Beautiful and heartbroken Brielle Matthews shows up in her old, small hometown of Stratus, Oregon after being gone for a while chasing her dream of being a dancer/model at a fancy art school in Portland. But tragedy hits as the death of her good friend Ali, her friend at her Portland school, haunts her and leaved her adrift and shaken and full of fear. Even being at home doesn’t help things and the heaviness that is a part of her life now. However in the midst of this oppressive darkness someone new has come to town. His name is Jake, Jake Shield and he keeps popping up everywhere- her calculus class, around town. She starts to feel as though she now has her own bonafide stalker, albeit a really cute one.
As she gets to know Jake a bit better and his story unfolds she finds that there is more to Jake than meets the eye, especially surrounding his guardian Canaan. And as a whole new Celestial world opens up to Brielle, she sees things in a whole new way. However her heartbreaking past in losing her mother at a young age coupled with the death of her best friend Ali keeps her from really having a true faith and trust in God as frankly she doesn’t trust Him based on what she sees He has or hasn’t done with those she has loved. As she sees true forces of good and evil battling it out through people and celestial beings she gains more understanding and her relationship with Jake deepens.
There are a lot of different facets to this novel and a lot of things about it that I thought were well done. The author explores that “why would a good God let bad things happen?” question which many of us wrestle with, through Brielle’s’ past and her journey throughout the novel. I thought that the angels vs. demons portions were suspenseful and the characters believable. I definitely will continue to read more in this series as the author gives great foreshadowing, along with a bit of a cliffhanger making the reader really want to find out the future for these characters. Lastly I felt that Brielle’s journey was a good one, well paced and you felt for her through the whole thing.
So while I will definitely recommend this as a great YA read for teenagers, I really enjoyed it as well, so a great read for all ages.
I was given a free digital copy of this book through the Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest, non-biased review. All opinions expressed are my own.