Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Title: Angel Eyes
Series: Angel Eyes Trilogy, #1
Author: Shannon Dittemore
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Releaste date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: eBook
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookdepository
Read from May 24 - 26, 2012 
My rating: 4 stars: I really like it
Summary: Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake. Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption. Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start. A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive. 

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through angel eyes.

First off, I have to say that I lack experience in the angels/demons book department, as Angel Eyes is my first. Because of this, I have no other book to judge Angel Eyes against, as well as none to compare to. At first I wasn't so sure about it, seeing as I didn't know of angels/demons books could be for me, but I'm so glad that I put my doubt aside and read this book anyway. It's so good!

Angel Eyes started out pretty weird and confusing for me, not gonna lie here. Before the first chapter begins, there's this little story about someone named Elisha who was the prophet of Dothan and his servant, who was given "eyes that see". Later in the book Elisha is also mentioned, though I really didn't understand. It wasn't until I googled that name because I was hoping there would be some kind of explanation that I realized it's in the Bible. Of course I wouldn't know that. As I'm not a Christian, I'm not familiar with the Bible other than the things about it that I studied in Religion class.

Chapter one starts out with Brielle on the train. Devastated by the murder of her best friend, Ali, she returns home from the city where she's been chasing her dreams. She settles back into the small town she used to live in, only to find that things have kind of changed around  here. The friends she used to hang out with are now distant. All except one, Kaylee. Then Brielle meets Jake, the new guy who just moved into town, and they're immediately drawn to each other despite the bickering. Something more than fate has brought them together.

This book is told in mainly three points of view: Brielle's (in first person), Canaan's and Damien's (in third person). I really liked it as it allows the storytelling to exceed the limits of what Brielle perceives. Readers' eyes are not then limited to that rather small perception but can see the big picture of what's going on.

I really liked the story. I feel like I can't just summarize what happens because there's a lot going on, and everything is almost connected, and talking about one thing can't make much sense unless I talk about another thing it's linked to, too, but then that would be revealing too much and ruining all the fun. This is something I love about a book. The mystery keeps you questioning but you don't get the answer right away. It's all these crazy arrows and links pointing to one another. I love how one person leads to another and then leads to someone else. But of course, you don't see everything at first. But when everything comes together, it gives you this overwhelming feeling. I totally love that. And that's what Angel Eyes gave me!

This story is exciting and a little mysterious--not so mysterious it makes you die inside because you need to know so bad, but mysterious enough to make you want to read on and find out what happens and why and how and what's next. As this is my first encounter with an angels/demons book, I have to say I'm already impressed and want to explore more books in this department. However, I feel I need to mention that this book might not be for everyone. It's heavily focused on Christianity. That includes God, angels, demons, heaven and hell. You can almost say Jake is a blind believer. He believes wholeheartedly, but his faith is not something Brielle understands. Brielle cannot bring herself to believe there's actually a God who lets her mother and best friend die, who chooses to save some people but not others, that there are angels protecting humans. It's laughable, she says. Ditto. I was there once (I'm still there). It's hard to believe and the whole idea really sounds laughable when you lose someone you love to death, and there's no one to hear your prayers. I think the use of the belief in this book enriches it. And while reading, I didn't feel like the author tried to shove her belief in my face or anything, which would've been a total turn-off and I'm so glad it didn't happen. I think she did it quite subtly and nicely. I really enjoyed the the theological aspect of this book personally.

The characters in this book feel so natural. I have no problem liking all of those I'm supposed to like, and hating all those I'm supposed to hate. I really liked Brielle and Jake already. I'm pretty sure I almost loved Canaan, and Marco who's labeled potential murderer turns out to be a pretty decent guy. I don't remember picturing the characters a certain way or as someone, but when I accidentally found out about Shannon Dittemore's dream cast, I have to say I agree with her completely. I had to be a creeper and snag some pictures to show you, so you know what I mean. 

This is the author's Brielle. Elle Fanning. Good choice! I CANNOT AGREE MORE. But Thomas Dekker as Jake? I'm not sure but it's not impossible.

Alex O'Loughlin as Canaan. Of course. Definitely. Perfect. *swoons*

As I said, I really liked this book, but there are exactly three things that bugged me. But no big deal. 
1) If I were in Brielle's position being informed that angels and demons do exist and that Jake's guardian is an angel assigned to Earth to protect humans, my first reaction would be LOLOLOLOLOL. But Brielle believes it. She accepts it without questioning; she's all oh, okay. It's laughable, but alright. This bugs me, okay? Okay. 
2) Jake and Canaan and their big mouths. They're both always ready to spill the beans. They tell Brielle everything without holding back. Aren't angels supposed to keep their existence from humans? Yes? No? 
3) Brielle changes her mind oh so easily about God. Way too easily for someone who's been skeptical all along. This bugs me the most. 

Again, I really really liked this book. I can't say that enough. It's well written and engaging and mysterious and addictive and fun and interesting. THE END, though, has got to be the meanest cliffhanger I have come across this year! You can't just end a book like that and expect me to simply go on with my life! I need to know what happens next so bad! I'm glad Angel Eyes is a part of a trilogy and that there'll be two more books coming out 'cause I really just can't get enough! It was such a great read!


This review is also posted on Goodreads.

A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley for review. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. Thanks for the insightful review. - FABR Steph


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