Saturday, April 9, 2011

Angel Burn, by L.A. Weatherly: The Girl's Guide to Road Trips with Angels and Assassains

Angel BurnAngel Burn
by L.A. Weatherly
Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2011.

Release date 5/24/2011, ARC reviewed.
        Willow is just an ordinary 16 year-old girl, if the definition of ordinary includes psychic powers.  Her most recent reading of a classmate leaves her with an impeding feeling of doom associated with a vision of a glorious, gorgeous man.  When the girl runs away to join the Church of Angels, Willow decides to try to bring her back.  Alex, on the other hand, is anything but an average 17 year-old boy.  Alex is an assassin working for the CIA on a secret project, Project Angel.  As it turns out, Angels are not beneficent beings, but rather creatures who feed off of the essence of our souls, leaving humans drained and sickly, but addicted and devoted to them.   Alex doesn’t kill people; he is an Angel Killer, and his newest hit is Willow.   When he senses that there is something completely unique about this her, he hesitates and decides to follow her.   They are reluctantly catapulted into each other’s company in their high adrenaline, high speed escape across the country, and forced to rely on each other and fight their growing romantic feelings to survive.  This action packed, supernatural romantic thriller is taut with excitement, anxiety, romance, and fun.  It is strongly recommended for girls in grades 7-10, and for all public libraries in time for summer!
Book Talk Hook: Honestly, the bare plot points kind of do the dirty for you on this one, especially with avid and excited readers of a certain age; all you have to do is build the tension with your performance!  I mean…heck.  The simple book talk the Candlewick people gave at a preview geared towards adults got me, hook, line AND sinker, and I was OH so skeptical.
My less than professional thoughts after the jump:

As I said earlier in the week, I was so ready to rain on this book’s parade.  Honestly, I just straight up don’t get the angel craze.  Oh, I gave it a try alright.  I read Lauren Kate's Fallen, which was uh…just okay.  Maybe (definitely in this case) I judged the genre a little too harshly based off of one book, but I think we can all agree there may be a little bit of oversaturation of paranormal romance all up in the bookshelves of your local public library or book store these days.  I just don’t get the angel thing.  Is it a twisted religious romanticizing? Seriously, someone explain it.  The only time I ever enjoyed it was in Madeline L’Engle’s Many Waters. (Maybe I just like bad angels?) When I saw this cover and title, I had to have a rearrange your face moment; I couldn’t believe that CANDLEWICK, a publisher I normally associate with quality and you know, not garbage, would get in on the paranormal spamming game.  And let me have you know, I am so glad I rearranged my face long enough to actually listen! 
This book…IS SO FUN YOU GUYS.  OH MY GOD.  I AM GOING TO STOP TYPING LIKE I AM ACTUALLY A TEENAGE GIRL NOW.  But in all seriousness, if you at all at some point in your life have enjoyed any sort of excitement filled book that includes paranormal romance (or vice versa), you will probably dig this book, regardless of whether you are 13 or 63.  It is straight up fun to read; I’d call it a perfect beach book for adults, and a perfect summer vacation book for teenage girls (there may be some boys, but I’m calling it like I see it).  I read it in two days.  I have a full time job you guys.  I couldn’t put it down!  I haven’t had a reaction to a book like this in a while, nor have I had to wait on a sequel like this in a while!  I don’t know how I’m going to tide myself over!  If you are in the UK, you are a lucky devil; this book and the sequel were first published there.  The third is still in the works in both places, I think.  Okay, onto actual thoughts about the book.
  • Um, hi, tattooed teenage assassin driving a Porsche.  Totally plausible.  
  • Hello, fun road trip across the country.  
  • Hello, nod to true to life things about being on the run with just the clothes on your back and the awkwardness of having to ask a cute boy to buy things like say, a change of underpants.  
  • Hello to my feminist side that cheered when it was revealed that Willow is really good at fixing cars; no damsel in distress here! (Most of the time.)  
  • Hello, slow burning and building sexual tension.  I ask you ladies, is there nothing more fun?  Sure, this is a teenage romance, so I don’t think it’ll surprise you to hear that there is a decided lack of the sexytimes that our smutty adult brains desire.  As in, lots of moments where I was all, “Dudes, you are alone in a cabin in the woods, making out all day.  JUST DO IT ALREADY.”  But then I remembered that in a certain other interspecies paranormal romance, all we got was a super creepy fast growing mutant baby with the worst name ever in the history of worst names ever.  Yes, the dread Renesmee.  So maybe it was for the best there is no horizontal mambo?  There’s always two more books! 
  •  Hello excitement, adrenaline, and fight scenes! 
  • And finally, hello realization as I wrote the review proper and attempted to explain Angels of the reason I probably dug this?  Hello, angels with vampiric tendencies.  Callin’ it like I see it!
Finally, the whole time I was reading it I couldn’t help but think it would lend itself so well to a movie.  But then I realized it will never be a movie.  While we might be all about vampires in this country, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the idea that a) angels are bad, and b) that heroes are those that are killing them, well, it ain’t going to go over too well in the Bible Belt.  Which is a damn (yeah, Bible Belt, I said that word!) shame, because I’d really like to see Hollywood ruin this one. 
Finally finally, Candlewick: please tell me your marketing plans for this one include the most obvious of marketing gambits: gothic lettering AK tattoos. 

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