joking.  There is no character development here.  The character never really accepts the fact that she’s a screw up and she still gets everything she wants.  Not to mention she’s a total self insert character for Adornetto.  You know what, I really don’t understand how anyone is suppose to identify with this character let alone like her.  She is so self centered, so self involved it’s ridiculous.  In the first chapter of the book she kills a guy. Indirectly.  But still she kills him and does she feel no remorse…no. Rather, she acts like this is all a big mistake on her part.

Look, she knew the consequences of marrying a human.  It’s been talked about time after time that  her relationship with Xavier was dangerous.  Why did she think marrying him was a good idea?  It just doesn’t make sense. In fact, in the human world if you indirectly caused the death of another in the course of another crime (and marrying a human is a crime in Bethany’s world) you could potentially be charged with felony murder which in Texas at least could get you the death penalty.  Furthermore, Father Mel isn’t even the only person she kills or injures.  Or for that matter there’s that crappy ending where she doesn’t think of her heavenly duty and….well, I just want to see her chatting with God when she dies.  I bet that’s going to be nice (evil laughs).  Honestly, I really think this series would’ve been better had Bethany become a fallen angel and repented.  Maybe came to realize that, hey, I’m not the only person that matters.  And try to make due with her new realty with no help from her super powerful friends.

2. Adorentto has never heard of the term pacing:

This book pacing is whacked.  The beginning takes place in a cabin.  And although, the reader gets a sense that Bethie and Xavier were only in the cabin for a few days, they were there for months.  Likewise, when they go to school the reader only feels like they were there for a few days and months have really gone by (despite the fact that the first football game just happened when they left school, that just really doesn’t make sense).  This really would’ve been a pretty easy fix on Adornetto’s part.  Just have some transitions showing that time has passed and if she wouldn’t have contradict herself every other page.

3. Adornetto has no idea of how college life is for the general masses:

Having attended college recently and attending law school right now, I can tell you that Adornetto does not give a realistic portrayal of how college in in the US.  Which is weird considering the fact that she’s a college student.

College, for of you who are ill informed, is not about partying or football.  It’s about getting your degree so that you can become a support yourself.  Sure, sororities, parties, and football might play a role in campus life.  But that isn’t the reason one goes to college.  Furthermore, mentioning that one is only there for a Mrs. Degree is stupid and archaic. Plus, most college students I know can’t afford an interior decorator or Lexis.

4. When writing about abusive relationships.  It is not wise to rely on Lifetime as your primary research source:

Abusive relationships are complex things.  Dumbing them down, making them one dimensional, and essentially blaming the victim isn’t going to make the storyline realistic or compelling.  Furthermore, adding in a almost as stereotypical religious cult isn’t going to help matters either.  Or for that matter, not giving this subplot any proper resolution.  The point is, if you’re going to do a subplot involving serious subject matter like domestic violence, do your homework.  And please for the love of love don’t victim bash.  I really do feel for the character, Molly, in this book.  She gets the brunt of Adornetto’s hate.  She’s always judged poorly just because…well, she’s not Bethany.  And her relationship with Gabriel is made trivial and condoned by Bethany when really, well, Bethany has just about as much to say about her relationship with Xavier.

5. When deciding to incorporate Christianity  into your novel it might be wise to actually check Wikipedia so that you don’t totally bastardize the religion:

Oh, deary me.  The lack of research that went on here concerning the Christian religion is pretty bad.  Even some things that are pretty simple, like Catholic marriage are mishandled.  Fact, the Catholic Church requires anyone who wants to be married in the church to take a marriage class.  Furthermore, it would’ve been impossible for these two dingbats to get married in the first place considering that most states require both parties to be there to get a valid marriage license.  Grant it, there are some exceptions.  But Bethie and Xavier meet none of those.

6. Being continuity  is important.  You can’t change your mind halfway through the story and expect readers to go with it.

There were constant problems when it came to continuity with this book.  It wasn’t just that details in the past book were fluffed over, but details in this book were forgotten mere moments after being mentioned.  For example, Gabriel loses his wings in this book and is supposedly Earth bond for several-hundreds of years-but he visits Bethany in heaven.  Furthermore, there are irrelevant plot twists that have no purpose.  Like, Xavier being a halfing (a.k.a. Captain Planet).  The point is, with these little inconstancies and irrelevant plot twists the novel almost felt like a first draft rather than the final version.

7. Just because you tell us your characters are star-crossed lovers doesn’t mean they are.

Xavier and Bethany are suppose to be soul mates.  We are told this all the time. But quite honestly, I don’t see it.  While Bethany can go on about his bottomless blue eyes and nut colored hair that doesn’t mean anything.  It’s their interactions that should show their love.  And I guess, there’s a sad attempt to do this when the two of them are stuck in a cabin together for days months, but the dialogue comes off very forced.  And quite honestly, I think Xavier got annoyed at Bethany.  Case in point, the baby name scene.

8. Don’t make your characters a supernatural creature unless they can actually do something.

I really don’t know what the point was having Bethany be a supernatural creature.  She doesn’t do anything.  Yes, she has wings and that makes her love to Xavier forbidden.  But other than that, she does nothing.  She can’t even defend herself against the Sevens.  While Xavier can because he’s…..

9. Telling your readers that a character is manly doesn’t make a character manly.  

In the previous books Adornetto used excessive nut similes.  In this installment she decided to do something different,  making sure that the reader knows just how manly Xavier is.  Um, no.  That doesn’t work.  In fact, I often thought Adornetto did this to reassure her characters that Xavier was a man.  Weird I know, considering he’s a fictional character but….

Furthermore, what was with all of the evil male characters in this book being described as effeminate.  Seriously?  Manly men can be evil too, you  know.  And it also has me wondering….no, I’m not going to go there.
10. Excessive descriptions are not your friends.

The purple prose is horrid.  I really wonder how Adornetto is fairing in school especially if she’s a Creative Writing major.  I remember that these sort of descriptions were frowned upon in workshop, i.e. descriptions that made no sense.  For example, can you taste sunshine?  I can’t but there are several awful descriptions that state things about how people taste like sunshine.  Also there are some weird similes and descriptions used during sex.  Take it for what it’s worth.

Best Feature: It’s over.  I really think this is it.  She could quite possibly make another book, a companion to this turd of a book in Gabriel or Molly’s POV but I doubt it since her self insert character  wouldn’t be the star of the show.  Plus, Bethie and Xavier are living bland and happily ever after.  Though I do wonder what will happen to Bethie after she….oh, who cares.

Worst Feature: I don’t know?  Really, I don’t.  The whole book is a train wreck.  If I had to pinpoint the one thing that bothered me about this installment. I’d probably say the lack of continuity.  Because it showed just how much disrespect Adornetto and Feiwel and Friends had for their readers.  Look, I get that the publishing industry is a very time oriented industry.  But would it really take that long to copy edit this book?  I was merely skimming a good chunk of this one and I was able to pick up on numerous continuity mistakes.  These sort of things shouldn’t be happening.  She has an entire team of people to back her and it’s not like this is her first book to be published.  Furthermore, a lot of the mistakes I saw were very easy to spot.  There’s really no excuse.  None at all.

Appropriateness: Um, no.  There is some cussing here, some violence, oh and there’s even some sex.  Weird sex.  Not like Fifty Shades of Grey weird but really bad use of metaphors sex.  Oh, and they don’t use protection and claim they don’t need to.  Which really makes no sense to anyone who actually paid attention to sex ed.  However, the worst thing about this book is the way it objectifies relationships, women, and people whose don’t have WASP beliefs. Look, I get it.  I was hoping that by this point in her writing career and life Adornetto would realize some things about the real world.  However, three years is not enough for the girl to realize that: 1) Codependent relationships are not healthy, 2) A wife is not a man’s responsibility when she gets married she’s still an individual who is just in a relationship with another human being, and 3) Just because a person’s beliefs are different than yours that doesn’t mean they’re going to hell.

Casting: We’ve done this song and dance before.  No I don’t think it should be made into a film, but here’s who I’d cast.

Overall Rating: One out of ten wings.  Hey, at least it got a one.  I don’t think I gave Hades anything.  This book was bad, but in comparison to it’s predecessor it wasn’t quite as bad.  That doesn’t mean Adornetto’s writing improved or anything.  Mostly it was because you can’t get any worse than Hades.


3 thoughts on “Heaven: Alexandra Adornetto

  1. Thanks. Sigh I'm just glad it's over. I don't plan on reading anything by Alexandra Adornetto ever again unless I hear that there has been some massive improvements. Shrugs…I do think there is something to this book. If anything it should be used as a learning device on how not to write.

  2. Pingback: The Bastardization of the Mediator Series: Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto | Howdy YAL!

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