I know it's gotten hacked to pieces by a lot of different reviewers, and to some degre...more----WARNING: SPOILERS----
I was really disappointed by this book.
I know it's gotten hacked to pieces by a lot of different reviewers, and to some degree, I agree with most of their assessments, but I think I come from it from a slightly different perspective.
See, I actually adored Halo.
After reading a slew of YA novels with stalker how-to manual heroes, Xavier was a refreshing change. Yes, he was a little too perfect. And yes, that bout of jealousy was concerning. But for the most part, he was really sweet, and there were several points in the book I just want "Aww!" out loud.
Beth reminded me of myself when I was a teen. Hear me out. I grew up very sheltered, homeschooled by a conservative Christian family with a dad who jumped headfirst into extreme fundamentalism when I was a teenager. Her concerns and views about life and sex and relationships -- that was me all over.
However, I was hoping for character growth in the second book. Because while Beth is an angel, she's described as being special, having the ability to feel human emotions and such in a way that other angels aren't. I was expecting that there would be conflict around her sexual desires. I didn't necessarily expect that she would change her whole way of thinking, but I thought it would be challenged.
Instead, there's... nothing. She holds to her views against premarital sex, and it isn't even an issue for her. It's not hard. And I found that very unrealistic.
Overall, she doesn't change or grow. She is still the same person that she was in the first book. She is an unrealistic goody-two-shoes that doesn't struggle with doing the right thing. There is no depth here. And I find that hard to believe, because with human emotions comes the negative side -- and we never see the negative side, only the positive.
And I feel this is a dangerous message to send to kids, because while I'm sure every parent would want to think their kids would be perfect angels (pun intended), they aren't. I was a straight A student and the worst thing I ever did was stay up until 5am writing. Okay, and backtalking. Got me there.
I would've viewed Beth as a model of what I should be, as a Christian girl. And it would've been something I could never have lived up to, because she is capital-p Perfect.
Other people have already gone into detail about the other problems I had with the book (Hell being called Hades, Xavier assuming that she's a slut when she makes a deal with Jake to protect him, the demons being completely spineless, etc), but there were things I liked about the story. I actually did like the touch of the demons calling Lucifer "Big Daddy", and I really liked Hannah and Tucker (and I was upset that she basically just left them behind without a second thought). I even liked Asia.
I'll probably read the third book just because, but I was very disappointed. There was a lot of potential here, and it was completely wasted.(less)