Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Three angels sent to a remote coastal town to dissuade the communities ebbing faith due to a recent influx of crime and tragedy. Bethany, the youngest, finds herself in awe of humanity and the astonishing complexities of teenage life. Encouraged to interact and increase the faith of her peers, but urged not to get too attached, Bethany finds an irresistible connection with Xavier, the school captain and all-around good guy. Because of a past loss, Xavier is well known to keep himself emotionally unavailable.
Knowing the powers that be will never allow an angel and a human to maintain a relationship, Bethany deals with some major emotional torment trying to 'do the right thing' without being able to ignore the deep connection she feels with Xavier.
This story is enrapturing, being told from the POV of an adolescent angel experiencing all that God created for mankind. I think the situations and how Bethany copes ring true to how most teens feel when experiencing love for the first time; confusing and at times paralyzing emotions that are inexplicable and uncontrollable. Bethany feels she can't discuss these feeling with anyone because the only people available are also angels and will forbid the relationship; which also is very real to most teens. The historical accuracies are admirable, Adornetto definitely researched the subjects and brings a very believable world together in light of this.
Mystery, excitement, angst, tragedy, faith, and an enviable romance woven together to create a story that anyone can enjoy. My favorite aspect was the relationship between Bethany and Xavier, reminding me of my own high school love. The confrontations with affronting evils were as exciting as any action/adventure I've read. Bethany's well-penned naivete fueled the suspense and actually had me talking aloud to her at parts.
This is one of few YA books I would love my 13 year old daughter to take relationship and personal-choice pointers from. And I pray she finds a boy like Xavier to experience her first-love with, too.
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