Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review for Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2010
Pages: 484 (way too long, if you ask me)
Rating: 1 star
Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human- are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influences of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerously of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
            Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.
            The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her? [Description from inside cover flap]
            I’m going to warn you now: brace yourself for a rough review. I usually don’t have to give bad reviews, mostly because I’m very careful about the material I read. But I found Halo in Borders for $5 and decided to give it a go, even though it’s not the sort of thing I would normally read. An innocent, na├»ve, rather stupid angel comes to earth, falls in love with the hot school captain, then expects to get married and have a handful of little half-mortal children? Um…no. Not the sort of thing I usually read AT ALL. But I wasn’t expecting much out of it in the first place- just hoped it was a light, easy, enjoyable read. Did it meet those hopes? Well, it was light and easy. Enjoyable? Eh. Not so much…
            Truth is, I found Halo just plain pathetic. Some may find Bethany’s dilemma troubling, but I didn’t. She was so selfish. All her troubles rested on her love-dovey feelings for Xavier, when she really should have been concerned about the dark forces in Venus Cove. Heh. Not much of an angel, if she’s so self-centered.
            If Miss Adornetto wanted to write a best-selling novel, she should have made sure she had her facts right about angels. I’m no professional on heavenly beings, but some things about Halo really had me rolling on the floor. First off, angels don’t “fall out of the sky.” Heaven is not located above the clouds. It’s not a geographical place that you can get to by jet. I’m sorry, Miss Adornetto, but by making Bethany and her gang fall out of the clouds, you made Halo a whole lot more pathetic. L (Sad face.) Second, if angels are supposed to watch over humans, then why were Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany so ignorant about meals, school, and life in general?! They aren’t aliens, for goodness sake! Third, Bethany tells Xavier, and I quote, that “God’s existence is beyond human understanding.” What?! Humans aren’t capable of knowing that God is real?! That’s outrageous! I know that God is real and that He loves me and sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me and forgive me of all unrighteousness. I know God exists. J And you don’t have to be superhuman to know that.
Fourth, I found  the language, sexual content (mostly dialogue), and “demonic” violence (I didn’t read that far, but I skimmed ahead and found it) very unnecessary. I’m not used to reading stuff like that, and it bothered me to the point of making me uncomfortable. That’s why I stopped reading. Not because of the whole pathetic-ness of the book, but because of the immoral content. Please know that I want to read only things that are edifying and will benefit me as a writer (I know that sounds completely old-fashioned, but it’s the truth). I view anything else as a waste of time. And that’s exactly what this book was- a waste of time.
Quick Content Review:
Violence: Mild (Bethany heals, er, more like brings back to life, a girl who was in a car accident. Also, a cafeteria cook gets burned by a fryer; nothing described. Aside from that, I can’t really tell you; I stopped reading. But I know that there is some stuff that Jake does to kids at Bethany’s school. Demonic, evil, disgusting things. I can’t tell you if it’s bad or not, hence the “mild” rating.)
Profanity: Heavy (God’s name in vain at least 10 times, if not more, which is kind of hilarious since this is a book about angels. Also, the h-word at least 4 times, the d-word at least once, maybe more…can’t say)
Sexual: Mild - Heavy (A comment in class about Romeo just wanting to get into Juliet’s pants. Bethany is tentative about sleeping with Xavier; she asks her friends at school for advice. Apparently, they are experts at this sort of thing and tell her “not to do it with someone she loves.” Xavier admits he  and Emily had a physical relationship. Xavier and Bethany talk about sex, but decide to wait because they don’t need it to hold their relationship together. They do, though, lie in bed together naked once. I didn’t get that far, but skimmed ahead and stumbled upon this part.)
Other notable content:
-Bethany and Xavier get their palms read.
-Molly, Bethany’s school friend, has a wild party with underage drinking. Bethany, ever the ignorant one, accidentally gets drunk. There’s also mention of an inappropriate game, the details of which I won’t mention.
-Molly and some of Bethany’s other friends have an unhealthy obsession with fashion, prom, and boys (in other words, themselves!).
-Despite being a heavenly angel, Bethany sure doesn’t mind lying to Gabriel and Ivy about her whereabouts and her relationship with Xavier.



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