Sunday, January 16, 2011

YA book review: Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (January 4, 2011)

Summary: Heaven-sent?

Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.

Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.

Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

Our review: Ellspeth (Ellie) Faneuil is a normal sixteen year old girl. She goes to school, loves her parents, does her homework and has a best friend named Ruth. Sounds normal enough, except for the strange dreams she has in which she flies. One day at school she spots a new student, Michael Chase, in the hall and is drawn to him. At first she can’t believe the good looking Michael only has eyes for her, but he convinces her he has no interest in the popular girls. He wants Ellie. Besides, he tells her they met before. She has no memory of it. And, Ellie soon discovers, they share one thing in common—he also flies in his dreams. Can Ellie trust him? Should she?

Fallen Angel was an appealing and quick read. From the title I knew Ellie and Michael would have to be some type of angel but they thought (at first) that they were vampires. Terrell gave her story an interesting twist by having Elle and Michael experience bloodlust for each other. Through this crimson sharing they are able to see their 'true' selves. There is talk about Nephilim, fallen angels and redemption, the book of Enoch and End of Days. In the beginning I found Ellie a too-good-to-be-true type of teen, always obeying and accepting, but over time she does change into more of a believable character especially after she suspects her parents of keeping secrets. Her relationship with Michael is sweet and romantic, even if I felt it happened too quickly. The language was a bit formal, older sounding, and the two teens were very mature for their age. Despite a slow moving beginning, by the time the protagonist showed up the pacing quickened and held my attention until the end.

Angel stories are still trending and Fallen Angel is a worthy addition to the YA market. Romance, flying, religion, mystery and danger await on the pages of Fallen Angel. I did like this book and will read the second title, Eternity, when it comes out next summer.

Favorite excerpt: (from page 82, ARC)

“We stretched out our arms and dove.

The wind whipped against my face as we plunged headlong down the sixty foot cliff face. Jagged rocks and smooth-edged boulders whizzed right past me, but I wasn’t scared; I was exhilarated. Anyway, I knew that, if it got to be too much, I could always wake up.

Just before we hit the sand headfirst, we leveled off. We floated down the remaining few inches and landed feet first in the cove, our hands still locked together. In the hazy moonlight, the white sand of the cove shimmered against the blackness of the sea. I was so happy Michael had brought me back to Ransom Beach. It occurred to me that perhaps that had been his intention earlier that day—to share this beautiful spot with me.”

Rating: +++

Cover comment: A bit dark but I was drawn to this book by the title and the cover model's position with the pretty flower in her hair.

Book source: Around the World tours

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