A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Tori's Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces.

Is love a great enough power against evil?

Genre: Young Adult
Series: Halo
1. Halo
2. Hades
3. Heaven

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I think HALO is the sort of book that will garner a multitude of reactions. Some may love it, some may hate it, and many others will have mixed feelings about it. I fall into the latter category, mainly because I didn't start feeling truly invested until the end of the tale.

It took a while for me to finally start caring about the characters in HALO. Gabriel and Ivy fell flat for the first half of the book, which bugged me because the idea behind them was so intriguing. You have the Archangel who is considered God's right hand man, then an angel who has personally met God/is a healer... and then you have the newbie in the form of Bethany. So many fun possibilities.

I understand the reasoning behind making Gabriel/Ivy a bit aloof since they've been alive longer and know not to get attached to humanity... but I think that there could have been some way to get readers to feel more connected with them earlier on. If you don't feel attached to them now, you will when Xavier meets them. Looking back, I feel like Gabriel/Ivy were walking zombies who suddenly are jolted back to life when Xavier saunters into the room. I appreciated his arrival, but I still don't see why he would have such a profound effect on them, nor can I see how his acceptance into the "family" would suddenly change the way Beth viewed her siblings.

On the bright side, despite my inability to connect with the book's angels, I did find the banter hilarious at times. There were goofy jokes, funny scenes with Molly vying for Gabriel's attention/affection, and I found the banter between Beth and Xav amusing when they joked around. Yet at other times when the couple talked, I thought what they said was too corny. I didn't find Xavier's words believable for a teenager. I just can't imagine a teenager guy being so incredibly open about his feelings like Xav was at times.

The first half of the book should have been shortened. It's full of useless filler about everyday life that really serves no purpose except for readers to get a feel for the characters... and I didn't feel anything for the characters during this. If an author is going to include mundane events in one's life, they should do it to further the plot or to reinforce the normalcy in a character's life. You don't get that reinforcement here because Beth is a newcomer. I suppose it could have served the purpose of revealing how boring life was at Venus Cove and how much change really rocked the community when our antagonist showed up. Personally, I didn't feel that, but I think that was the intention behind this approach. Why else would we not meet the antagonist until the latter half of the book? What were these angels saving for the first half?

I was intrigued enough with the beginning, however, I honestly wanted to set the book down once Xavier and Beth started viewing each other as a "real" couple. It grew too cliche, corny, and Twilight-y and I honestly did not enjoy the way Beth devoted her ENTIRE being to Xavier. I felt like Xavier became too overprotective and almost... condescending in a way too. Ugh.

There is a scene right before the showdown where Beth and Xav have a lovers spat. I was not okay with how Beth became catatonic after their fight... which was a stupid fight to begin with. I feel like Xavier, who thus far has been fairly intelligent, was suddenly reduced to a moronic neanderthal to add some drama into the story. And it didn't work. I know that teenage girls who are convinced they are in love usually will react poorly to any sort of breakup, however, Beth is supposed to be an angel for heaven's sake. Why is she dropping EVERYTHING she's supposed to be doing for this kid, both before the fight, during the fight, and after the fight? Why are Gabe and Ivy okay with her dropping everything she's supposed to be doing for this boy? Why the hell would her creator tolerate that kind of worthlessness when the trio are supposed to be saving mankind?

Despite what Beth has witnessed during her existence as an angel, she's extremely naive. I would have thought that an angel who has witnessed human nature at its worst would be more wary of who she associates herself with. I would have thought she'd be more attentive to her gut feelings. Alas, Beth was nothing more than a child in desperate need of babysitting at times, so I could relate with Gabriel/Ivy's frustrations.

Ignoring my problems with the book, the ending had some redeeming qualities. The final battle was somewhat interesting. I loved the attack on Beth. We always see physical blows, but a mental onslaught? It was refreshing, though I'm not too sure I'm buying how much of a pushover Gabe was. If he's been alive for so long, how would a wimpy demon like our antagonist hold his own? Why does Beth--who has been COMPLETELY worthless up until this point--suddenly become an integral part of the battle?

I'm looking forward to the second book in this trilogy, despite my reservations about this book. Hopefully I will feel more connected with the characters at that point. I'm also curious to see more of Gabriel's reactions when around Molly. Plus that line at the end of HALO? Love the cliffhanger.

I recommend reading this if you're a fan of TWILIGHT. I don't usually make these comparisons, but I felt like HALO is the angel equivalent of that series. If, however, you are opposed to the heroine focusing her entire essence on a guy (much like Bella did with Edward), then I suggest mentally preparing yourself for that if you still find yourself interested in reading the novel.


  1. Hmmm, there do seem to be a lot of mixed reactions to Halo, but I think you've probably convinced me to skip it. While I quite like Twilight and the whole *Bella's life completely revolving around Edward* thing doesn't really bug me all that much, maybe because I can *sort of* understand it coming from a lonely and displaced teenage girl, I think that the same reaction from an ANGEL would get under my skin.

    In my mind, angels should be above all of that teenage drama - I just can't see them behaving like naive and silly lovestruck teenagers - to me, it doesn't seem to ring as something very likely to happen. The whole time, I'd be thinking, "but she's an ANGEL, what's so special about that one guy that she'd act in that way?!"

    I didn't like Lauren Kate's Fallen, but I could at least buy that after being continuously reincarnated together, then torn apart, Daniel and Luce would feel strongly for each other on some deep level ... but Halo doesn't sound like a story that would make very much sense to me.

  2. I'm currently reading Halo and you've been much hit exactly how I feel about it so far.

  3. Yeah, while I disliked Bella's reaction to their separation, I understand her position. I was catatonic too after a pretty hard breakup. As for a book about an angel... we're constantly reminded that she's a divine being. I don't see why should would take that shit.

    Maybe I didn't enjoy it so much because I'm a firm believer that these sorts of books should reinforce being an individual and not relying on a guy to come in on his white horse to save the day. It's an unrealistic, fairy tale viewpoint that girls shouldn't rely on. And I also agree... she's an angel. Sheeeeeeesh.

  4. I like your reviews. :)Oh Halo, I'll get to it one day!

  5. Oh my gosh, Alexandra Adornetto is one of ym favourtie authors ever since I fell in love with her Strangest Adventures series and got my friends to buy me Halo for my birthday, since I couldn't afford the $25 price tag on it at the time and was too lazy to go online to buy it.
    I read it in one sitting and I did have mixed feelings about it. I don't think romance is Adorntetto's strong point with the way she went about Beth and Xavier's relationship. It seems too, I dunno, fake.
    I did love the scenery and the place setting since Venus Cove seems like an amzaing place.
    Overall, I would re read the book (if I could find it! I have no idea where I put it-- oh, crap) and would ignore how Beth drops everything for Xavier. Too Twilight for me. and I hate Twilight.
    This is a great review of the book and I agree with you on your view. :)

  6. Hey Alice, thanks for stopping by!

    I think Adornetto has potential as an author (that much is obvious since she got her first book published at 14), but I think she needs to stop relying on cliches in her writing. Once she does that, I think the romance will feel more real. As it is, Beth's romance with Xavier sounds like the idealized relationship a young teenager envisions with a boy... which usually NEVER happens in real life.

    HALO's romance reminded me of a horrible Disney movie. I love Disney movies like THE LITTLE MERMAID, however, I despise the messages these sorts of stories send to young, influential girls.

    Nobody needs a man to swoop in and save the day. Girls should be self reliant.

  7. I just bought myself a copy as a birthday present for myself, I really hated Twilight and now I am worried I made a huge mistake.
    I read one chapter before I got busy and it was due at the library.
    Thank you for the review though, I keep seeing many mixed reactions most of them are 5 star or 1 star, so I am pleased to see there is an in between.

  8. Oh no! I hope you don't regret buying it :( It was def one of the weaker YAs published this year, but I think Adornetto has promise as an author.

    Well, we'll see if you enjoy the book! :) And happy belated birthday!

  9. Thanks!

    I am taking into account her age, because I know that can have an affect on writing. ( In High school I read more Fanfic then required reading. LOL)

    I do look forward to reading it though.

  10. All I read was fanfiction in HS! Lmao. It made me determined to become a better writer. Too bad I sucked at plots back then.

    Regarding her age, the thing is this: you can take into account her age, but how much leeway should you give her for a weak story? She's a published author and her book received quite a bit of promotion (which the book cover definitely helped with). You spent your money on that book. You're spending your valuable time reading that book.

    Maybe it's just me, but if it sucks, it sucks. I might consider her at a later date, but I'm not rushing out to get any of her future books lol.

  11. I notice at the end of the book the note that falls out of Beth's locker had Xav's handwriting on it. did he write that, or did the author just use that identical font??