Angelfall is a post-apocalyptic novel in which angels have taken over earth in a reign of terror. People must abandon th...moreAlso on Ink & Tea Reviews.
Angelfall is a post-apocalyptic novel in which angels have taken over earth in a reign of terror. People must abandon their old lives in a fight to stay alive, so gangs roam the streets, cars are lined up on the highway, and individuals take cover in abandoned houses until someone stronger comes along and either kills them or kicks them out.
In this chaotic new world, our heroine, Penryn, is just trying to take care of her occasionally violent mentally-ill mother and her crippled little sister. When things get stressful, Penryn is usually abandoned by her mother, forcing her to be able to protect herself as well as her sister. This is how the story begins, when they witness a fight among a few angels, and Penryn rashly decides to help one of them (all on her own) after his wings have been cut off. All seems to be going better than could be expected, up until one of the angels flies away with Penryn’s sister.
So Penryn goes on a quest to get her sister back, and our lovable douchebag of an angel, Raffe, travels with her in an attempt to get his wings back.
The first half of the novel is a pretty straightforward supernatural post-apocalyptic survival story. We get to know our two main characters more, as well as meet others – primarily a human resistance group that plans on striking against the angels and taking earth back. It’s clear early on – just due to trends in young adult books, not because of any misstep on the author’s part – that Penryn and Raffe are going to end up together. Fortunately, it’s not a case of insta-love, as Penryn actually doesn’t like Raffe at first, and at times contemplates allowing him to die. No, it’s a gradual build-up, first with attraction, and then culminating into a genuine affection, although it’s never really a functional, healthy relationship. To be honest, I tend to be rather ambivalent about designated love interests, but I really liked the relationship and chemistry of Raffe and Penryn. I was rooting for them to get together, although I enjoyed all of the tension and arguments, as well.
While I quite enjoyed the first part of the novel, it was the second half that made this a five star book. Goodness, the second part of the book…we meet our villainous angels, who are as dastardly and charismatic as I could ever hope for, and things take a turn for the creepy. There’s some serious Silent Hill-esque creatures, medical experimentation, and a scary but heartbreaking twist. Everything is just perfect.
I loved all of the characters. From our main characters to our resistance members to our villains – all of which I’m sure we’ll get to know much better in the next installment of the series – the characters were interesting, engrossing, and never one-dimensional.
I never expected to absolutely adore this book as much as I do. It’s one of my favorite books I have ever read, and I plan on reading it over, and over, and over, especially in anticipation of the next part of the series. I would recommend this to anyone who reads young adult, or likes creepy things, or dystopias, or…well, anything, really. I just cannot get enough of Angelfall, and I’m seriously excited for the next book. (less)
I love characters that everyone else hates. I love the asshole jocks, the douche villains, and especially, the evil popu...moreAlso on Ink & Tea Reviews.
I love characters that everyone else hates. I love the asshole jocks, the douche villains, and especially, the evil popular girls. So a book where the main character is one of the mean girls? Even though it could go so terribly, terribly wrong, I am immediately intrigued.
And thankfully, Some Girls Are got it so very right.
Regina Afton is one of the most popular girls in school, being the best friend and second-in-command of Anna Morrison, the school’s queen bee. Her clique is deliciously vicious – they start rumor campaigns, they destroy reputations, they ruin lives. Regina and her friends are those girls that everyone loves/hates. However, one party changes Regina’s social status overnight, when Anna’s boyfriend comes very close to raping her. In her desperation, Regina goes to the only person she can, Kara, a frenemy and member of her clique. This was the wrong move, and Kara takes this opportunity to ruin her reputation by convincing Anna that Regina had sex with her boyfriend behind her back.
So begins Regina’s exile from her friends.
One of the things that makes me want to gush is that Courtney Summers doesn’t make Regina a good person. She’s not the unwitting accomplice to Anna Morrison’s alpha bitch, she doesn’t have a change of heart, she doesn’t decide that she wants to be a better person. She’s just a mean girl that we can sympathize with. And we sympathize with her because Courtney Summers makes these characters real. They’re three-dimensional, and they’re unforgivable, completely bad people, and I love them.
When Regina decides she wants to take Anna down, it’s not to save other students from her reign of terror, and it’s certainly not because she thinks it’s the right thing to do. It’s because she wants revenge. Some people were disappointed with the fact that Regina doesn’t morph into a good person, but I am so glad, and it seems so much more real that way.
Right after Regina loses her spot at her lunch table and with Anna and the others, she becomes anxious – she can’t be alone, so she sits next to Michael, a boy she has bullied in the past. Michael might be the only decent person in this book, and even then, he can be kind of a jerk at times – although he is completely justified. Michael seems indifferent (if a little irritated) by Regina’s presence at first, but it doesn’t take a lot for him to blow up at her and her self-centered audaciousness. As anyone can guess, Regina and Michael end up having a romance. I’m not convinced that it’s a completely functional relationship, but that might be one of the reasons I loved it so much. Their chemistry was palpable, their issues were real, and I couldn’t help but route for them to get together and somehow, despite their multitude of problems, make it work.
The other characters – from Regina’s ex to Anna herself – don’t make it easy for Regina to be happy, with or without Michael. This book is brutal, and those girls are downright abusive. Not only do they torment Regina emotionally, but there’s a good deal of violence, as well. Anyone who is a fan of three-dimensional douchebags, good contemporary young adult, or high school dramas, or just a plain good book with wonderful prose and great characters, should give Some Girls Are a chance. (less)