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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Halo - Alexandra Adornetto To see full review with visual aids and video click here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/04/trend-spotlights-angelic-reads-part-iv.htmlHorrible. Just horrible. I had Halo in my bookshelf for awhile now. I tried reading it last year and only made it through like fifty pages. But this year since I decided to do an angel feature for my blog I picked it up again and regretted it. Before I go into all the problems I had with the book, I get that Adornetto is young, but that's not going to cause my criticism for the book to be less severe. My belief is if you get published, you deserve to be criticized like any other published author no matter if you're ten or a hundred and ten. You would think this would be a pretty common view, but believe it or not I've read several reviews that cut Alexandra slack because of her age.Okay, back to the actual review. I knew there were going to be several problems from the get go. First and foremost, Bethany. She is a Mary Sue if I ever saw one, the Mary Sue Litmus Test puts Bethany at a whopping one hundred and three. Furthermore, I found confirmation in interviews when Alexandra states that she based Bethany on herself. Look, I get that when you write a book you take aspects of your own personality and put them into your characters. But you don't self insert yourself into the novel. That's just asking for trouble.The supporting characters are lacking too. It just seems like the general foundation for this book lacks. For example, take the mythology in this novel. Bethany is an angel. But besides having paper thin wings that she can somehow hide under her clothes without looking deformed, she's useless. She can't defend herself from even mere mortals. I'm serious here, she gets sexually harassed (a la Bella Swan) and instead of using her angel powers to kick butt, she withers away until Xavier rescues her. Seriously, an angel has to be saved by a human boy.I could go on and on about the defects I found with his book. For instance, there were more than a few continuity errors in the novel which made me wonder how well edited the novel was. Also, it was quite obvious that the author did not research American high school/culture either. Most notably the prom scenes came out very awkward. Best Feature: The cover: Seriously I really tried to find another aspect about this book that I liked, but the cover was it's best feature. Nothing about the prose, the characters, the story, or anything enchanted me like the cover did. I really love the affect the sun has on the photo here. Kudos to you, book photographer. Worst Feature: Preachiness: Okay, I like books that teach a moral story when it's not forced in my throat. But Bethany she doesn't always preach, but she is ridiculously judgmental. Throughout the book she makes all these snide comments about her friends who don't fit her standards. And she has a severe problem with Goths. Note, Bethie, some of my best friends in high school were Goth and they didn't automatically work for the forces of darkness. Likewise, not all boys with walnut hair (not walnut colored, but walnut as the book informs us several times) who wear sweaters are nice guys just by appearances alone. You just don't judge people on their looks. In fact, The Bible (which Bethany preaches) expresses this idea several times. But then again, Bethie knows best because she's an angel. Rant aside, I could understand if Adornetto made Bethany a bit judgmental, but made her eventually learn the errors of her ways. But nope. She just goes on making judgements on purely the way people look and of course her judgments turned out to be correct.In addition to being extremely judgmental of someone by their choice in clothing, Bethany also has very limited views on sex. Look, I'm all for no sex until marriage if that's what you believe in, but you shouldn't judge others because of their sex life like Bethie does. It's wrong and quite frankly Bethie, it's none of your damn business what other people decide to do in the bedroom. Appropriateness: Although, this book tried to make itself look squeaky clean, I would not recommend it for young girls or ever adults like myself. While the messages in this book were trying to be good, they were twisted and misguided. I hated the bits about stereotyping and judging people. Also, the portrayal of the female gender is backwards as well. The codependency between Bethany and Xavier is unhealthy especially concerning the instant love of their relationship. There is also some violence at the end of the book too.