Hallie's Reviews > Angel Kiss

Angel Kiss by Laura Jane Cassidy
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Jun 08, 12

bookshelves: ya, this-side-of-pond-pub, 48-hour-book-challenge, fantasy
Read in June, 2012

From LJ write-up:

[Goodreads blurb] Jacki King is fifteen and adjusting to her new life in a small village. She's missing Dublin but she's making new friends: artistic Colin, feisty Emily - and Nick, gorgeous yet unavailable. But no sooner is Jacki settled than the torturous headaches and nightmares begin - followed by strange visions, voices and signs...Jacki refuses to believe that something paranormal is happening. But then she discovers the unsolved murder that occurred in the village years before...

Actually, I've just spotted something on pasting that in, though it's something that will only mean anything to a small number of readers (especially ones, like me, considerably older than the book's target readers): the tone of the book reminds me quite a bit of the stories in Jackie magazine and its like. It's very girly. Nick is gorgeous, and within one very brief and highly embarrassing meeting, Jacki is pulling petals off a flower and thinking about first love. After a second, where he's with his girlfriend (who's also gorgeous but fake, so it's okay!) , she's writing love songs about him, pretty much, and so it goes.

While this is very off-putting, there's quite a bit of good stuff in here along with the fluff. The author has a nice ear for dialogue, and the village (not a real one) is fun to read about - this isn't the kid of cod-Irish we get so fed up with seeing in books and on film/TV, and it's not played for the cheap laughs either.

The other thing I liked is that Cassidy bucks the usual trend of this type of story, in having the local GP recognise from the one office visit that something supernatural is actually going on, and send Jacki straight off to a local healer. Jacki does drag her heels a bit before giving in and going to see him, but it's rather a nice twist on the 'nobody will believe meeeee' theme. (Though that can be effective too, of course.) The characters' behaviour does occasionally seem more than a bit unlikely, and the murder is pretty obvious. But, despite the weaknesses, it kept me entertained enough, and I'm happy to try the next book, which is set up in the short framing sequences with Jacki being asked to participate in solving the murders of four girls.
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