Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies


Published: HarperTeen (9.27.11)
Pages: 390
Format: Hardcover
Series: Book 1
Source: ARC from publisher
GoodReads Summary: 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.

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.

My Thoughts: I prematurely lost faith in A Beautiful Dark. I won't lie. It was before I even picked up the book. I thought it would be the exact same set-up as Personal Demons (which I DNFed after 75 pages.) I'm delighted and resplendent to admit that I was wrong. GOOD NEWS: this is not your typical good vs. bad love-triangular book. Well, it is. But it isn't.

Skye is a cool chick. She's not totally immune to dumb decisions, but when you're torn between light & dark? IT HAPPENS.

By far the best aspect of this book was the distinct personalities amongst Skye's circle of friends. Her best friend is awesome. She's spunky and supportive and actually cares about Skye. I love reading about functional friendships.

My thoughts on the book changed from: "meh, formulaic love triangle, ahoy!" to "wait. WAIT. Hold on. This is awesome." about 100 pages in. DO NOT GIVE UP ON THIS BOOK. It's more than just good and bad boys. It's not rocket science, but it's absolutely more complex and Davies' boys, Asher and Devin, are neck & neck in the "which guy would I buy a t-shirt for" race.

If you're expecting deep emotional epiphanies and complex plot lines, look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a frantic page-turner that is flat out fun (past page 100), STEP RIGHT UP.

7 comments:

  1. I almost bought this. But after reading bad review after bad review on goodreads, I decided against it. I'm pleased to find someone who has something good to say about it, but I'm still hesitant to read it due to the love triangle. Gag...

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  2. Why does there always have to be teams? I am sick and tired of teams. It's getting old, fast. I'm also tired of "fancy" names for paranormal book characters. This isn't the first time a boy named Asher has appeared.

    Throw in some good ol'fashioned names for once. I'll like the characters more if I can take their name seriously. What about Tom? Or Toby? Or Adam? Or Scott? What about Jane? or Beth? or Sarah? JENNIFER?! Why do the names always have to be weird. Ugh.

    Not that you mentioned any of this in the post above, I think I'm just in a mood and reading the book summary pushed my buttons. =P

    (that being said, I have also been turned off by the implied love triangle mentioned in the summary. I don't know if I can stomach anymore books like this. It takes away from the actual paranormal numminess. Though you do say to give it a chance, so if I see it in a bargain bin somewhere, I might.)

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  3. @Cat: One of my friends' boyfriend has the name Asher. LOL.

    I felt pretty much the same. Not going to lie, I read this book mostly for the cover (LOOK AT IT) but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Asher and Devin were pretty equal to me until closer to the end where I picked a side (although I'm still not definite on it).

    BTW, the ending.

    What. The. Hell.

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  4. See, I felt like such a know-it-all when I found about this book. Oh, typical love triangle status. Instaluv, definitely has to be in there somewhere. And then the negative reviews started pouring in, and I felt all smug.

    But now I feel like an idiot. I'm going to formulate my own opinion, thanks to you.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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  5. I really thought this was the most formula written book I had read all year. I reviewed it for the SFBR and it wasn't pretty.

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  6. Books with love triangles can be a hit or miss with me depending on the execution but I really did enjoy A Beautiful Dark more than I'd been expecting. It was a good setup for the rest of the trilogy (OMG! THE ENDING!? HOW COULD IT END LIKE THAT??) and I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Jen! :)

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  7. I won a copy of this one recently but I didn't really have any plans to read it soon. I heard some pretty meh things and so it didn't seem worth my time. I'll totally pick it up soon thanks to your review though :]

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