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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Halo
Bethany, Ivy and Gabriel are sent on a mission to Venus Cove; it is Bethany's first earth-bound mission but those up above believe that she is ready for it. She does very well until she falls for Xavier, she literally falls in love with him which was not part of the plan. Xavier knows there is something different about Bethany but he has no idea that she has wings and...
Published on 25 Jan 2011 by Dot

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful angel lit with a sanctimonious, thoroughly unlikeable main character.
Youth does not excuse anything.

I recognise that it is a pretty big achievement to be published at a young age. It's an impressive feat, yes, but you don't always end up with a good, classic piece of literature. Remember Eragon by Christopher Paolini? That had some pretty impressive writing for a fifteen year old boy, but it became a bit sketchy when it was...
Published 18 months ago by Vanessa F


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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Halo, 25 Jan 2011
Bethany, Ivy and Gabriel are sent on a mission to Venus Cove; it is Bethany's first earth-bound mission but those up above believe that she is ready for it. She does very well until she falls for Xavier, she literally falls in love with him which was not part of the plan. Xavier knows there is something different about Bethany but he has no idea that she has wings and normally lives in Heaven. As dark forces start to get a hold of things in Venus Cove, Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany realise that their position could be threatened, as could the safety of those that they have become close to.
Halo is a brilliant book and I was completely in awe when I got to the end and read that the author is only eighteen. I think that Alexandra Adornetto really captures the heady feelings of falling in love for the first time. This is heightened for Bethany and Xavier due to what she is. I loved how their relationship developed throughout the book, I found it entirely believable.
Halo will appeal to young adult readers and also those a little bit older. I am hoping that Alexandra Adornetto will continue the story in further books as I would really like to know what happens next.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful angel lit with a sanctimonious, thoroughly unlikeable main character., 26 Feb 2013
By 
Vanessa F "Vanessa" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Youth does not excuse anything.

I recognise that it is a pretty big achievement to be published at a young age. It's an impressive feat, yes, but you don't always end up with a good, classic piece of literature. Remember Eragon by Christopher Paolini? That had some pretty impressive writing for a fifteen year old boy, but it became a bit sketchy when it was found out that his parents were in the publishing industry. And while the author of this novel didn't have the same nepotistic treatment as Paolini, it's still annoying to me that this got published. And we're supposed to laud over it because of the relative youth of the author. Pfft.

So, what is Halo about, I hear you cry?

Well, prepare your eyes to roll out of their sockets: the preface contains a lyric by Beyoncé. No points awarded if you can guess what song it is. Need a hint? It's got the same name as the title of the book. Yeah. Other authors go for classic literature, poetry, or even a well-known quote... Adornetto goes for a by the numbers ballad by Beyoncé.

Yes, the book is about these angels who come to a quiet coastal town in the middle of nowhere. Why? Well, apparently the Agents of Darkness (basically demons or Lucifer and his followers) are attacking this town, starting off small before they go into the big leagues. (Which makes no sense because there's supposed to be a load of them causing problems in the Middle East.) To save the souls of the poor citizens of Venus Cove, God sends down a family of angels. Angel roll-call!

Gabriel
One of God's archangels. Most famous for telling Mary that she was going to give birth to the son of God. He also watched Sodom and Gomorrah burn.

Ivy
A seraphim whose only characterisation is to flap and cluck like a mother hen, make biscuits and cupcakes for church bake sales and generally provide nothing to the plot.

Bethany
Oh GOD.

Bethany has to be one of the WORST characters I have ever come across in YA literature. Did you know I have a prison in my mind where I banish the characters I hate from YA novels? Yeah, currently Bethany is sharing a cell with Zoey Redbird from Marked, Ever Bloom from Evermore, and Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments.

She just so happens to be a very young angel, and is extremely compassionate towards humankind. Which, amongst the angels, is a bit of an anomaly, considering that angels tend to take the 'poor little lambs' view on humanity. So... even though there isn't much of a reason why Bethany (or Ivy for that matter) should be on Earth in the first place (come on, God sent down a freaking archangel, the demon problem in that town should be taken care of by the next morning!), we have to follow Bethany around as she goes through her boring little life in a boring little town.

Oh, there is some excitement to be had. Bethany does save the life of this one girl who was in a car accident. Yep, she had a punctured lung, a shattered wrist, and several fractured ribs. Injuries that were no doubt exacerbated by Bethany PULLING THIS GIRL OUT OF THE WRECK OF HER CAR. I'm quite sure basic first aid dictates that if somebody is seriously injured and curled up in a certain position, you do not move them unless you are a qualified medic.

Well, anyway. First things first, Bethany begins attending a private school, where Gabriel has gotten a job as a music teacher. Bethany, in her infinite compassion, makes friends with just about everybody (whilst still privately judging the 'kooky beret-wearing art students', the goths who 'dress entirely in black' and the vapid idiots she sits with at lunch, mind you). However, everything changes when she meets Xavier Woods.

And holy s***, the author really was like a first-time driver putting too much pressure on the accelerator pedal and sending the needle of the speedometer careening towards 100mph when it came to making Bethany and Xavier fall in love. In fact, they fully declare their love for each other by about page 105.

And there's quite a few Romeo and Juliet references in this book too.

Yes, it's a good old starcross'd romance and there's FORBIDDEN LOVE. What really made me laugh was when Bethany is in an English Literature class and she tries to convince her classmates that Romeo and Juliet is actually a realistic relationship. Pahaha.

So yes... A super-special perfect angel like Bethany falls in love with a human boy named Xavier. Whose facial features are almost always compared to nuts and spices.

'His light-brown walnut-coloured hair'
'His almond-shaped eyes'
'His nutmeg hair...'

Goodness gracious me. I think somebody went down to the spice cabinet every time they needed inspiration for their pre-modifiers.

Xavier is supposed to be practically perfect in every single way. Except for the fact that he has emotional baggage. His girlfriend Emily died in a fire several years ago, and according to all the other girls at school, Xavier is still heartbroken over it and hasn't dated since. Until Bethany comes into the picture, of course, because she reminds him of Emily and is of course absolutely flawless and... oh for the love of, when will this stupid insta-love bullcrap in YA-lit end?

Later, in a complete role reversal of Twilight, Bethany tells Xavier that she's an angel. Xavier doesn't seem to mind, even though my world would be completely shattered if I learned that not only do angels and demons really exist, but so does God, Heaven, and Hell. But no, this is just par for the course for Xavier, who's supposed to be agnostic. (Also during this exchange, Bethany actually says she doesn't believe in the fire and brimstone kind of Hell preached about in some religious sects. Huh.)

Well, anyway, Xavier and Bethany cuddle on the beach and surprise surprise, by the next day it turns out that Gabriel has found out about our two little lovebirds, and he's actually had to call a council meeting with the other archangels to see what God's plan is now Bethany has blown their cover. (Also, the way Gabriel castigates Bethany is like she's done the WORST POSSIBLE THING EVER. She just cuddled a human, told him she was an angel, and now he has to call the most powerful angels to find out what God's will is now going to be? You know, that's pretty much the equivalent of calling the military police to your house to take an unruly child to the naughty step/time-out zone.)

Luckily, the archangels have better things to do than wonder whether or not a stupid angel should be excommunicated from the kingdom of Heaven for cuddling a boy. So Bethany and Xavier are allowed to continue dating, but... uh-oh, it's love triangle time!

Yes. Love triangle time. A hundred and ten pages or so into the book, there's mention of a new student having transferred into Bethany's new school. Guess what? He has a British accent. (Which in Hollywood terms means he's definitely evil.) And it also seems that snakes are his thing.

His cheekbones looked razor sharp, and his cat-green eyes watched Miss Castle intently with the hypnotic quality of a snake about to strike.
The greedy glint in Jake's snake- green eyes[.]

Did I mention that this guy also has a snake tattoo curling around his forearm, and is genuinely considered to be trouble to be around. Can I make reference to a villain from a supernatural fantasy book series who also has snakes as his motif? You know, looks like a snake, has a reptilian smile, is quite slimy, etcetera.

Lord Voldemort.

The dark lord himself. The wonderful thing about Voldemort though, was that J.K. Rowling didn't CONSTANTLY shove it down our throats that he was some kind of 'reptilian' ne'er-do-well. Clearly, in Adornetto's writing, Voldemort's every appearance would go something like this:

'His face reminded me of a snake's - eyes vile and vicious, like a cobra before it struck. The reptilian slits where his nose should have been moved gently with each seemingly wrong breath he took. And when he moved closer towards me, Elder Wand in hand, it was with a serpentine grace, moving in the zig-zag motion of a reptile. And he grabbed my wrist with the force of a boa constrictor's coils.'

So anyway, this obvious Agent of Darkness farts about with Bethany in her English Literature class and helps her write a sonnet. This is by far one of the most boring parts of the novel, mind you.

Some time after this, Xavier breaks his ankle. And he's kept in for overnight observation after the doctors find that he has a concussion. Okay, now that's absolutely hilarious to me, because I've had personal experience with a broken (collar-)bone and a concussion: particularly, the hospital telling me to go home and rest rather than keeping me in for the bloody night. And even then I got about two hours of rest before I had to rush to the airport, since I was on holiday in Germany at the time.

So yes, Xavier can't go to the high school prom with Bethany, which of course is THE MOST TRAGIC EVENT EVARRR!! However, Jake asks Bethany out instead. Xavier tells Bethany he doesn't mind, because he knows how much Bethany was looking forward to the prom, and how it won't be the same without a date.

Well, anyway, this obvious Agent of Darkness is revealed for what he is during the prom. Oh, of course. If the reader can pick up the fact that he's a demon sixty pages before the big reveal, I'd say tone it down a little with all the serpentine imagery, hmm?

Anyway, even though any demon worth his salt (well, maybe not salt, whatever) could have levelled this useless little town before tea-time, Jake only reveals he's going to wreak havoc after Bethany rejects his advances at the prom.

Because, need I remind you, Bethany is that important.

Oh, and someone snapped a picture of Bethany being kissed by Jake, and OH NOES, Xavier saw it on Facebook and now he's all jealous and hurt and upset!

You know, your average person would probably be a bit more understanding. Not Xavier, though. He launches into a tirade against Bethany, and... wait a second. Does this make sense to anyone else?

Bethany is a creature of pure goodness, a celestial messenger, an angel. Why would it be in her interests to lie (which isn't angelic in the least) to her boyfriend about her relationship with the guy he allowed her to go to prom with in his stead?

This book makes no sense! *claws at the walls*

So anyway, Bethany finds herself in Dumpsville, USA, and spends the next few pages crying and feeling sorry for herself, until Gabriel finally tells Xavier what really went on, and Xavier comes back, completely ready to forgive and forget. In the space of about three or four pages.

My God does this girl have Xavier on the brain. In fact, if you cracked open her skull, 'I LOVE XAVIER' tattoos and stickers would be plastered over both hemispheres. It gets to the point where you just want to tell her to shut up. Like these two extracts, for instance, fresh from being dumped:

When I realized Xavier was absent from school the following day, my eyes burned and I felt hot and dizzy. I wanted to crumple to the ground and just wait for someone to carry me away. I couldn't make it through another day without him; I could hardly make it through another minute. Where was he? What was he trying to do to me?

I wondered if I would ever be able to put together the pieces of my life on earth that had been blown apart when Xavier had left me.

Shut up, Bethany. And somebody please tell Ms. Adornetto that her version of true love at first sight is so highly exaggerated the Disney princes and princesses would tell her to take it down a notch.

The two reconcile, and Xavier and Bethany have a lovely naked cuddle on Bethany's bed. (Where's that council of archangels now, Gabriel? They were fully clothed the last time around, surely you should be calling God Himself to sort out Bethany for that kind of atrocious behaviour.)

After all that, Bethany goes to school again and discovers that Jake has gotten himself quite a big following. And he may or may not have caused one of Bethany's friends (Taylah) to commit suicide. This girl being the same one who went: "Oh, Bethy, eww, you don't want to go to the library, only losers hang out there!" And ""Everybody knows the Middle East is in Africa." :|

Jake of course continues to threaten Bethany, and his followers grow day by day. One of whom is Bethany's friend Molly. Shock, horror! And how do Bethany and her motley crew of two high angels and one human work out where Jake is likely to take Molly out on a date? Brace yourselves, the stupidity might require an ice pack from how hard your palm will meet your face.

"They look like goths,"
"And what is the centre of goth culture?" Gabriel said.
Ivy looked at him, eyes wide. "Death."
"Yes." Xavier's face was grim.
"So where would be the best place for a bunch of weirdos obsessed with death?"
The realisation hit me, and I drew a sharp breath. It was overstated, it was grim, it was dark, and the perfect place for Jake to stage his show. "The cemetery."

(Seriously, is Marilyn Manson the author's only reference for what a Goth looks like nowadays?)

So, if people at your school/other educational institution take up an interest in the Goth lifestyle, there's obviously a demon around somewhere! It's not a conscious choice made of their own volition, nope, it's a demon sucking out the happiness from their souls.

Also, is it me or is Jake pretty stupid for a follower of darkness? If the dumbest angels ever committed to page can work out where you're going to execute your evil plan, I think you need to go back to villain school posthaste.

What follows next is a boring as hell 'OMG Goths totally hang out in cemeteries and make blood sacrifices and endeavour to look as sullen as possible, right?' until Bethany shrieks and like an idiot, gives away her and Xavier's position.

She is then spirited away to a Victorian mansion, where Jake continues to threaten her... and then Gabriel bursts through the wall with all the powers of Heaven behind him. Hooray! But oh no, Jake proves to be quite a match (for a bloody archangel, need I remind you).

Until... in the mother of all awful endings... Bethany defeats Jake...

...with the power of love.

I told you guys you'd need an ice-pack. Hope you still had it handy.

Seriously, the power of love being used as some ethereal force that can conquer all evil? I thought that cliché died out when Sailor Moon finished airing.

Yeah, so while I had a good chuckle at that dénouement, Bethany just settles back into life in Venus Cove... until the sequel grab happens. A little scroll with a mildly threatening message in Jake's handwriting falls out of Bethany's locker. OH NO!

That so totally makes me want to read Hades, the next book in the series!

Actually, no, it doesn't. This novel was awful. I only finished it because it was so laughable, and I seemed to catch cringeworthy clangers on every page. The story makes no sense, the main character is a wishy-washy Mary Sue who has nothing to her personality besides being 'kind and caring' and 'obsessed with Xavier'. It's insulting to one's intelligence (with things that are obvious constantly being explained to the audience), and the villain is absolutely pathetic. Jake's inclusion into the plot seems more like the author realising she's written 110 pages of angelic fluffy romance and she needs to shake things up a little. And you can't speak of the villain without speaking of the other heroes. Gabriel and Ivy did absolutely nothing throughout the plot. Gabriel was just 'ZOMG HOT NEW TEACHER' and Ivy did nothing but arrange bake sales and help out at the local church. Also, isn't it kind of insulting that the two female angels are weaker and stereotyped as caring and nurturing? Piss off.

For divine beings from the Heavens, they certainly wouldn't be picked for my dream team to take on the forces of evil. And yet they somehow revitalise church attendance in this little township? Pah. Call me back when church attendance is increased by a sassy lounge singer turning the dull choir into a funky gospel troupe.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to purge the e-book from my hard drive. And my brain. 1/5.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok, 23 Jan 2011
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I'm not sure what I was expecting for this book but it certainly wasn't like other angel YA titles I have read recently.

This book follows the story of three angels who have been sent to Earth on a mission to help people. Of the three Angels Bethany, the youngest is the Angel whose story we follow the most closely over the course of the book.

I enjoyed the book and thought the writing style was nice. The main character was sweet but a bit too naive for her own good at times. I hope she grows a bit more as a character in the next book(s) and gets a bit more streetwise as there were several things she just walked into. There were some really funny bits of dialogue (Ivy's explanation of what a MILF is was priceless).

The story was very slow to start, and not uninteresting in itself because it was written well I did find myself at times hoping something would start to happen. That said the last 70 pages or so were where everything kicked off, the story moved very quickly and secrets were revealed.

The main thing that might put someone off this book is that it does have quite a lot of religious undertones. It doesn't bother me all that much but there are a lot of ideals put forward in this which I imagine some readers would start to find annoying.

All in all a nice book (which is huge by the way) which has a different take on the angel genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 7 April 2014
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Loved it! It kept me on the edge of my seat. Can't wait to see what happens in the next book!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE LOVE LOVE, 26 Mar 2014
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If you love Books like The host, Twilight , The mortal Instruments series etc etc you will LOVE this series
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4.0 out of 5 stars HALO, 9 April 2013
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If you love Alexandra Adornetto, then you will love this. The reason why I didn't give it five stars is because I love her book 'hades' more. I had read hades first and fell in love with it, then I bought this one and liked it but not as much. I recommend you buy both of these books if you want something worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Face the future alongside Beth., 6 April 2013
The story follows the life of Bethany Church who has some secrets of her own but that does not stop her from showing Xavier Woods high school's 'hottie'. Xavier Woods was thought to have lost his love but something about Beth helps him break out of this, discover Xavier's past and why he became like this. The along comes Jake, everyone was happy until this dark figure walked in and is that about to change as dark occurrences start happening around Venus Cove. Read and Find out how Beth and Xavier meet the troubles of the world and how they stop the forces of evil.

Never before have i read a book that has touched my heart as much as this book has done. In my opinion this is one of the few love story's for young adults like myself that feels true and actually shows how 2 people can love each other and nothing can come in their way and for once this relationship does last and I think that is what makes this book feel unique and special. The Happiness and Joy shown in this book seemed to touch my own heart and I read on I became increasingly happy, the author has created a realistic feel and this is something not many author these days are still able to project.

Love, hope, destiny.

This book shows the battle of good vs evil.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 13 Jan 2013
A truly amazing book filled with emotion, I started reading it at 10 am and didnt put it down for 10 hours.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 6 Jan 2013
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I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal romances. I completely and utterly fell in love with both Xavier and Beth and I can't wait to see where their relationship takes them in the next instalment. I really liked Alexandra Adornetto's style of writing as it was both descriptive yet humorous, and the plot kept me hooked until I turned the last page. The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because I felt that the ending was rushed and should have gone into more depth, despite that I would still highly recommend reading it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 2 Nov 2012
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I had been looking at this book for ages before I actually got it... at first, it lived up to my expectations. I particularly loved the characters Ivy and Gabriel, who quickly became my favourite characters. I found the ideas & aspects around the religious side quite interesting and I enjoyed reading about them. I thought the relationship between Xavier and Beth was sweet.

However, I felt, about in the middle of the book, that things started to go downhill. The action slowed. The relationship between Xavier and Beth got a bit too lovey-dovey and almost five cheesy lines were delivered by Xavier on every page! I mean I'm all up for lovey-doveyness and cheese, but not every other chapter! I eventually got sick of it and HAD to put it down every now and then for at least five minutes because I was so bored. Beth became annoying and Ivy and Gabriel sat on a backseat.

During the last few chapters, it picked up and I began to enjoy it once more. However, I felt that the last bit of the story was crammed in and could have been so much better. Honestly, I was a little disappointed about how it ended, with 'love' being the answer, which I found cheesy and rushed.

Even with the disappointing ending and the cheesiness, it has convinced me to carry on with the series in hope that Beth matures a bit. Overall, I did love it, but I guess teenage love books aren't my thing.
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Halo (Unabridged)
Halo (Unabridged) by Alexandra Adornetto
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