My rating: 2.5 of 5 genies
Genre: Shapeshifter, YA, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Horror
Published: December 22, 2009
Source: Library Loan
Purchase At: TheBookDepository.com or Amazon.com
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.
The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.
The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.
BEWARE, SPOILERS AHEAD!!! I can't imagine reviewing this without any, I am still verily enraged. *Sigh* I am also not breaking this up into categories because there isn't much to discuss. In my opinion, this was a heavily character-oriented book; 'setting' wasn't a major deal and 'plot' was told mainly from a character's point of view, so I will discuss them.
Rating: 2.5 genies, because I find myself stuck in this state of tolerating the obscenities witnessed in The Dark Divine and despising major chunks of this novel.
I've got mixed feelings about this one. The concept was far from bad but the execution left much to be desired. I feel a lot like this right now:
Because a great majority of these characters ground my balls to near-extinction. Let me clarify, I have no male genitalia to speak of, but if I did...work with me here, people, they would be very greatly diminished!! The characters were stupid and annoying as BUCK. Flipping Chimpanzees could have done better.
I won't go into excruciating detail, no, I just can't because then I would need to burn something and the likely candidate would be this book. And I can't do that, my library needs this monkey-fuchi back by Monday, to screw up somebody else's day. I can't deny them that, can I? So I review to somewhat give people an idea of what they're really getting into beforehand.
I WAS FOOLED ONCE AGAIN BY THE PRETTY COVER. The cover is so pretty
Not. No, I was disappointed, it really is very sad.
Grace: Ah, Grace was insufferable with a bolded, WHY CAN'T YOU JUST DO WHAT YOU'RE TOLD!! For once, please? Someone mentioned in their very correct review that she tries to be 'everything to everyone' they were right, because Grace is as wishy-washy as they come. Much of everything she did/didn't do annoyed me, from making promises she never intended to keep to playing with Daniel's heart like it was playdoh. That boiled my grizzles, and you know what? I never really cared about love confessions in YA unless they were really good; but this is the exception, and I hated that she told Daniel she loved him. Why? Because right after she did, the truth about him came out and she left the guy like he was turd on the road. Now I ask you, dear enlightened readers, wouldn't someone truly in love know to trust the person they care for?
Wouldn't they seek them out to discuss the matters troubling and at hand instead of say, agreeing to go out with some sleaze because something that person did annoyed you?!? That is not love okay, that is lust, and I would like for us to be honest about that.
People lust all the time. That is why Hollywood (and real-life) marriages break up so fast. Because people like what they see and want it. It is the misconception of our generation and the media today that we can dare to call the unions between man and woman which, usually have durations of 10 years or less
Honestly, by 150 pages into the book I still did not know what the eff Daniel did that was so awful. If I was any less of an addict when it comes to screwing myself royally over, I would have stopped flipping pages a long time ago. Let's face it, Grace is a stale protagonist who did not deserve nearly half of the praise she got. So her name's 'Divine' and her dad's a preacher. So? There were all the little stereo-types flourishing the pages too, like how she wore boxy clothing and never swore in public, had craptastic internet and no cell-phone. Puh-leeze.
Okay, some preacher kids are like this, complete angels, but others are the worst. Why was Grace supposed to be the stereotype when she seldom stuck to it? Grace did whatever she wanted and as her redeeming quality we were reminded that she was the pastor's kid and whatever she did really was for the best of everyone.
She didn't mean to disregard promises.
Or do whatever she wanted.
Or always get in the way, somehow.
She 'loved' Daniel one minute and dropped him the next; literally it takes her seconds to break her promise to him about going to the dance with good for nothing April! And another thing, this book has made me thoroughly shifty/anxious about telling people stuff, especially if they have Grace Divine tendencies to blurt the whole enchilada out to the nearest cocker spaniel! Goodness!
Furthermore, there was no reason for me to believe in Grace and Daniel's love. The author tried to make their "love" seem somehow worthy of all that she aims to sacrifice - her soul and family - but it never really came across because of the severe lack of history given to the foundation. What was he like when they were younger? How did he and Grace interact? From all I have to go on, there was absolutely no reason for romance between them to exist, there just wasn't.
He was her brother's friend. And he teased her. So?
Daniel: Again, there was not nearly enough reason to care about him as much as Gracie did. No history between the two of them was given and he was just that guy the protagonist really liked and didn't have remotely a reason to. Not to say I had a problem with Daniel. No, I liked him up until the last chapter when he started spouting some Star Wars-esque nonsense. I almost laughed off my non-existent balls at that point.
Jude: I really did not know how to feel about him. At one instance he was this sweet, sweet, boy. But then the next? A complete jerk. He had a lot going on and granted the circumstances were crazy as anything for him and his family, but really? Why did Despain have to draw up the image of The Prodigal Son? I am Christian and all my life that story and the 'good' brother have been referred to in one way. Bad. He was jealous and unsympathetically blind to the struggles of his sibling, selfish overall. With this being the case, I can only wonder, why then would an author do this to such a pivotal character? Why would she confuse the reader by painting a character one way - in a positive light - and then tainting him with such a harsh comparison later on?
That ruined Jude for me. I couldn't even feel bad when he ran away. All I saw was that older brother from The Prodigal Son and I always wanted him gone anyway. It was like, Jude go bye-bye? Yes!
The Parents: The dad was far too shady for any pastor. Dang, if I went to his church I would look thrice around to make sure that drug dealings weren't going down behind some closed off door and he knew of it. He was trying to help the people he cared about, I get that, but he could have been so, so, so much better.
And the mom? She did not have OCD tendencies, she was OCD, big time. The things Grace described her doing to cope with stress are not what normal people do. I have OCD tendencies and you do not catch me cutting rug hairs with scissors to ensure they are all the same length.
No, see that's crazy.
April: Oh April, darling, twisted April. Gosh, have I really wanted to twist your fictional neck 20 times already? Darling, it feels much longer than that...With people like her, who needs friends? People who when they start dating your sibling forget all about you and then occasionally pop in and out to tell you what to do with your life?
Nuh-huh, I don't think so. Let me also add and make perfectly clear that all the dog references did not help at all. All I could think when she turned up was: Oh there's April, the bitch. Because that's what a 'dog' who whines and makes weird/creepy yipping noises especially if their female is called and well, April is female, isn't she? Right?
Grace was stupid to think that this user/fake was hanging around for anything other than her older brother; as soon as she got Jude, April was pretty much out of the picture. Like totally.
And I hated those two together. They made me hurl my lunch out with the fury of a thousand tornado's. Literally.
The only thing that made me happy in the Jude-April regard was when he totally skipped town and little Miss I'm Your-Friend-For-Your-Brother-Alone got nadda, nothing, which kind of proves that the freaking yipping cocker spaniel of a triffler got what was coming to her.
Thank you, Despain, for giving me that even though you probably did not mean to. I appreciate it.
It has untapped potential written all over and it really could have been much better, I went in with high hopes and came out disappointed. But for some reason I'm going to read the next book. It has higher ratings than this one and I want to see how this whole wolf-bite thing develops; so sue me, I'm curious. You're all free to be just as inquisitive and adventurous in picking this up, only thing is, don't go in with your hopes too high like I did.