"Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth."
Halo caught my heart and my imagination in one fell swoop. The characters are alive, the dialogue sparkling, and the plot very well-done. To put it mildly, Halo really impressed me. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that the author is only eighteen! This book is so enthralling that I would hardly expect someone with hundreds of years of experience to be able to write it, let alone someone who's only eighteen. In addition, I almost shouted with delight when I saw that this book has a table of contents. It might be strange, but I absolutely love it when books have tables of content. Unfortunately, not many YA books do these days. (I also have to mention that this book contains a reference to Jane Eyre, which makes me very happy.)
Halo deserves every speck of praise it's ever gotten plus some. The writing has something very clean and beautiful about it. Some of the passages contain ideas that I didn't think an eighteen year old would be capable of thinking, yet there they are in black and white. Halo is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, book of 2010.
The novel kicks off with the arrival of Bethany, Ivy and Gabriel in Venus Cove, a sleepy little town with an infestation of dark forces. These three siblings are angels that have taken human form to complete a mission given to them by a higher power. Bethany is the youngest and the most in-tune with human emotions. She taps into these emotions when she meets Xavier, a young man with "baggage". As she and Xavier grow closer, Bethany may not be able to keep her secret. If she doesn't, she'll have some divine forces to deal with, not to mention her brother. Their lives get even more complicated when Jake Thorn enters the picture. Jake is a sarcastic bad-boy that Bethany wants to lead to the light, but he might be trying to lead her in the opposite direction.
One great thing about this novel is that Bethany and Xavier don't run completely headlong into their relationship. They take time to get to know each other, and their relationship is healthier for it.
I enjoyed seeing the human experience through Bethany's eyes. She looks at everything with such wonder that it's impossible not to share in her joy. The way she sees the world made me reconsider the way I see it. Bethany is one of my favorite characters. Her voice is so friendly and open that you feel like you know her personally. It's easy to share her feelings, both good and bad, while she takes you along for an amazing ride.
It's hard to find a book that has a excellent plot, fascinating characters, and some deeper meaning, and I'd imagine it's even harder to write one, but Alexandra Adornetto pulls it off with grace and style. I was so entangled in this story that it was incredibly hard to say good-bye to all the characters. Thankfully, Halo is the first book in a trilogy, so I'll have the opportunity to spend more time with Bethany & Co.
I recommend this book to everyone, young, old, male, female, angel, demon, unidentified life forms. Read it!