A Beautiful Darkby Jocelyn Davies
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Release Date: September 27, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley + HarperTeen
Rating: Guilty Pleasure
About the Book:
On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites;like fire and ice;Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.I'd heard enough negative talk for this book to spin my own preconceived judgement of this book: I would not like this. But when I actually opened up A Beautiful Dark I regained faith in the book and was pleasantly surprised. Was I absolutely certifiably wowed? No. Did this make for an engrossing page-turner I could not put down even if I wanted to? Yes! Despite my minor misgivings toward the book, I became deeply enmeshed in the story, which served up an intriguing paranormal mystery, fun characters, and an overall well-written story that glides smoothly at first then trips into mountains of obstacles and edgy tension.
In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
Skye is an MC I can get into, and did, gradually. She's prone to making dumb decisions though she professes to be clever and intelligent, but, at the same time, she reads as an ordinary girl who isn't seasoned enough to avoid being torn between two guys when their intentions are painfully obvious as are the consequences of choosing between light and dark. She's very naive, but being raised to expect the normal of the world leaves her fully unprepared for the otherwordly beings that wedge a foot in the door to her life. Underlying her irritating characteristics lies a strength and levelheadedness that I can respect. She may have gotten on my nerves often, but she isn't a lost cause or a pressing reason to write-off the book.
One of the cons of this book, however, for me, was the tremulous love triangle. Normally, I'm immediately Anti Love Triangles. Before this book, if you wanted a t-shirt to immortalize that sentiment, I would've been your go-to girl. But, Davies's take leaves me, for the first time, confused, unsure and wary of slapping down my final say. Because about halfway into the book I stopped cringing and backing away slowly from the possibility, truly maybe getting into it. Asher is a dark flame, an arrogant bad-boy, with a penchant for doing what he wants when he wants, while Devin is the calm yet broody type, all about order. I could understand Skye's attraction, even in the beginning when I was considering chucking the book somewhere unpleasant, but it wasn't until the guys began to open up a little bit did they manage to snag me. And for a little while there, they had me gripped tightly. But as the mystery of their presence slowly began to unravel, I lost a substantial amount of interest in both boys. The love triangle romance went from predictable to semi-lovable then dimmed to something not (lovable). Skye's friends - you know, the relatively normal ones - ended up being much more involved and exciting to read about!
The kicker turned out to be when I realized that what I most liked about the book was unraveling the mystery of the boys' presence - eventually, my growing feelings of like for both boys fragmented almost completely, but by that point their puzzling entrance into Skye's life interested me more than anything else. Me, the romance girl! Still, I wanted to know what the heck they were and what was going on, and I wasn't disappointed! By the time everything was uncovered and the pieces began to fit together, the intensity struck and I was frantically reading to get to the good stuff. Some revelations were expected, but others... others were a fun surprise. I groaned, loudly enough to turn a few heads at school, once I reached the maddening cliffhanger at the end.
While the romance was lacking, the MC, side characters, and paranormal element helped me determine that I definitely liked this book. I'm interested to see if A Fractured Light will be enough of an improvement to justify continuing with this series.