by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Reading level: YA
Book type: prose novel
A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE
Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.
(synopsis from Goodreads)
It seems like I've been waiting for this book for so long. Now that I've finished it, I feel somewhat (but not completely) satisfied. I guess it's sort of like getting a salad for dinner when what you were really craving was a steak.
On the whole, I enjoyed the story. I liked the concept of fallen angels, and it's something I hadn't seen a lot of before (but I bet that's going to change now!).
The pace was fairly good. I didn't find myself wanting to rush through too many parts of the story. Most scenes were relevant and weren't just filler. Fitzpatrick's writing style was easy to read and I didn't find too many problems (aside from the missing paragraph break on page 320 that tripped me up for a good 60 seconds; a missing paragraph break combined with a lack of speech attributions is confusing!).
The characters were a mixed bag for me, though. Nora was a passable narrator, but she suffers from what I like to call SNS (Stupid Narrator Syndrome). I hate it when I'm reading a book and I figure things out long before the narrator does. Nora also spends most of the book vacillating between being afraid of (and repulsed by) Patch and thinking she's attracted to him. At times, I wondered if the author even knew where she wanted Nora to stand on the issue.
I did like the villains (even though I knew who they were long before Nora clued in), and I liked the fact that there was more than one. I wasn't crazy about Vee, Nora's best friend, because at times she was even stupider than Nora (I know they're supposed to be impulsive teenagers, but really... some of the stuff they did -- or overlooked -- was just ridiculous).
As for Patch... Well, he was my favourite character in the whole thing. Yes, I guess I'm a Patch groupie. But here's the thing: I wouldn't want to date him. It seems that a lot of male characters in YA are either adored or loathed based on their dateability. Readers (mostly young women) want to put themselves in the main character's shoes and live vicariously through them as they enter into a relationship with the hottest, most perfect guy imaginable. That certainly isn't the case here. Yes, Patch is swoon-worthy. He's hot. He's protective. He drives a cool car. But he's also kind of a jerk. He thinks way too much about sex. He's the kind of guy you'd never want your daughter to date. In real life, he's the kind of guy that you should run away from. But in literature, that makes for an awesomely enjoyable character.
All in all, I did enjoy the story, and I'm not sorry I read it. And I'll be looking forward to the sequel, Crescendo.
Overall: 3.8 out of 5